I write a lot about extreme self care and metaphorically putting on your mask before you help those around you. Breathing for yourself so you can be a better mom. As a mother, a huge theme of mine is survival. Motherhood is an awesome, all consuming job, that doesn’t have an end to the work day. Our brains don’t get to shut off and decompress during most days. I am “on” 24/7, even when my husband is home. It’s certainly not for lack of help from him. He is a full hands on Dad. It’s just my Mommy mode. It’s like sleeping with one eye open. I never get to forget I have a child. Not that I would want to, but you get what I’m saying. I have come to realize that my survival plan is short sighted. It doesn’t encompass the big picture.
And so, it occurs to me, sometimes it is not all about MY survival. Nor is it about baby coming first all the time. It’s about the survival of our family. All of us. As a wife, who truly wants and loves this equal partnership I am in, I realize it is not only important, but imperative to sometimes put my partners needs before all else. Yes, I just said that. Before baby and before me. I find that I do a lot to keep myself in balance. I make a conscious effort to seek beauty and positivity every day. I take walks with O. We have adventures and stories and cuddles. It doesn’t always have to be “only me” time to be “me” time. Sometimes my efforts fail me, and that’s when I need assistance, like any normal being.
My husband’s career can’t exactly be called “me” time for him. Although he loves it, it is stressful. And let’s face it, the man is doing it to provide for his family. After all, it is called work. So when does he get to slow down and breathe for himself? He could go to yoga, but that’s never gonna happen. The point is that sometimes we fall out of balance because I am in need of some self care and sometimes we fall out of balance because he is in need of the same. It is my job (and privilege) to help him with that. (Yes, I said privilege and I’ll get back to that.). If it means that I have to give up some of my “only me” time to provide for him, then so be it. Maybe I miss my yoga….when I am in balance, it’s not going to wreck me. I know I’m stronger than that.
You see, to me, the bigger picture is O having two happy, healthy parents who are enjoying raising their child together and who are enjoying their loving partnership. It is about him witnessing a relationship that gives, supports and loves. The stronger we are as a couple, the more secure he will be. The more love he sees, the more he will want to give. I have to look at it like we are the foundation of our family life. If the foundation is cracked (regardless of where the crack lies) our family is on shaky ground. If we are solid, there is no limit to what we (and he) can build upon it.
I say it is my privilege to help my husband, because I am so lucky to have him as my partner. I am not only blessed to share this life with a someone…but with the someone who I truly believe I am meant to be with. There are so many people in this world longing for companionship, for love, for another. I am privileged to take this journey with a beautiful human being….I will not take that for granted.
I often say that O is our world. But in truth it is our family that holds the key to happiness. I can’t be fully happy if my partner is hurting or suffering in any way. As independent as we both are, we work as a unit, not as two independent entities. Our individual balances, triumphs and struggles affect us all. That is what the commitment to partnership means. So I don’t choose ME. I don’t choose O. I choose Us. Every time.
Until next time, keep fighting the good fight and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up. Thanks so much for reading. Xo