Friday, June 26, 2009
I've been a mommy for 6 and a half years. I have three little girls I love more than life itself. It's been ingrained in me, socially and biologically, to put their needs, and indeed everyone's needs, ahead of my own. I tried that for a long time. It nearly killed me.
Now, don't get me wrong. If my child's in danger, my life is nothing in comparison to saving them. If they are sick or need immediate medical attention, my health and problems take back seat to getting them help. If they need me, or a hug and kiss, or a cuddle at night, I'm there. But even mommies need mothering. I'm learning this.
As a single mom this posed a problem with two children home all day. My doctor and best friend finally convinced me that I needed mommy time. Alone time. Self-care time. Health care time. So I found a wonderful woman to entertain and care for my children while I heal my body.
I prepare all my special allergy free food. I make green drinks. I do special stretches to strengthen my core and reduce my pain. I practice a simple QiGong exercise to stay centered and improve my weak muscle tone. I take baths in baking soda (to balance my PH) and sea salt, (to ease muscle pain.) This is after I spend 30-40 minutes with a flannel cloth soaked in Castor oil covering my abdomen under a heating pad. This helps with my innards and scar tissue and a bunch of other stuff.
I also have a nap time. Yup, just like preschool. I have art time to relieve tension and express my creativity. I meditate. I read spiritually enlightening books to aid in my understanding of my place in this world and to help me stay non-reactive to the harsh pushes and shoves of life.
Then there are my appointments. I have 2-3 doctor's appointments a month, over an hour away. But he's the best doctor ever, the only doctor who actually believes I'll get better, so it's worth the drive. I do acupuncture 1-2 times a week. Massage (as per doctor's orders) 1-2 times a month. I'm on hundreds of dollars of supplements to heal my gut, my adrenals, my thyroid and my liver.
I spend all day taking care of myself. Before my children come home and I get to be mommy to them again. Enjoying their smiles and love and kisses, knowing that I got to take time for me and now I have energy and attention to give to them without exhaustion or resentment. (Most of the time.)
Even in just a few months of this self-mothering, I have discovered how much I needed it and how very sick I was and still am. I hid it so well for so long that I had no idea. I still don't know what it feels like to feel healthy and normal, but I'll get there. If I keep to the plan and keep taking care of myself. If I don't push myself. If I learn to say "no" to others who do not need me as much as my children and I need me.
I can see a future of health now, where once I was resigned to pain and misery forever. Pills. Pills and more pills. Not healing supplements but pain pills. Antibiotics. Pills that began to damage my liver and reduce my bodies capacity for self-healing. I have a long way to go, but at least I'm on the right path.
Some days it's hard for my children. It's hard for them to understand why mommy isn't able to ride a bike with them or go on walks. But those days are becoming fewer and fewer and now nearly everyday we at least go for a walk. We play. I'm more present. To them, and most importantly, to myself. I'm finally learning to become present and healthy in my own life. And that is the greatest gift I can give to myself, and my babies.