Do You Put Yourself Last?

If you are a parent, or a caregiver to someone, do you take good care of yourself?

I was at my hairdresser’s recently reading through a magazine, and I saw an article that opened with, and I will have to paraphrase here:

If you are a family of five, and there are four pieces of pie, you, as a Mother, automatically say that you have never really even liked pie.

And it’s a no-brainer; I would automatically give up my piece of pie for my kids. In fact for several years I gave up all of my free time for my kids, and at times my sanity went with it. I suffered for a long time from not being at peace with being a working Mom. To compensate, I wanted to be home with my kids whenever I could, and it was very rare that I would do much for myself outside of home and work.

My girls are not the clingy toddlers they once were though. They are lovely, independent, fun and interesting kids who often head upstairs together to play for hours on end, without needing, or even wanting me, around. It is a wonderful and grand thing that has happened, and so I have really started to take a lot of time for myself now. I read; I am learning to play the piano; I am training for my first half-marathon; I joined a book club, and I started this blog almost three months ago. I am turning into a real person. Who does stuff. And occasionally I even meet up with other people and do stuff.

But one thing I completely neglect to do is make appointments for myself. Doctor, dentist, eye doctor, physiotherapist, I’m always overdue. The time has now come that I can’t leave these appointments for later anymore, so I finally picked up the phone and started making the appointments. I am fine and healthy (honest Mom!), and I want to make sure that I stay that way. So I made all of the initial appointments, and now I am having the follow up appointments, and it seems like an awful lot of trouble and time, and frankly I’m sick of sitting on hold on the phone, or in a waiting room for ages. I will work harder to get my act together and keep up with it from now on.

And heck, I love pie! But with my slowing metabolism, I really don’t need that pie at all, and so I will happily keep giving up my share for my family.

About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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10 Responses to Do You Put Yourself Last?

  1. Kiera says:

    Sounds like my life is a lot like yours!

  2. Capital Mom says:

    Pie. Mmm.

    I suck at making apts for myself too. I finally made a doctor's apt. It's been 2 years since my last check up! Oh, well. I'm trying!

  3. Finola says:

    Kiera, Nice to know I'm not the only one. Thanks for the comment.

    Capital Mom, You did better than me. I had my first appointment since my almost 6-year-old was born!

  4. XUP says:

    I hate all the doctor's appointments, too. If it were just the one appointment that would be fine; but no — they send you for a million tests and then you have to go back for the results. It takes up your whole year and then you have to start all over again.

  5. Finola says:

    Xup, That's it exactly. It just feels endless.

  6. gryph says:

    Luckily, I'm truthfully not a big fan of pie.

    Cake, on the other hand… 😉

    But in (relatively more) seriousness, I think this is something that most nurturers tend to do – put themselves last, because they are caring for others. I'm terrible at doing this as well, and I don't even have kids yet! I do it with friends! Acquaintances! People I don't like!

    Hopefully I'll get better… 🙂 Anyway, shouldn't my partner be sharing his piece of pie? 😉

  7. Nicely written post! Congrats on starting to do things for yourself.

    I was a stay at home dad and this is how I described myself.

    Me: “If I had a clear glass jar and filled it with rocks, my wife and kids would be the rocks.”

    Other: “But what about you?”

    Me: “I am the sand that gets poured in to fill in all the cracks.”

    And yes that's me: Malleable

    And you know what, I don't like pie either.

  8. Finola says:

    Jen, I wrote from the Mom's perspective because that is what I know, but absolutely it applies to all caregivers (and my husband did object somewhat to the quote that mentioned only Mothers). And I have to say he would totally give his pie to me if I asked him to.

    Guy, Welcome! I'm so glad you dropped by. My husband was a SAHD too for almost three years, and he really gave up a lot for all of us. That sandy stuff is totally what holds it all together.

  9. Christine says:

    I have to admit, if it's something really tasty that I love, I might share, but I wouldn't be strong enough to give it up entirely. Not even for my kids. What does that say about me?!

    P.S. I'm terrible with handling appointments of any kind. They are such a hassle!

  10. Kiera says:

    Finola–you are doing better than me. It has been 6&1/2 years since my last checkup.

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