My mom heart: Take a sip


Mom, I’m talking to you. You know who you are. The one who hates to take selfies because you haven’t brushed your hair (or your teeth, for that matter) in days. Meanwhile, your single girlfriends are put together to perfection and duck-lipping it left and right all over social media. I know how you feel: trust me, most weeks I can’t remember when the last time I showered was. Why do you think I always share pretty pictures of my house and kids? It’s because I certainly don’t want to be in front of the camera myself most days! We rush around making sure the kids get fed, and bathed, and loved, and nurtured, and yet somehow we’re nibbling on the half eaten granola bar we found in the bottom of our purse.

Years ago when Noah was a baby and our only child, I had the pleasure of going to a spa and having a massage while we were on a little getaway. I must have been having a facial as well because the masseuse said to me “Wow, the skin on your face is really dry, do you drink enough water?” Kind of a simple and silly question, I thought. “I don’t know”, I answered, “I mean, I think I do”. I remember thinking, “huh that was odd, do I drink enough water and what does that even mean?” But then the subject changed and we carried on with our conversation. Of course, it went to Noah since all we can talk about are our kids, even when we leave the house to get away from our kids, right?!  Anyway, as I sat there chatting with this woman about Noah I couldn’t help but think of all the things I did each day to give him the absolute best things I possibly could. I breast fed him until he was almost two, he ate nothing but organic food, and had a sippy full of water at his beck and call 24/7 to make sure he was sufficiently hydrated. I was one of those first-time moms who had the diaper bag and all matching accessories packed to perfection with every organic snack on the market along with clean wipes, two sippy cups and 3 extra changes of clothing. Remember those days, you moms of more than one? I hardly missed a beat, so I thought I must have it all together. And then as I was sitting there chatting with this total stranger I realized I didn’t drink enough water. How could I have missed this? How could I have gotten so caught up in taking care of this other human being that I forgot to take care of myself, that I forgot to stop for just one minute to take a drink of water and fill myself up with some of the good that I was filling him with? Water was just one of many things, of course, and it wasn’t just my skin that was flaking because of the lack of it. Of course, I didn’t mean myself any harm. I didn’t become a mother and say I’m going to stop taking care of myself, because now I’m taking care of a baby. The truth was that I still thought I was taking care of myself, although not the same way I had before there was a small being attached permanently to my hip. I really hadn’t ever thought that I had stopped caring for myself in a way that would make me less healthy, but I had. How quickly and easily this had happened, without me even knowing it!


I love being a mom, and I love nurturing, so when I was constantly tending to Noah’s needs and sacrificing my own it just felt natural to me. It didn’t even phase me to grab him a drink and totally forget one for myself or make sure he had a two hour nap because neither of us slept the night before, but make myself do work while he slept. Looking back, I’m so thankful he was too young to know what was going on because I certainly don’t want to raise a boy who doesn’t see the importance of a woman taking good care of herself through all stages of life. So what have I done to change? Do I still have lots of times in my life when I don’t take great care of myself? Yes I do, but the difference is now I know when I’m not and I acknowledge it as a phase and then make a change. We can never eliminate those times completely because sometimes we will have a colicky baby that never sleeps and we are too delirious to get a glass out of the cupboard and fill it with milk from the refrigerator, “Hey, don’t drink that white stuff in the plastic bag, that’s your breast milk! You drink the one from the carton.” We’ve all been there, and we will all be there again someday. But when you are somewhere in-between, promise me that you will fill a pitcher with water, and drink the whole thing each day to make sure you are getting at least enough water to fill you up. Then occasionally let yourself take a nap when the babies are napping. I know these are very simple things but if you are anything like me, you forget to do them over and over, and feel more and more tired and overwhelmed each day. So here’s your chance to make a choice and make a change for the better. You are worth it momma, now take a sip!

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