The Calendar Invite
Alright here we go... my first blog post ever. To be totally honest, I’m not even sure I’m doing this right or what exactly a blog post should look like. All I know is that when I googled it (yes I google everything, except when I’m sick because that just takes you down a rabbit hole no-one should ever go down) it said the only requirement was to write from a place of passion. Motherhood, well more accurately, finding balance in motherhood is something I’m extremely passionate about and why we started Cbusmamatribe in the first place. It’s so easy to lose yourself in motherhood, it’s all consuming and literally the hardest job in the whole world. These tiny little beings depend on you for everything, but can you really give them what they need if you yourself aren’t whole?
The pressure starts right from birth: breast feed, don’t bottle feed, feed every 2-3 hours (even if that means waking them up to eat), let them sleep, circumcise, don’t circumcise. You will severely traumatize and mess your kid up for life if you choose to let them cry it out, but if you co-sleep they will never be able to sleep alone...ever. And, don’t even think about buying baby food, you have to make it from scratch, the list goes on and on..... While I’m very type A, and actually timed every feeding to make sure both breasts were emptied the same ( I know, I know, ridiculous and don’t recommend that to anyone) I was also able to acknowledge early on that what works best for me and my family, is what we were going to do. Happy wife happy life, right? Some days that was co-sleeping, others I let them cry it out, they drank from bottles and nursed, and guess what? I never made one ounce of my own baby food. Parenting is so personal, no one should tell you how to do it or shame you for your choices. I chose to do what was best for ME and it worked for MY family and I truly believe that everyone should live by that!
With that being said somewhere between potty training, and preschool I lost my balance. I was living everyday for my kids, and while that’s wonderful in theory, it didn’t work for me. I lost myself, I felt like I had nothing to add to conversations that weren’t about poop, like my entire identity was wrapped around my kids. I was no longer a whole person without them. Sure they depended on me, but I depended on them too. The weirdest thing about this was that I didn’t even realize this was happening to me. I was happy, felt great and just assumed this was what motherhood was....all about the kids and all consuming. That is until I met Mel. Without knowing it or maybe even without trying, she slowly showed me how to be a whole person again, away from motherhood. It started in little ways, like going to lunch while the boys were at preschool, or laying out in my backyard when the sun finally came out after a long winter, but the real turning point was when she sent me a calendar invite.
That calendar invite changed my life, I know that sounds dramatic but bear with me. If I had to pinpoint a date that I found my footing again and regained my balance, it would be the day that calendar invite showed up in my email. It was so simple, but exactly what I needed. It was the middle of summer, when all the kids were out of school and she invited me to go to the “adult pool” just us, with wine in our swell bottles and money for Panera to be delivered. That sounds dirty hahah but by “adult pool” I just mean the designated pool where kids aren’t allowed and adults can relax, and maybe even read a book?! Never in a million years would I have thought to get a babysitter during the day just to take some time for myself and a friend. Besides the fact the boys would be so mad at me for going to the pool without them, in my mind, a babysitter was reserved for when I was working or date night, not just for me! I guess it felt selfish, indulgent not necessary, but boy was I wrong!!!! It felt liberating, freeing, amazing, rejuvenating and gave me the space and time to come back to my family even happier, and more fulfilled than ever. Why had I never thought of this before? It was genius!!!!!
I vowed from that day on to make sure and always schedule some time for myself. It doesn’t always look like a day at the pool, sometimes it’s a workout, reading a book, a lunch date or skyping a friend across the country but that “me time” has became a vital part of my life. It has made me a better mother, wife and friend, and now I can carry on conversations that aren't just poop related. I feel whole again, being a mom is a huge part of who I am but it is not all that I am. We have to remember that! As mothers we are constantly doing everything for everybody and more often than not we forget about ourselves. My hope is that everyone has a Mel, someone who pushes them to find balance, sends a calendar invite and makes it happen. We all need a little nudge sometimes but the truth is: You can’t pour from an empty cup, you have to take care of yourself first. So before you go pouring cups for everyone in your family go and fill yours up. If you need permission to get a sitter just so you can go take some time for yourself, here it is. You have my permission, do it!
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