Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Fessing up

I feel like it’s time for me to own up to something. I have not been taking care of myself. Gus is ten months old, and for the past, oh, ten months or so, I have really just put myself on the back-burner. Everything has been for him. I shop for Gus. I take pictures of Gus. I read parenting magazines and baby blogs, books about vaccines and infant sleep, articles about baby wearing and attachment parenting. I seek out new healthy foods to feed him. I look for new places around the cities to bring him to. It’s just all about my baby, all the time.

When I’m out with friends or having a conversation with a coworker, I find myself going on and on about baby-related stuff. I have a hard time coming up with topics to talk about that don’t have to do with Gus or baby stuff. And while that’s ok some of the time, even most of the time, it’s not ok ALL of the time. I mean to say, I am a mom, and that is pretty much the most important, most defining aspect of my life right now. I’m cool with that. But it can’t be at the expense of everything else that used to define me. I’m still the wife of a husband who makes her laugh every single day. I still love vintage-inspired fashion, funky accessories, movies, television, red wine, ethnic food, talk radio, CNN, travelling. I love exercising. I love reading good books that aren’t written by parenting “experts”. There’s room in my life for the mom stuff and the “me” stuff. I just need to make room for it.

I need to do a better job about taking care of “me”. I’ve been neglectful, and I think it’s the reason why I’m feeling so frazzled. It sounds a little superficial, but how I look on the outside and feeling good about myself really does affect my daily outlook, my mental health. I haven’t had my hair cut or colored since Gus was maybe four months old. My hair is dry and cracked at the ends, I have little fuzzy two-inch long sprouts sticking up everywhere as a result of that whole post-partum hair loss thing. I have no idea what to do with my hair and how to deal with the re-growth. Simply put, it’s a mess, and it doesn’t help that I don’t have a lot of time to style it anymore. Half of the time I come into work or leave the house with scrunched up wavy wet hair. And it’s in a messy bun or a braid by noon. Gross. And it’s this hideous dishwater shade of blonde. My hair is just gross.

So yeah, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I need to see a stylist. I need to get the color freshened up with some highlights… or something. I don’t even know. I need to get a cut that is an actual hair-style, instead of just this grown out mess of a mop I’ve got. I’m considering long side-swept bangs again, but worry about the maintenance. I’m considering a short bob, but flash back to the near instant regret I have felt every time I’ve cut my hair short.

It’s not just the hair, I’ve pretty much let myself go in every aspect of my physical well-being. I have just become lazy about all of it, I’ve let everyday life sort of wear me down. I’ve got these haphazard caterpillar eyebrows that just drive me crazy every time I look in the mirror. It’s almost too overwhelming to consider tweezing at this point… I need a brow wax. I need to start working out again, my pants are feeling uncomfortable these days. I figure if I can continue to go for walks in the morning a few times a week with Gus, and can add just 30 minutes on the treadmill after he’s gone to bed a couple nights a week, I’d feel so much better. But I’ve been telling myself that for months. Last night was the first night I got on the treadmill since Gus was about 6 weeks old and I decided to start running again and it lasted about one week. Anyway, I need to make a commitment to exercise.

I also REALLY need to start eating better. What started out with a breastfeeding mentality that allowed “splurging” on desserts and junk food a little more often and being a little more generous with my portions has snowballed into overindulging every day and snacking constantly. I can’t keep using breastfeeding as an excuse to eat like crap. Gus is starting to nurse a lot less throughout the day, and I think that’s why I’m starting to feel uncomfortable in my clothes. I’m still eating like I’m burning 600 calories a day, and I’m pretty positive that is not the case. The last time I weighed myself I was down about 7 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight, and that was all due to breastfeeding. I’m pretty sure I’m no longer at that same weight.

Finally, getting dressed everyday has become a chore because my dresser and closet are so unorganized. There are so many articles of clothing that I never wear, and probably won’t ever wear, but I don’t get rid of them. And then on the other hand I’m still finding random clothing that I completely forgot about because I was pregnant last summer. The biggest problem is that I have been living out of laundry baskets for literally months now. I finally put away my laundry last week as I was trying to pack for the cabin, and it took me nearly an hour. I let the stacks of folded laundry just pile up in the basement, and the idea of putting it away became so overwhelming, I was either wearing the same stuff every other day or pulling out things that I hated from my closet because I couldn’t find anything amongst the piles of wrinkly laundry.

So this is me making myself accountable. I’m making a list. A doable list. A short list. Here’s the list. ;)

1. Make a hair/brow wax appointment. Before leaving said appointment, make another appointment for two months later.
2. Put laundry away after each load. This will take 5 minutes. Putting it off makes the task seem insurmountable. Do it NOW!
3. Hit the treadmill at least twice a week. Don’t get overwhelmed, this should only require a few hours, each week. You can find a few hours, don’t make excuses. If you have time for time-suckage television like House Hunters or Real Housewives of NJ, you have time to work out.
4. Stop buying so many unhealthy snacks, get them out of the house. Grocery shop once a week and make sure there is fresh fruit for snacking and fresh produce for healthy meals in the refrigerator.


Freckles said...

Those sound like some great plans! I may have to come back to this post for myself 10 months down the road. And, I am sure I will be all-about-baby once I'm a mom, so don't feel guilty about that. I bet it takes every mom a little while to adjust to being a mommy and the person they used to be. FYI, I think you look great and I haven't noticed anything about your hair, brows, clothes, etc, and I'm usually pretty observant about those things :) You're one hot mama!

Betsy said...

I hear ya! It is so hard to put yourself first. I had to convince Andy that I needed a babysitter 3 hours per week so I could get things done and focus on me! I can get my hair done, workout, stay here and clean, get a pedi, or just shop without's been lovely. You've got a good list going! Oh, and I loved your long side swept bangs! I'd say go for those again :) I just got my hair cut shorter and I have major regret already. Grrr. But I was never styling my long hair, so I really just can't win.

Lisa said...

I think that is totally natural, to be consumed by what is most important, new, exciting going on in your life. I feel the same way with our wedding - it has taken over most of my free time, most of my conversations, and most of my thoughts. And I'm sure people are sick of hearing about it.

Priorities change, but kudos to you for making an effort to hold onto pieces of "you."

You must share where you end up getting your hair/brow appointment and if you like it, since we've all lost Annie. I definitely have not noticed your reported hair issues either, buddy. On the contrary, I am honestly always jealous of how cute your hair curls or how fun your clothes/accessories are! And side-swept bangs are beautiful on you!!

I'm also very willing to partake in bringing you back into the world of movies, red wine, and ethnic foods. :)

Liz said...

This was about the time last year when I felt the same thing. I totally agree that getting a haircut and color will make you feel FABULOUS. And for me, it snowballed from there. I liked my hair so much that I decided to lose the weight I wanted to get rid of, I ate better, etc. All you need to do is bring Gus over to my place on a Monday or a Friday on your day off and do everything you need to do (hair, shopping, organizing, whatever you want) and then come pick him up when you're done :) And I'm totally serious about it. Let me know if you want/need to drop him off :)

AliRose said...

Liz, I love you, you are seriously the best. It's so nice to have someone to talk to that it seems like has gone through the exact same thing I have!! Seriously. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your advice and help.

I may have to take you up on your offer to watch Gus. ;) Or we may just have to have another play date very soon.