It’s 9:09pm and this is the first time I’ve been alone all day. I am sick with a 101 degree fever, a head cold, and I’m in the throws of my insane busy season with work, which means no rest for the wicked, AKA Amy. Mike took the kids out for a quick drive to look at Christmas lights and I stayed behind because I’m pathetic and ill and it hurts to even breathe, but alas, I have deadlines I need to make. (I feel like I should note that I am exporting a wedding as we speak so I needed to kill some time anyway, thus this post.)
I keep meaning to start this blog. I’ve had it for a while. I just wanted a place to get my thoughts out somewhere, and if no one ever reads them, that’s okay, but I need to spew it, for me. I think, like most moms, I don’t make enough time for self care… I feel like I don’t have enough time for self care…but really, I need to make it a priority. I need to focus on SO many different facets of me, that at times I feel like I don’t even know where to begin.
….Oi, they’re back already…
Okay, 25 minutes later and I have calmed 3 meltdowns, kissed foreheads, and eventually gave up the fight with one kid on wanting to use the iPad for “just 10 minutes Mom”. Man my ears are plugged from this cold.
Anyway, back to self care. How do you do it? How does it just happen, when you have so much going on and so much to deal with? I understand everyone says MAKE time, but really, how? I know I could always ask for help from “the Momfia”- the name we so eloquently gave our group of close mom friends in the neighborhood… but they all have kids and work too. Hire a babysitter they say, yes, ideally, yes, but I have an amazing kid on the spectrum and a sweet toddler we adopted who has a bit of separation anxiety who will not just go with anyone, (you gotta buy her love man), so it’s hard to find someone who can take on all of that.
Yet still, self care needs to happen. I’ve been a parent for almost 8 years now. I wanted this life. So much that it took us 2 years and a team of doctors to actually get pregnant with Jackson. I love and I mean LOVE being a parent, and I still want this life, but in the process, I will totally say that I lost myself somewhere. Before I was a photographer I did hair and makeup for quite a few years in a salon. I always had my hair and makeup done. I always got my nails done. I was always rested and always had time for date nights and friends…but I wasn’t always a mom.
Lack of self care has taken me down some roads. Some of those roads have been dark and lonely. So lonely. I have always suffered from depression and anxiety, strangely I think most creatives do, no idea why. The anxiety is the worst. And when I say anxiety, I don’t mean that I am just constantly worrying and stressing about things, that’s not my anxiety at all. I have complete anxiety/panic attacks. I will be happy as can be and minding my own business and the next thing I know I feel it come on, like the old friend that it is. You know it’s coming and you can’t do anything to stop it….
My hands get clammy.
My heart starts to race.
My feet tingle and sweat.
My throat starts to tighten and it’s hard to breathe.
I feel thousands of tiny pinpricks starting at the back of my head and then slowly working, crawling their way toward the front of my face until they reach my eyes.
Sudden tunnel vision.
Things get a little black and whatever I’m looking at spins or flips upside down.
Then it’s over. But it’s not. I’m left with the sheer panic that it will happen again. My heart doesn’t stop racing for quite a while. Everything stays scary and my adrenaline is pumping about as fast as my hands are shaking.
From the outside, everyone looks so perfect. Perfect family, perfect job, perfect life. Perfect culled images on social media. Perfect hair. Perfect makeup. Perfect body (FO SHO not me! lol). Perfectly perfect put together dinner and clean house AllTheTimeEveryTime. Illusion. Every single one of us. We put out what we want people to see, or to think.
I may have lost you as a reader by this point. And that’s okay. You are probably not my “people”. But if you are, and if you can relate… I see you. I feel you. I am you. Reach out to me. Together we can make it and together we can be okay.
This blog isn’t going to always be this depressing. Maybe sometimes… I can’t promise you anything. lol However, I promised myself I wouldn’t censor myself. Not here.
My wedding is done exporting and I should get to it. I also forgot about the kid on the iPad on the couch, but he’s finally asleep so I’m calling THAT a win. Painting a smile back on my sick snotty face.
PS Sound off in the comments, what’s your favorite self care ritual?
PPS Maybe this blog is self care. Re-checked my temperature and I’m down to 99! HEY-O!