Last night I had a “moment” where reality kind of kicked my ass. It wasn’t fun or pretty. It was scary. Not scary enough to deter me from ordering a muffin at Peet’s this morning, but scary enough for me to know I need to do something about it before it destroys me. I am beyond MORTIFIED to post this, but am hoping this will force me into action.
It all started with my husbands company’s Christmas party invite. It’s on Saturday and I’ve decided not to go. Then the invite to my friend’s holiday parties. Yup, not going to those either. I have nothing to wear, I’m embarrassed and stressed beyond belief. Not because I didn’t try to find something. But because I got so many dresses thinking one could possible work, come to find out they are all too small (even when ordering the largest size available) and then, BAM, reality struck down on me and CRUSHED me.
I always thought I’d be the mom who has all her ducks in a row. I wanted to be the mom who takes as good care of herself as she does for her family. I always thought those moms who “let themselves go” were depressing, slightly pathetic and sad. And I vowed that I would be different. I wasn’t going to be the mom who dresses her kid to the nines while looking like she just rolled out of bed. A woman who leaves the house without a stitch of makeup on, who allows herself to get fat, who hides in baggy sweats day in and day out. A woman who values everything else in her life but herself. A woman who’s world is only her family and who has nothing for herself.
Here’s my SHAMEFUL and EMBARRASSING reality. I am a size 18 and 200 pounds. I suffer from depression and anxiety stemming from life long self esteem issues, a relationship where all my insecurities were brought to the forefront and an abusive situation from 4 years ago that validated all my insecurities and still holds me back. I value everyone’s needs and wants more than my own. I take care of my baby, my hubby, my ailing mother and father. I try to have the house clean every day, the laundry done and put away and meals for my family. I know I am a great mom and a great wife, but I also know I have COMPLETELY let myself go on every level.
I have many excuses, some valid, some not. Here are the main ones. I’m breastfeeding, so I can’t cut back on calories. I’m too busy with my family to do anything for myself. Too broke to join a gym. Too broke to get a sitter so I can work out. No time to workout. I’m exhausted…too exhausted to do anything more than care for David and my parents by day and husband by night. Too exhausted to wake up early or stay up late to work out. I don’t know how to say no to anyone who needs me.
My story is not unique. There are so many moms I “hear” of (none that I know personally, cause all my mom friends I know have their shit together) that fall into the same trap. I don’t know if I’m lazy, or it’s easier to care for everyone else than to tackle the huge project that is putting myself back together again. So I put it off, focus on others and the “me project” that seems overwhelming now, just gets more and more complicated by the day. And every day I avoid it like the plague. And everyday I hate it resent it and then I get busy with everyone’s else’s needs and forget about it. Until then next time when reality strikes, then and I freak out and the cycle continues until a complete breakdown like last night.
I want to be a good role model for David. To be a mom he would be proud of. To be a mom who likes herself and teaches her son to like himself. How can I possibly expect him to value himself if the one person he spends the most time with hates who she has become? The mom who has let herself go and has lost her own individual identity?
So WHERE and HOW do I start? How can I have a balance of the life I had (healthy, fit, social, confident) and the life I have (only family)? How can I meet everyone else’s needs and expectations while also taking care of myself?
I hope to find out soon because this cycle of reality, denial and shame is killing me. How do you learn to love yourself again? Anyone?