Even Selfless Moms Need a Moment

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Posted by Gina Perkins, Pre-School Mommie | Posted in Gina Perkins | Posted on 10-05-2010

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Perhaps it was the lack of the sleep, the surge of monthly hormones, or the foiled celebration of my first ever Mother’s Day that did it – but I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  I woke up feeling deflated, under-appreciated and overworked.

Not only has DJ sprouted her first two teeth, but she has also learned how to crawl AND walk.  Though the walking is of course assisted, she still has the concept of one foot in front of the other down pat.  This means that she is cranky and active.  With these new skills, she is hell-bent on running the show.

This morning, I sought solace in my usual place – the shower.  Even though DJ sits in there, staring at me from her bouncer chair, my hands are free and I can close my eyes while the hot water melts the tension from my shoulders.  Not today, though.  DJ decided to grab onto her chair’s canopy to gain momentum while arching her back in an attempt to launch her lap out of the safety belt and touch her feet to the ground.  My haven became a cordoned off circus – overnight.

The tears were instant.  Mine, not DJ’s.  If I didn’t have my showers, what did I have?  Where could I go to be alone?  Where could I go to relax, to find peace?  Was I now going to have schedule my own shower around my husband’s schedule?  Great, a schedule within a schedule…..sounded paralyzing.

I did what any woman would do – I packed up DJ and went to the mall.  I figured that I could get out of the house and away from my barking dogs, while DJ was preoccupied with bright lights, bad music and doting strangers.  I walked into a few stores without the intention of purchasing anything, which was a good thing because I thought that everything was dreadful.  I stopped as I passed a mirror – I was dreadful.  I was so frumpy.  Why did I even leave the house?

With my damp ponytail coming loose from it’s rubber band, I made a bee-line for the Mac counter.  The makeup artist looked at me and asked, “What can I do for you?”  I said “I need help.”  Little did he know the gravity of my answer.  He then spent the next 30 minutes teaching me how to apply a “smoky look” to my eyes.  DJ started crying midway through and I looked at her and sternly said, “You can wait.”  And I meant it.  It was the first time in 8 months that I really felt like I had to put myself first.

I’m about as low maintenance as they come.  I get pedicures twice a year, never get manicures, I shave and pluck rather than wax, and I push my hair appointments to every 8 weeks.  I don’t buy designer clothes, and I rarely wear anything but my flip-flops.  However, I think I have allowed that to translate for others into me not needing to take time for myself – and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I am a selfless mom.  I habitually put others first – that’s my nature and for the most part, I don’t think twice about it.  But, there does come a time when I just want my moment.  Whether it’s a hot shower, cooking dinner with a glass of wine, going for a long walk or listening to some really depressing music – I need to quietly celebrate the woman that I am….by myself.

While my eyes did end up looking smokin hot, and I spent way too much money on products (Happy Mother’s Day to me!) – it was truly my soul that received the makeover.  Through those few moments of allowing the focus to be on me, I gained the patience that I will need to make it through my day (I think….it’s still pretty early).