Eating My Feelings
Because this blog is intended to chronicle my motherhood journey, I think it best that we begin with my main survival strategy as a mother who is almost two years deep into a journey of mothering with postpartum depression as a handy sidekick. How does she do it, you ask?! Food. I do it with copious amounts of fried food, specifically poutine, and I make no bones about it. My mantra is that Motherhood Is About Survival and survival requires FOOD.
You know what's annoying about motherhood self-care strategies? For the most part they feel like more unreasonable demands than pleasant relaxations. I used to be the a**hat that would instruct mothers - without being one myself - in self-care workshop that I ran, to take long hot baths to rest their worries away. I appreciate that no one ever slapped me and instead rolled their eyes behind my back politely. You know when you don't want to take a bath? After your daughter insists that you get into her bath with her so that she can name the anatomical parts of yours that she knows and press your belly button like an actual button so that you make squealing noises that she can laugh at. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE having baths with my daughter and actually cherish the time that we get to interact because we both love the water. It's just that the prospect of running another bath and getting back in when I'm drooling tired at 7:30pm seems unreasonable, and potentially hazardous because I might fall asleep and drown.
What doesn't tax me unnecessarily, or make my fingers and toes wrinkly (except with what I hope is the slightest pudginess), is eating. Dear, sweet, always-there-for-me eating. I am well aware that eating your feelings is a cliche and perhaps, but hopefully not in this case, offensive to those who have been accused of it. However, I want to wear eating my feelings loud and proud: Sometimes I eat when stuff gets hard because it feels like I'm taking care of me and doing what I need to do to move forward from a long, sleep-deprived night, or a equally long sleep-deprived day. This week after the second bout of stomach flu re-reared it's ugly head and I got puked on multiple, multiple, multiple times in the morning right before work, I got the biggest possible poutine at lunch (that I looked forward to all day until said poutine was purchased) and all was right with the world again. Simple. Easy. Satisfying.
This is of course not profound what I am writing here but I write it in order to push to ideas for surviving the daily mommy grind:
- Self-care can look like anything. ANYTHING that makes you happy. Again, anything.
- Make friends with your mom body and your consumption of food before you realize that your ninety and you still feel like if you could just lose those last ten pounds...
I do not claim to be perfect at either of the above, but we all need goals and we all need to care for ourselves first whether we like it or not.
Great, now I want a poutine.