Today's entry is from Candace Greene.
It had been over a year since I’d gotten a pedicure. That time it was a Mother’s Day gift from my husband Derrick, and I went hesitantly mainly because I thought I had no business doing anything for myself after having a child. It’s funny how beliefs change, especially after having another baby. As a mother of one child, I never took time for myself. My schedule revolved around Sakari’s feedings and naptimes, and I rarely deviated from it. I was uptight and downright depressed!
It wasn’t until I flew with Sakari to visit my family in Nashville that I realized how much pressure I had placed on myself. I was there ten days, but split my time between my brother and sister-in-law’s house before moving on to stay with my mother in her new condo. My brother and sister-in-law have two sons, now 11 and 6. I consider them pros in the parenting game.
Sakari’s routines were broken while we were in Nashville. The child who, at home in Baltimore, slept like clockwork, was now too excited about spending time with his cousins to nap. On my third day there, my brother suggested I go with the family to the park. I told him no and tried to explain that I did not think we would be back in time for Sakari’s scheduled bedtime. Before I could finish, my brother interrupted me and said, “Can Can, lighten up! Let Sakari run around. He’s 18-months-old. He won’t melt if he misses bedtime by half an hour!” My sister-in-law gave me a one-arm hug and said, “He’s right because girl, you are wound as tight as a wristwatch!” They laughed and slapped hands, while I burst into tears. I didn’t realize parenting could be fun.
Fast forward one year, and one new baby later, and you’ll find me trying to findSo, my husband and I found a wonderful holistic daycare where he’s been able not only to learn at a fast pace, but also develop his social skills. I was offered a part-time job two months after my second child Amani was born, and I accepted it because I knew from experience that staying home 24/7 was not a healthy proposition for me. I needed to get out of the house, to be around people, to be able to talk about other things besides the color of my newborn’s poop. I joined a small health club to start working on losing the baby weight. I’ve accepted various freelance writing opportunities, and I’ve become more active at church. I am busy enough now not to fall into the depressive state that engulfed me after Sakari was born, but not so busy that I don’t have time for my husband and children. Everyday is not perfect, but I know, when I lay my head down at night, that doing for me makes me feel calm, more peaceful, and that peace spreads over my family.
ways to “lighten up.” I finally acknowledged the fact that Sakari needed to be in a
setting with other children, and that I needed a break from our day-to-day
Take yourself out on a date today and treat you to lunch, window-shopping in the mall, or a trip to the spa. And, as you’re enjoying yourself, squash that voice in your head that tries to make you feel guilty for doing something for yourself. Remember, you deserve a treat now and then. You will be better for it, and your family will appreciate a calmer, more relaxed YOU.
Until next time….