By Saturday I'd seen a new chiro near our new apartment and yesterday morning she gave me the results of her evaluation. Not good. I've got some degeneration, reduced mobility in a bunch of areas and some parts of my spine are even curving the wrong way. Lovely. She's given me a care plan that takes me through January. It's acute, it's comprehensive...it's expensive.
I've been hoping to start dancing again. $
I've been planning to get back to my naturopath. $$
I've been really wanting to do get some coaching or do some e-courses with at least one of the amazing women I know online. $$$
And my clothes are rather threadbare and our laptop's on its last legs and I really would like to get a tattoo...
But my spine is pretty essential to, you know, everything. It feels like a rather clear priority.
It's hard. It's hard to prioritize self-care. Because on top of that list of hopes and plans is the reality that my children are going to need new shoes, they're growing out of their clothes, they need craft supplies. Peanut's in dance classes but we've thought about Kindermusic and art classes and outdoor adventuring and...and...
I struggle to fit myself into the list. Even if money were no object, the time alone needed to accomplish all of this is an obstacle to be overcome. Obviously I'm succeeding to some extent, but I've got a long way to go.
I had a night out with some wonderful, beautiful women yesterday. What a satisfying, sustaining night it was! But my aim, really, is to find a way to meet everyone's needs more or less at the same time. Instead of only caring for my self through time away from my family, I want to fulfill some of my own needs while meeting those of my family, while spending time with them. To stop effectively abandoning myself when I am with them. Surely there is a way...I just haven't found it yet.
And I truly believe it is important, not only to myself - because how good a mother am I if I've entirely fallen to pieces, right? - but to my girls as well. Someday they may be mothers themselves, and I never, ever want them to believe that the picture of good motherhood is a woman who has abandoned her own needs, who has poured everything of herself out to her family and taken in nothing for her own care. I never want them to have the misguided impression that they no longer matter because they have had children of their own. I want more than that for them. We all want more for our children than we ourselves have. I want them to succeed in this adventure of mothering better than I am.
Or maybe I really am getting the hang of it. After all, I did take the girls with me to my chiro appointment yesterday and I've written this entire post while they play independently. Perhaps, with a little innovation, I can find even more ways of incorporating all our needs. There is self-care in the acknowledgement of even a modicum of success.