I was trimming my son’s nails when I realized it’s been over 2 months since I had my last pedicure. I checked my feet and, to no surprise at all, they looked horrible. Chipped nail polish, long nails, callous soles… ugly. Just ugly.
Hello? Remember the time when you actually took care of yourself?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Five or six years ago, I used to have monthly appointments at the spa and salon, weekly appointments at the mall or certain boutiques, and regular — too much regularity, to say the least — appointments with alcohol and partying. I traveled quite a lot, too. Yep, life was pretty carefree. I believe I was always groomed, I picked out clothes at least an hour before going out and I just always set my mind that I should always be “camera ready” (even if I’ll just be wearing shorts, shirt and slippers). My daily concerns were often pretty shallow, too. “What to wear?” “Should I go out with friends?” “What movies will I watch if I stay at home?” “Where to vacation?” and “What time should I come home?”
Today, I find myself always swamped with everything else but myself. Groceries, laundry, Ezra, bills, Rael, Ezra, errands, work, Ezra… The moment I think of “taking care of myself”, something more important comes along. Groceries, laundry, Ezra, bills, Rael, Ezra, errands, work, Ezra…
Even when I get some me-time, I couldn’t shut my Mommy Mode off. What will Ezra eat later? What will we do tomorrow for a fun day? What food will he bring to school tomorrow? If I go out with friends or take some time for myself, what will he do? Can I bring him with me? Oh, I’ll just bring him with me… Will it rain? Are we bringing a stroller? Where can I go that’s still gonna be fun for him?
And then my Wifey Mode fires up, too. Will Rael be okay by himself at home? I mean, of course he will be. He could just play video games all day and he’ll have the time of his life. But then again, what will he eat? I’m sure he’ll just whip himself a simple meal. That means hotdogs and a sh xtload of rice. Okay, I’ll prepare his food beforehand then. And when I get back, I’ll just bring something for him, too. But wait, are his clothes already pressed? Was I able to wash his socks?
All these things and more just won’t shut off in my head. No matter what, no matter when, no matter where.
When all of us are together, something else pops in. What should I cook for later? Or tomorrow or the next day or next week? Ooh, there’s this beef stew recipe I found online. When should I try it out? Has our electric bill arrived yet? I will pay this and that and this and that on Monday. But then I have a lot of work to do so maybe I’ll do it on Tuesday. It’s not a holiday, right?
Seriously, I never thought I’d be able to think about this much almost at once. I guess this is one reason why moms are dubbed SuperwoMOMs.
When I see something that I like, I think We could use that money for something far more important. I don’t really need NEED that anyway. And you know what? I tell myself that all the time! It’s like an effing reflex!
So yes, I am totally different from the person my husband married several years ago.
I no longer drink (except the occasional wine during New Year’s Eve, birthdays and special events), party, do impulsive shopping nor go out with friends on almost a daily basis. Heck, I always even forget to wax my pits!!! And don’t deny, Mommies. I know somehow you feel me, too.
Yes, women should never forget looking after themselves post-baby. But truth be told, when you’re all caught up in this mother-wife-everything-else thing, it’s easy to make yourself the least of your priorities. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a mom with nannies, a mom with no nannies. NORMAL MOMS ALWAYS THINK ABOUT EVERYTHING. Almost all at once, even.
Today, when I look at myself in the mirror, I can only see a tired, eyebag-wealthy woman with unkempt hair, unwaxed legs and terribly ugly feet. And while all of that sounds horrible and un-huggable, I can see that despite the exhaustion, that reflection in the mirror is also a happy and fulfilled woman.
I’m not the person my husband married because I have now evolved into a mother, a wife and a trying hard housekeeper; a 24/7 nurse, personal shopper and a chef in my own right; a teacher, a counselor and a referee when my son and my “eldest” fight.