Putting ourselves first

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.

Posted on December 27, 2011 by Holdin' Holden 15 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • Love it so very true when I tell people this they say I’m crazy and that if I feel that way I shouldn’t have had kids

  • Those people are idiots. Point blank!

  • this one really hits home for me…i have a chronic pain condition and sometimes i have to remind myself that the best thing i can do for them may be to take that break and rest or to go to the dr for whatever might need to be done…have they figured out whats wrong with your back yet?

  • i loved this one!! it’s soo true!
    i hope your back feels better soon!!

  • From what I am told, I strained my rhomboid, the whole thing. It’s so inflamed that I don’t have full neck motion (which I didn’t know until I saw the xrays). They gave me an ani-inflam but no pain meds, which i’m not pleased about because until those kick in (if they do) i’m STILL stuck on the couch icing my back multiple times per day, which takes time away from the kids.

  • wow that sucks…i have fibromyalgia, arthritis in back and legs and several bulging discs so i definitely feel your pain 🙁 i hope the anti inflammatory medications help and you feel better real soon

  • It does suck, i’m sorry to hear about your issues too. I know a few people with fibro and it certainly is not an easy thing to live with or handle. I’m sure what I am going through is nothing compared to you and you are strong for handling it. So far the anti’s have done nothing but make me pass the hell out a couple of times today lol

  • your lucky lol i can’t take ai meds anymore…they dont do anything…you have a wonderful night and i hope you feel better quickly 🙂

  • I am sharing this in Hell. I’ve lived this–it is a true story. And we moms need to hear it over and over again. I hope you get that neck and back taken care of soon my friend-real soon. XO.

  • I read your earlier posts, and I feel for you! And EVERY WORD of this blog gets an AMEN!! I hope you find some relief, and VERY soon. Sending you (and your tiny tots) prayers of comfort (at least til their Mommy is 100% again!) <3 ya, Holden's Mommy!!

  • I hurt my neck about the same time you did…

    Then it spread and felt like the pain was everywhere…

    After feeling like death for WAY TOO LONG. I took a day off and Emry went with me to the neurologist. (Yeah for a one hour wait and a one hour mri with a 4 year old outside the door with a nurse begging to see me).

    The whole ordeal was TORCHER.
    I found out the I had Degenerative Disk Disorder, and the pinched nerves were the reason for the radiating pain EVERYWHERE.

    Finding out the core reason for the pain is important.
    So you can help mend it before it’s not fixable.

    Keeping you in my thoughts.

  • The way I’ve always looked at it is that if I have dishes in my sink, that means my kid is fed. If I have a pile of laundry (especially now with potty training) that means my kid is in CLEAN clothes. If there are toys everywhere, we have worked on both gross and fine motor skills, if his craft projects and books are left out, you know I have nurtured his imagination. So big deal! Eventually, and I know the time will come too soon, he will leave home, and I will have wished we had more time together, but at least I will know I didn’t waste a single positive moment! I am the mother that will abandon it ALL, dishes, laundry, cleaning, for a moment of snuggles with my son, for a song to sing with him, for a moment to educate him, and a second to tell him just how much he is loved. Everything else is secondary to that. 😛

  • I learned this last Christmas. I started getting sick just a few days before Christmas. I thought I had the flu. Come Christmas day I could barely get out of bed to watch the kids open gifts. I sent them and my hubby to my in-laws’ and curled up and literally slept all day missing my new baby’s first Christmas. The next day when my hubby got home from work I went to the hospital because 5 days is too long for the flu, my temp kept skyrocketing, no matter how many showers I took I smelled swamp and my leg of all places had swollen to twice it’s size. Within 2 hours of entering the ER I was headed to OR for necrotizing facitis. I had strep and staph in my leg. I ended up in the hospital for over a week and learned that one more day would have cost me my leg and just 2 days would have cost my children their mom. If I had seen a doctor before Christmas there would have been no need for 2 surgeries and missing so much of the season and not being able to participate in such an important day.