When I was 26 weeks pregnant with my third baby my nausea returned (Hooray!), and I began experiencing extreme headaches. The sickness began to take a toll on me emotionally and I felt like I was riding a hormonal roller coaster all day long, every single day. Instead of thinking “Hey, Andrea you’re 26 weeks pregnant with your third child and have a lot of people who rely on you. What can we do to get you feeling better?” I started obsessing over everything I had been neglecting. I worried about practicing letters more with my five year old, coloring with my two year old, and how many unanswered emails brimmed in my inbox. Sounds like productive thoughts for a depressed preggo, right?
One night while lying in bed I read an article that made me realize something—no matter how many emails I answered, or how many letters I taught my children, none of that would mean anything if I wasn’t taking care of myself first. I reached out for help, started to prioritize my own health, and within weeks felt dramatically better. It turns out that I needed new acid reflux medicine more than I needed to question my worth!
“Instead of thinking “Hey, Andrea you’re 26 weeks pregnant with your third child and have a lot of people who rely on you. What can we do to get you feeling better?” I started obsessing over everything I had been neglecting.”
No matter how many kids you have, how old they are, whether you’re struggling with infertility or considering surrogacy or adoption; whether you’ve got a career or you’re a SAHM or somewhere in between; no matter where you live and with however many people, it’s crucial you take care of yourself. I hope this chapter helps you consider the most pressing needs in your life right now. Sometimes the most challenging part of taking care of yourself is knowing what you need to do to start. So, take a deep breath. (Did you really take a deep breath? No? Do it with me right now…feels good, right?!) In these next few pages I hope you find your next steps to better self-care. Do you need to join the gym? Watch something funny? Start writing that book you’ve always dreamt of writing? Make something with your hands? Eat a gorgeous salad? Get a babysitter for an afternoon? Or take steps to start the business idea you have? Or best of all…TAKE A NAP?!
“Over and over again I learn that the best thing I can do for my kids is take better care of myself, so I can take better care of them.”
At first these two concepts seem contradictory, but they actually go hand in hand. We must recognize that we are best suited to care for others when we are able to treat ourselves gently, nurture our bodies, and feed our brains and spirits. It’s up to us to take care of ourselves—because you and I both know, nobody else is going to do it for us! #amen
This is an excerpt from Andrea Faulkner Williams’ book You’ve Got This, Mama.
xx Team Tubby