If you’re a work-at-home mom (WAHM) like me, you know how blurry the lines get between work, motherhood, marriage (or in my case, partnership) and self. Most of the times we work too hard and tend to forget that we need to balance all aforementioned aspects. It can (and does) lead to guilt, which is not a good feeling to carry around when we already have so much burden in our shoulders to start with.
The one aspect that I am most guilty of and currently working so hard to give more focus on, is myself. It may be hard to believe for anyone who’s never been a WAHM (or a mom, for that matter), but when it all comes down to it, the self gets the least attention when we set our priorities in life. The privilege of working in my pajamas can take a toll on the rest of me physically. Why?
I get up. Eat. I don’t dress up for work because work is just outside the bedroom door! And why even bother brushing my hair? Nobody will even see me today (except my partner and my daughter, who is used to seeing my hair unkempt anyway). Some days, I don’t even get to see myself in the mirror, the time passes by so quickly that an insignificant little chore such as that doesn’t even figure out in my day.
Sounds familiar? It is to me. That is how I used to spend my days. I only get to realize that I’ve forgotten to take care of myself when we take a break to see friends and relatives. I finally take a very close look at myself in the mirror and see how far less attractive I have become compared to the giggling, pretty make-up wearing office girl I used to be a few years back.
When you start hating what you see in the mirror, when you start believing that you need a tummy tuck, when you start noticing the age lines appearing on your face, is that when you start to panic? I almost did. But then I realized right after the initial panic attack that hey, I am supposed to be the boss of me. I shouldn’t be worrying about anything. I can give time to myself if I want to.
And I did want to. I don’t want to be hate myself in the end and blaming everyone else about what I’ve become, because I know only I am responsible for my well-being. I am the only one who can make a difference in me. So now I’m trying. I’ve bought a new set of make-up (and vow to never let it expire like the last set did because of non-use), scheduled a salon visit next week, bought a new pair of dress, plan to buy a pair of wedges early next month, and set aside the weekend to do nothing but pamper myself at home.
It’s a fine start, yeah? Of course, nothing short of a cosmetic surgery could get me back into shape as soon as possible, but I’m working hard on taking care of myself, and for me that’s a good enough foundation. It’s a daily struggle, yes, and I’m not even not sure if I could ever get it perfectly right. But you know what, despite all that, I am still deeply thankful that I am where I am today for every single day that I am a work at home mom.