As a second time mother, I clearly remember some of the pitfalls that occur during the first few months of motherhood; the lack of sleep, the dramatic change in lifestyle, the loss of your sense of self. First time moms are caught by surprise but after that, you know what to expect when it comes to finding balance in your role. Or so you think.
After my first son was born, I was quickly sucked into Mommyhood. I was his mother first and foremost, everything else took a backseat. I was busy in the routine of breast feeding, diaper changing, cleaning up spit up, not showering, not working out, not taking care of myself and not paying much attention to anything else. The first sign that I was loosing Me was when I flipped out over my husband making a trip to Home Depot after work to pick up some screws. After being housebound with nothing to do, that trip without me was as if he went out for a steak dinner and I was left home with Spaghettio's.
The next sign was when we moved to Fort Collins and he had plans to go to a concert with our brother-in-law. I was LIVID that here I was - at home taking care of the house and our baby while he was working and then he had the freedom to run off to party at night. In that very heated argument that night, he said the words that needed to be said. "You need friends". So true.
That night I joined a moms group and it forever changed my life. I got ready for activities on almost a daily basis (showered and put on make up!), made friendships that will last a lifetime and with workout partners, I found my gym mojo again. I found Kristin once again and tried my best to keep it that way by writing, cooking, working out and many other interests.
One thing I began to notice was that the pendulum was swinging in the opposite direction this time around after my second son was born. I was determined not to let myself go, to get lost in motherhood. I made it a point to be dressed and presentable most nights when Bill came home from work. You'd think the only thing missing was my heels and pearls. I started working out as soon as I could so I could get back into decent shape. I started cooking the family dinners again and decorating the house. I did not want to be a frumpy house wife with two kids, even from the get go. But, it slowly started to happened again and all it took to realize this was a hair cut.
Not too long ago, my husband purchased some time for me to visit a salon in town so I could get my hair done. Without his effort, I would have continued on my ragamuffin ways until God knows when. All I know is that I wouldn't have made the time for myself, let alone the financial commitment. I had my appointment in the morning, leaving my baby with him (awake!) for the first time since he's been born.
Fortunately, I wasn't that far gone but now I see that I was beginning to slip. It was a chore to get out of the door to workout and it had been that way for quite some time. My husband took on the personal trainer attitude and literally guilted me out of the door on an almost nightly basis. I was still going out with friends and got myself ready for activities with the kids. I still made major efforts in our marriage. However, I think if I was left to my own devices, we would have had many more pajama days than we did.
After the stylist handed me the mirror, I could not wipe the goofy grin off my face if I tried. I was thrilled. Not because I liked the cut (even though I love it), but because I realized that after 24/7 pony tails for months on end, I was starting to lose sight of Me. I was once again lost in focusing on everyone else - being the "wife", the "mom", the "personal trainer", but not taking much time for "me". Seeing the pile of hair on the floor was shocking. I had been neglecting myself for much longer than I thought.
I’m lucky that all it took was a simple hair cut this time, but it sure was eye opening on how quickly you can get lost focusing on so many other people and forgetting about your Self.
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