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Posts Tagged ‘self-care’

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The first time I took the Boo into a swimming pool, he got so happy so fast that rainbows shot out his behind. Then the swimming instructor came over and got in his face and he started crying. But the water made him so happy that he soon forgot the scary lady.

Soon, I resolved to sign up for a Y membership so he could get more water time. I figured I could take a stab at swimming laps too, since I hate gyms and I haven’t worked out regularly in at least 5 years. (Probably more like 7 to 10.)

The first time I pushed off from the wall, I got so happy so fast that rainbows shot out my behind. It had been 25 years, but my body remembered how to do what I wanted it to do. I paused in the middle of a lap to laugh. I swam until I was exhausted and hauled myself out, panting my way to the showers, indescribably pleased.

Since then, I swim any time I can. If I am tired when I start, I forget about it in the water. If my back hurts, I can’t feel it when I’m swimming. If I am in a crappy mood when I start, I am pooping rainbows when I finish. The water holds me as I move forward, giving me peace and joy and happiness as I move through it.

I don’t want to call it a benediction, even though it does border on the mystical. But my body loves the water so much it feels like a gift every time I’m in it — even when I’m sharing the lane with a tank of a triathlete and a dogpaddler who belongs in the “old people walking” section.

The other night at the Boo’s first parent-teacher conference, I uttered the words, “Water is his jam.” Turns out it’s my jam too.

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Recently a friend who was helping care for her toddler niece and colicky baby nephew asked me via text how moms have time to brush their hair or get a cup of coffee. I laughed and wrote back that those things happen when nice Aunties come to visit, but it did get me thinking about how my personal time management has changed since the baby.

Probably the most significant difference is how I use baby-free time. Specifically, there have been occasions when the following things were more important to me than showering:

– sleep

– food

– coffee

– writing

– a chat with an old friend

– cleaning (I’m a Virgo, remember?)

– a quick escape, i.e., a visit to my favorite websites

– quality time with my husband

– quality time with a heating pad

And yes, I do occasionally put the kiddo in the pack-n-play for five minutes while I shower. I know he’s safe in there, and I leave the door open so I can hear him and talk to him. But that also means I rush through the process, which takes a lot of the pleasure out of it. And yeah, I know, that sounds weird, but when you haven’t showered for a few days and you know the kid is going to be asleep for at least 45 minutes, there is a whole lot of joy to be found under a stream of hot water.

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