Make Yourself a Priority
It’s natural to put your child ahead of yourself. However, special needs moms need to take of themselves, too.
Think of it like the flight attendants say in their spiel.
“Place the mask on your own face before helping others.”
Keep your mind busy with things other than your child. Maybe it’s reading, volunteering, genealogy, doing crossword puzzles, antiquing, knitting, or gardening. This will help keep away “Mommy Syndrome” (having nothing else to think or talk about besides your kiddos and their issues).
Feed your spirit at its very core. Maybe it’s a few minutes each morning meditating, stepping outside to take in our world, deep breathing, or praying. Just find something that calms you and helps you focus on something much bigger than you are. This will help keep you renewed and keep away burnout.
Take care of your physical health. You know what it takes — eating healthy, staying active, getting to the doctor (and dentist). You’re not going to last forever. But, you need to do what you can to be there for child as long as you can.
My Epic Fail
I’ve always done a pretty good job of taking care of my mind. I keep up with current events and politics. I’ve always been a writer of one sort or another, first journaling then writing my book and blogging here. I’m usually reading something (not always a novel, but something). I spend time being artistic either painting or scrapbooking. I’m a chronic volunteer, at school, the girls’ activities, the community, and church.
I’ve been a bit hit or miss on the spirit part until about ten years ago. I was often stressed out and overwhelmed with too much on my “to do” list and not enough down time. Then I joined a new church and found a whole new perspective on my faith. I learned to slow down and tend to my faith. I usually spend a few minutes in quiet time with my coffee each morning. I think about my day and consider who I know that is in need of prayer. I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of the world around me. And overall in life, I just have a slower pace and don’t get nearly as stressed out.
Then there’s the body…
This is embarrassing, but I’m fat. Not just overweight. F-A-T. Fat.
I see pictures of myself or catch a rare glimpse of myself in a full-length mirror and gasp. Who is that fat lady? Wait… That’s me!
The cause of my weight is a simple combination of the usual culprits. I eat too much and not the healthiest of things. I don’t exercise (at all). And that glass or two of wine I like most evenings doesn’t help.
I wasn’t always like this. I was pretty average sized growing up, in college, and early in our marriage. I had Ashley and never really lost the weight. I had Brielle and never lost all of that weight. Then, I just sort of added on the pounds after that.
About six years ago, I lost 70 pounds in six months. Yep. It was pretty amazing. I ate less, ate healthy foods, worked out, and became totally compulsive about it. Then, I burned out and within a year I gained almost all of it back again.
For someone who has so much of her life in order, I’ve let this get completely out of control.
I know I have to do something about it. Brielle needs me. What would happen if I wasn’t here for her? Not only do I care for her (as in, when she’s not in school) and take care of nearly every need she has (bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.), I am her communication conduit. I am the only one in her life she can truly and fully communicate with. I interpret every word she signs for friends, strangers, and even family. More than anything, I love her and she deserves for me to do my best to be here for her for as long as I can.
Certain things are nearly completely out of our control. Car accidents. Cancer. Old age. But, this is in my control.
So, plain and simple, it’s time to do something about it.
P.S. This is clearly one of those posts where I hope you’ll do as I say and not as I do. Cuz I’m living here as a bad role model on this one.
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Any weight loss advice for this fat lady?