I once was so heartbroken I decided to travel to D.C. and stay in a hostel by myself. I needed to come back to center, to be somewhere I wasn’t known. To be free to have a glass of wine at 10am, sleep until noon, and to experience something outside of the ordinary. That summer was one of the best of my life. I turned 28 surrounded by strangers, who sung to me while I danced under a spotlight and the jazz band played the Happy Birthday song. I went to a yoga class, and met two of the kindest women who invited me out for coffee after and we spoke of our heartbreaks. I talked. I listened. I was living. I was learning who I was alone and how capable I was. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. This beautiful space in time where I was able to be selfish, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I met Billy soon after, and we created a beautiful life together. Talking of nature, our past, the possibilities of a future together. We would go to concerts, go on hikes, go to expensive dinners, and weekend getaways. We would encourage each other to explore our hobbies, and to take time to invest in ourselves as well as one another. Fast forward to April 2019, when I found out I was pregnant, fast forward even more to November when Josephine came into the world. Our sweet little girl. How much my life had changed since sleeping in that hostel bed, August 2017.
I suddenly felt this overwhelming sense of guilt. A new feeling- my whole life as I knew it is ending and now it revolves around this tiny human. Our creation. Our responsibility. Gone are the days of red lipstick and sexy underwear. Gone are the days of having a mimosa with girlfriends at Sunday brunch. Gone are romantic evenings with just B. Gone is me. Such a feeling that I felt deep in my gut, am I going to have to give up myself in order to appropriately care for my child?
I say no. I say invest in yourself. I say take those thirty minutes and leave the dishes in the sink. Take one hour off from The Wiggles. Take time for your sanity. Does this mean neglecting your child? Gosh no. Does this mean all your time should be spent at the salon or mall with a cocktail in hand? No. It means reading a book you enjoy every now and then rather than a book on being the perfect parent -Junk Food Fiction as I like to call it. It means watching TV some days rather than being on a strict schedule. It means letting someone babysit so you can go to Yoga. Whatever makes you feel like you again. That first sip of red wine, the first date night, the first time I put on heels, the first time I went to the gym. It felt like winning the lottery. I feel like I’m a better mom for not completely sacrificing who I am for my child. Yes, I’m a mom. A good mom. A mom who would do anything for her daughter. A mom who recognizes that self care keeps me from going insane. But I’m not just A mom. I’m also still me, the girl who danced under a spotlight alone in D.C. on her 28th birthday.