I am terrible at asking for help, but over the last couple of weeks I learned that really good things can happen if I speak up and ask for it on occasion. I don't know what my hesitation is. I would not expect anyone else to not ask for help. In fact, I like it when friends and family ask for my help. Who wouldn't want close friends and family that trust you enough to ask for your help? So, what is my problem? I. Don't. Know.
This all starts with a few weeks of regular newborn schedules....no sleep, a lot of feedings, diaper changes etc. I learned quickly that the whole "rest when the baby rests" doesn't really work on the second little bundle because you also need and want time with the big sister....and the laundry I guess :) Before I continue, I feel compelled to clarify that my kids are healthy. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have two beautiful girls and I am in no way trying to complain, say that I have things tough or have the world's busiest schedule. I don't- far from it and I know this. I personally know women with 3, 4 and even 9 kids. My own grandmother had 15!!!! I know friends that have beautiful children with serious health complications. I know how lucky I am and never want to forget it. Phew. I feel better now that I said that.
That said, I was feeling a little burned out. It turns out that our second little girl is not quite as laid back and calm as our first. She cries and screams a lot....way more than usual baby fussiness. I have been to the doctor and thankfully nothing is wrong. She's just "colicky," which as explained to me by the doc, is something babies usually grow out of by 3-4 months old. As any mom would know, it breaks your heart to hear your little one scream endlessly. Sometimes a car ride would help, sometimes not. Often, a walk in the stroller would help. Sometimes it wouldn't. I felt guilty about leaving her with anyone else, even Dad, even for a few minutes. I have wonderful family that kept asking if I needed anything....did I need to get out for a walk on my own or go read a book for a while? (seriously, wonderful family). 9 out of 10 times I said no. I felt like I couldn't justify needing anything. There are people who need food. People who need healthcare, medicine and a roof over their head. Who am I to complain about needing anything?
Then about a week ago shortly after my husband got home from work and at the end of one of the newbie's crying spells, a crystal clear sentence came to my head. "I need 30 minutes of child free exercise time...everyday." I was hesitant to say it out loud. I felt like a bit of a spoiled brat, but I said it anyway. His reaction? "Well, yeah." As in, like "D'uh." Total agreement. I told you I have wonderful family! Done. Supported. Awesome.
Since that conversation I have taken that time almost everyday. My running mileage is creeping up from only 4 weekly miles a couple of weeks ago to about 10 miles this week, which were made up of 2-3 mile runs, and some strength circuits. The baby still cries...a lot, but endorphins do wonderful things for my mind set. That is one of the many things I love about running. My 30 minutes will creep up too as sleep schedules iron out, feedings space out more and I tackle the transition back to work. She is only two months old this week....and already 2 months old this week :)
So, I feel that there is really nothing special about this story. I am not doing anything of merit here, but I wanted to throw it out there because I know so many wonderful people who juggle a lot for their families, friends, co-workers, employment etc. and the thought of asking for time for themselves doesn't even enter their mind. Or if it does, they likely feel selfish for it. Well, I learned over the last couple of weeks that it isn't selfish. I am a better mom, wife, friend and person just by logging a few sweaty miles. I handle things better. I smile more. I let more roll off my back when things get a little crazy. The weeding and laundry might never get done but it's ok. I think my kids are better off with my glow of endorphins!
Have a great week. And please, ask for some time for yourself! Read a book, get a glass of wine, go for a run...whatever it is- it's important!