FOR ME, FOR US ALL

It was another wonderful weekend for the McFamily, full of painting, relaxing, and fun at the beach. Caroline and I started the weekend off right with a visit to our town beach on Friday with our neighbor Ann. She enjoyed wading in the water, filling her little bucket with sand, chasing the birds, and was sound asleep in her carseat before we even pulled out of the beach parking lot for her nap. I spent her naptime doing some very serious cleaning & working out.

I feel like I have reached a place where I can no longer fool myself that I can’t do things because I have a baby. "How could I ever organize the linen closet??? I have a baby!" "How could I file the nearly 4-inch pile of bills??? I have a baby!" Caroline is clearly independent enough now to entertain herself while I vacuum or mop the floor. When she sleeps I know I can count on at least two full hours of uninterrupted time in which to scrub the tub, tidy entire rooms from top to bottom, complete full loads of laundry, or as was the case yesterday - rearrange an entire room of furniture. Yup, it’s back, my terrible/fabulous habit of completely rearranging a room because I suddenly feel compelled to do so.

I’ve been frustrated for awhile now that our front living room is not “usable.” The shape of the room and the furniture did not allow for a very cozy space. We essentially walk through this room and never ever sit in it. We initially decided that it should be as open as possible and instead we ended up with a vast waste of space. I mean, we were just walking through right? We spent many a night bouncing Caroline to sleep in that room. I used to walk the entire length of the room and back and back again while singing silly made up lullabies, glancing out the window at lightening bugs, and feeling the weight of my daughter become heavier in my arms. That phase of life is over, most nights, so it was time to “adultify” that living room. So I took it upon myself to reconfigure the space solo. (I'll take photos!) Of course now I need to find a cute side table for a lamp, finally decide on curtains, and keep my eyes peeled for an interesting wall mirror. It’s a work in progress and I am so pleased with it, Steve is still on the fence. I always do these things while he is gone so he can’t stop me. Part of me thinks that I like to see his face when he walks in all “what did you do?” like. I thought I was out of the “Ker, I hate it” woods thanks to my wonderful neighbor Ann giving my reconfiguration the go ahead. Thanks Ann.

Changing that room was about making it cozier, more livable, but it was also to do something that I have wanted to do for awhile FOR ME. This is a new thing I am trying. Steve says I get my hair done every 8 weeks and that is supposed to be FOR ME, but I think he isn’t understanding what FOR ME means.

As a Mom, I feel like I am constantly putting myself second or third in the house, poor Reese never gets to be first. =) Until recently I would dress Caroline adorably and toss on the same flip flops, shorts & T. I would shop for her, but feel uninterested in finding myself something cute to wear to work. I would buy her delish looking fruits and veggies, but neglect our diets. I would spend her nap showering and organizing her for daycare or for our family's dinner. I decided that really needed to be changed. I decided that putting some priority on myself in no way takes away from her or from Steve.

So I have begun a deep clean of the house because it will make me feel better about the way we are living. If I spend less time managing the house, I can spend more time enjoying dark chocolate and honey roasted peanuts over the Home Run Derby with Steve. It isn’t all happening at once and it is not entirely cleaning related, some of it just needs to be better organized or decluttered. Ok, all of it needs to be decluttered, but I am working towards a more well oiled like machine of a house than one that hiccups constantly on misplaced flip flops, Red Sox hats, a million little lists, and junk mail.

Along that same vein I have been carefully adding to my everyday wardrobe and working out more regularly. I actually forced my way through an exhausting 45-minute elliptical session on Friday. I needed motivation and Food Network was not giving me any. Out of the depths of my subconscious came this battle cry that I thought was initially just in my head, but it wasn’t, it was being said quite loudly and it drove my legs to keep going, my heart to keep beating. “Do this for YOU. FOR YOU!”

So I’m going with it. I am working out FOR ME. Not to be a better wife or mother, but FOR ME. I am cleaning and organizing and rearranging FOR ME. Not because it needs to be done (even though it does, but cmon, I’ve been ignoring it for the most part for going on 18 months now!), but because it will make me happier to live in that space. I am simplifying my life, our life, FOR ALL OF US and it feels so good.

In other completely unrelated but needs to shared newsy news --- Moms living in close proximity to a Once Upon A Child had better get there ASAP. I scored some major deals there yesterday for Caroline's Summer of 2009 wardrobe. They are running a 10 for $10 promotion on all their spring and summer stuff. ANY TEN SPRING or SUMMER ITEMS!!! Go NOW!!!


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