I was seriously ill last weekend, and people were offering advice like, "just stay in bed and sleep all day!" Dude, I have a toddler. My husband definitely pitched in and gave me some extra downtime, but staying in bed ALL day under a cozy blanket is just one of those sick-day luxuries that don't exist anymore. Then my son got sick and couldn't go in to daycare, and things got really fun. The whole experience got me thinking about some other things that I used to take for granted during my pre-mom days.
1. re-organizing my closet. Yes, this sounds ridiculous, but I used to spend hours (days even) prepping my closet for seasonal changes, trying on clothes, figuring out what didn't fit anymore, and storing things nicely for the next year. Cut to today's version of closet re-organization:
2. enjoying a snack. I used to think it was an exaggeration when I heard other parents talk about toddlers and how they steal all of your food. Now, I'm the mom hiding in the closet eating chocolate so that my son doesn't see it. Not to mention that the snacks wind up all over the floor, the couch, my clothing, my hair...
3. watching something on television. Have I seen the latest episode of Walking Dead? No, but I have seen Peppa Pig Season 1 about 53 times. I can no longer participate in those office cooler talks each week, and I frequently arrive to work with god-awful jingles stuck in my head.
4. a hot mug of coffee. Let me clarify - my coffee does start out hot. Then it gets spilled, forgotten, or I get two sips before I am asked to get more milk in the blue cup only (duh!) and toast with no crust, but only if it's the right kind of bread.
5. evening walks and jogs. With our family schedule, I'm typically at home doing bath & bedtime. Who wants to go jogging after all of that?! Nope, beer me please.
In general, I think what all of these things amount to is an ability to think about myself first. That's a huge part of parenting - always putting your child's needs before your own. It's deceivingly hard. I feel a constant battle between my desire to be in the moment - enjoying every new development and discovery with my son - and my desire to just be selfish once and a while. This is one of the reasons why my husband and I believe so strongly in the mission behind Reiko Palmer. Parents need to take time for themselves - emotionally, physically, and mentally. Doing this allows them the strength to tackle parenthood with their whole selves. Even if it means a lukewarm cup of coffee...