Self-care can not be defined or described with just one aspect as I formerly thought. I thought adequate self-care for me was to get out once or twice a month with my husband or girlfriends. I thought everyone, wifommys’ in particular, should have their one thing that they did for self-care. However, the longer you are on this wifommy journey, the more encompassing self-care becomes.
Self-care means making sure you too eat breakfast. Self-care means you too bring a snack if you are going to be out all day and don’t want to purchase food. Self-care means having something nice to wear when you are asked to attend something that requires more than your normal attire. Self-care means masking so you feel nice about the skin you are in. Self-care means smiling at yourself in the mirror as you think and tell yourself that you are pretty.
These are things I do. They won’t apply to everyone but I am using it as an example to show that self-care isn’t one thing, one outing, one activity. You wifommy are a person. You have varied interest. You are allowed to like more than one activity. You are allowed to find ways to participate in activities that interest you. You are allowed to get a pedicure AND have lunch with a friend. You many not be able to do that all in the same day, but you are allowed to do both. You can not only take your children roller skating, but you can go roller skating too! You can read a book while your child does homework (when they aren’t asking you questions that is). You get the idea.
You must carve out self-care for you. Self-care is a part of wellness.
As I was casually scrolling through Facebook and came across a post saying how much a member of my high school class will be missed. I reread the post confused. Still disbelieving, I went to her page and saw a post from her family with her funeral service information. My heart broke. ‘T’ and I were the same age. ‘T’ had four children. FOUR! One is not even a year old yet. She loved her babies with everything she had. She learned to remove herself from toxic relationships. She endured the loss of her sisters passing. She was a single mother who provided for her children.
I couldn’t find any information on what happened so I messaged around to get details. I’d missed the funeral because I didn’t know anything about her passing until today. I was told she had a sudden shortness of breath and passed out. She couldn’t be revived. I am emotionally heavy right now. I know ‘T’ didn’t want to leave her babies. I know she didn’t want to leave her mother. Her mother already endured the loss of one child.
Two years ago, another high school classmate of mine passed unexpectantly. She was married with two daughters. Her family and close friends loved her dearly. That was hard to digest. All death is. She had a growth that went undetected; only discovered during autopsy.
I went in for a physical and found that my blood pressure was high. It is connected to my weight. I’ve not been diligent at getting the weight off. Older bodies need more effort to lose weight than younger bodies. My younger body efforts with my older body were only good for five pounds and not the 15 I needed. These two passings, but especially the most recent one, have me taking my health very seriously. I don’t think my classmates were unhealthy but I don’t think they were as aware of their health as they could have been. We, mothers, make sure our children are taken care off and often dismiss anything we might notice as odd for ourselves. The physical I went in for in December was the first physical I have had in almost 20 years. After I started college, I would only see a doctor for sickness or any other concern that seemed obvious to me. The only doctor I saw annually was my OBGYN. I figured if they noticed something that required my primary care doctor, I would go see them then. How ignorant!
Too much rides on our health for us to take it for granted. No more. My classmates taught me that.