This might be long and rambling, but I need to process my thoughts, so here goes.
I am sitting here on the couch with an ice pack on my knee, and black coffee + anti-inflammatories in my stomach. I do not know exactly how I hurt myself yesterday but I have pain above my right kneecap. I had it before several months back, but not this bad. My kids are doing anything that involves taking the stairs for me right now.
I feel like my life lately has just been crisis management. One thing after another. It is NOT fun and I hate it. People always tell me to take care of myself first, and I don't really do that. The dog first, the cat first, the kids first, friends first. And now I think my body is once again trying to MAKE ME take care of myself. I am going to end up in the hospital if I don't change something NOW. I am emotionally drained and physically falling apart. Despite doing all of the stretches and exercises my doctor recommended for the plantar fasciitis, and religiously wearing my orthotics, it is worse. I limp a lot. The foot pain is becoming unbearable and I am back to taking NSAIDS every single day JUST to be able to walk. And now this with the knee! And the stress migraines I had last week. It is just too much. I feel like an old lady. Yes, I am seeing doctors and supposed to get a shoe fitting in a week. Yes, I have joint issues that are not going to go away. But seriously, I did not feel this crappy at 178 pounds! I just didn't. I was so much more functional. This is becoming unbearable.
So I am putting myself first now, for real. Yes that means other people will be disappointed. Yes, it even means some people might think I am selfish. Okay, I am selfish then! I have to take care of myself or they will be on their own anyway while I am in the hospital. Right now I can't even walk without a LOT of pain and I cannot go downstairs to do the laundry. This is just not acceptable. I need to heal.
I am going to say NO to people who ask me to do stuff right now, at least until I get my pain under control, which will probably take some weeks. My priority aside from myself is my CHILDREN, all five of them, and after *me* they will come first. I have been putting my children first, and then dividing my time and energy between other non-family people, my pets, and myself. Look where that has gotten me. My thinking has been that I need to be there for others in order to build up friendships and a support system. That is still true, but I have to put this in its proper place.
Now is a good time for this, with school and dance ending.
What will practically change:
If I am exhausted and need to sleep, I will *go to bed* instead of staying up late researching treatments for my son. If I have to take a sleep aid to fall asleep through the worry, I will.
I will be delegating a lot more housework to the two older boys who are here right now. They may be going on visitation for the summer, but until then, one is going to have complete charge of cleaning the kitchen and the other will be getting a list of extra daily chores... both in addition to their usual chores. Now that school's out, they have more time to help.
If my daughter wants breakfast but I haven't even showered yet, she can get herself a bowl of cereal until I am ready for the day. I am also going to teach her to prepare a few more foods for herself, so she is more independent. My boys all could make themselves lunch by the time they were 6, but she is "the baby" and hasn't learned to do as much at 6. I can invest a little time in helping her do that, and she will enjoy being a 'big girl' who can do so many things, while also freeing up my time in the future.
I am going to say NO to pizza orders far more often, and throw together more cheap, easy, healthy dinners in double batches so I can freeze half for a busy night. The kids love their pizza, and I cave because it is fast, cheap and easy, but that's really just a lazy way out. I need healthy foods to eat and less temptation. I plan to teach the boys how to make one or two simple family meals so they can cook for us on occasion.
If the dog wants some attention she might just have to wait. I often put down what I am doing in order to take her out to play, or stay up late to train her. She does need my time, but *after* my own needs are met. She is a blessing to me and it would probably do me good to relax with her by my side more often. A snuggle from a furry friend is a good thing.
ALL of my doctor's appointments, physical therapy, and any exercise I am cleared to do will come first before any play time, trips to the park or the mall, play dates, etc. Because I have to be mobile to do those things anyway.
This really is a huge mindset change for me. I have tried before to 'put myself first' but when it comes down to it, if I was just about to do my PT and my little girl comes up and asks me to play with her, it is not so easy for me to say no. I love her more than I love myself. I want her to be happy. But the mindset change has to be 'I want to be the best Mom I can be, and that requires being healthy.'
I have been so scattered with my eating, my plans to get going with the weight loss again (which never materialize), my attempts at exercise, etc. I mean well; I want to do it. But everyone else comes first, I spend 90% of my time trying to help other people, and the 10% that is left is just spent in pain and exhausted.
My life needs to get better or it's pointless.
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