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Friday, October 21, 2011

Ashley's Story: Taking Care of the Caretaker

Last weekend was great. My husband and I dropped off the kids with sitters and went on a double date with two of our best friends. It's one of the first dates (If not the first. It's too hard to remember what we've done in the past eight months!) we've been on since my son was born in February.

My daughter stayed with her grandmother overnight and when we went to pick her up on Sunday, we discovered that her voice was gone. She was so cute whispering to us and generally seemed to feel pretty good despite her missing voice. Things changed Sunday night when a low-grade fever started and really changed when she woke up in the middle of the night with a temp of 103.5 degrees.

My husband had a huge project deadline at work this week and so I took Monday-Wednesday off of work to take care of my croupy girl. It was nice to be with her. She's been needing some one-on-one time lately (my son went to daycare in hopes he wouldn't get sick, too). Monday, I had a low-grade fever, too. We spent the day laying on the couch together watching PBS Kids.

So what does all of this have to do with anything? I missed my walk on Monday and Wednesday and I missed bootcamp Monday night. By the time Wednesday came around, I was feeling beat down and horrible. I had been having caffeine to help me through the days, not drinking all my water, and not exercising. I found myself thinking to myself, "Ugh, I think I'm coming down with some. Something is seriously wrong with me."

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been so busy taking care of my daughter and my family, that I had forgotten to take care of myself. It was so easy to slip into my old habits, but my old habits don't help. Instead, they make me feel like crap and I could hardly stand being around my family. I realized that not only are all of these habits good for my body, but they're so good for my mental health. I have to remember while I dole out care to everyone else, that I have to take care of the caretaker. It's one of those things that I really do know, but I often forget.

So, how do you remember to take care of yourself when things get hectic? Tell me in the comments. I would really love to know that I'm not in this journey alone!


Sharon Henry said...

I love that your blog is back... and so are you! Congrats on the inches gone... I find that planning to take care of myself is half the battle. When I go to bed knowing that tomorrow I will eat what I have already written down and I will show up to bootcamp or do my planned morning routine, then when the hi-cups come my way my preparedness takes over and the excuses are already gone.

Ashley said...

Thanks, Sharon! It's a great idea to do your meal planning ahead of time. You reminded me that I was doing that before my hip issues happened. Glad you're reading and thanks so much for your comment!