For a lot of people, myself included, once we become parents we let everything else go by the wayside in order to tend to our children first and foremost because it just feels like the right thing to do.
Children for the most part are helpless, and even if they CAN do some things on their own, they shouldn’t have to. We are the parents. We are the responsible party. We are the ones that are supposed to make sure they are safe, well fed, loved, happy, healthy, in other words: perfect. We do all of these things even if it means letting ourselves go, and by that I don’t just mean what could be called by others ‘frivolous’ like getting our hair done, nails done, going out for coffee, or out to dinner with some friends- but the important things.
We forego food, sleep, new clothes (even when ours are falling apart, ill-fitting, or both), and a plethora of other things JUST so that our kids can get what they need; shit, sometimes we give up the things we need for the things they WANT, and all because we think it is in their best interest. Why do we need it if we can live without it? Why inconvenience them for us?
That is me in a nutshell.
In August, I hurt my neck. At the time I figured it was just a strain or a sprain so I let it go, and a few days later it was better… only to happen again. After nearly a week barely able to function, I sucked it up and went to the doctor, kids in tow. I hadn’t been able to imagine them sitting in a doctors office for hours, through possible xrays, and whatever else without flipping their shit, so I avoided it until I literally could not take it anymore.
It was a LONG day and the kids… well, they didn’t enjoy themselves- and we walked out of the doctors office with some medication and being told i’d be better in a few days.
That was in August. The pain has not gone away. And I haven’t gone back because I didn’t want to go through trying to find someone to watch them when Parker doesn’t really eat for anyone but me, or forcing them to sit through another long appointment.
For months I have been sitting and watching instead of running and playing, all because I didn’t want to inconvenience THEIR days or make THEM sit in a doctors office in order to get myself properly checked out. There have been things i’ve wanted to do with them that I just can’t because my back hurts so badly that I have to sit on the couch with a pack of ice on it. Places I wanted to take them, games I wanted to play with them, activities and crafts and homeschooling I just couldn’t manage to sit through.
In the end, me trying to do the best for them by not inconveniencing them? That ended up inconveniencing them even more because I have not been myself.
I’ve learned that in order to really and truly put our children first, we as parents HAVE to take care of ourselves and put ourselves first, first. You can’t care for a child properly if you haven’t slept in 3 days. Who the fuck cares about the laundry, what’s so important about the dishes that makes them HAVE TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW? Eating is more important, naps can wait, bed times can be pushed back, and an annoying wait at the doctors office is not that big of a deal if it makes you feel human enough to be back to your normal self; ready able and willing to crawl around on the floor with the kids.
We think it’s putting them out, too much of a put-out for them by doing things for us, but really it’s benefiting them by benefiting us first. That was a hard lesson to learn.
Now, finding a doctor who will actually HELP you get on the road to recovery after you’ve sucked it up and got your ass out to them? That’s another story.
That is what has happened to me.
I've never had a near death experience, but I DID find 2 spiders in my house this morning, and that's pretty much the same thing.
If you like to be constantly criticized over your peanut butter to jelly ratio on sandwiches, being a parent is definitely for you.
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