Between December 2001 and October 2007 I had four kids. Mr. Family Nature and I refer to those years as our baby-makin’-years. Those years were a lot of fun – lots of coos, baby laughs, first steps and first words, nursing babes, and all the other good stuff that comes along with having a baby in the house.
They were also very tired times – sleepless nights, teething, diapers, sometimes going days without a shower (and not even caring) and almost never going out anywhere other than the park or school.
These are not complaints. They are simply facts. They are the way things were at the time. I accepted that that these were the baby-makin’-years and I lowered my personal standards. Often basic hygiene was all I could manage. I sort of … neglected myself.
It wasn’t just me that was neglected. It was lots of other things in our life. Mr. FN took a lot of time off work. Four c-sections meant a long recovery each time. And when you’re self-employed, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
It was fine; we managed to get by knowing that after the baby-makin’-years were over and Mr. FN could focus more on work, that we’d be able to live a bit more comfortably. No complaints, it was the way things were.
Our house was also neglected. Piles of laundry (which still curse me today), dust bunnies under the beds and bed sheets we couldn’t remember when last they were washed. It was all fine. We knew it wouldn’t be like that forever.
Now that Sister is about to start JK, people keep asking me, “What are you going to do with yourself‽” Sister will only be going to school in the mornings (our school doesn’t yet have full-day kindergarten – which is fine by me) so that means I’ll only have a couple of hours in the morning. I know what I’ll do with myself. And it’s not all that exciting.
I’m going to raise my standards.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last ten years lowering my standards and lowering my expectations. For the most part, in a good way. But I’m ready to raise some of them again. I’ve made a commitment to myself recently. As in, I am committed to take better care of myself. ‘Cause you know, I’m not getting any younger – and it’s just time.
So, what will I be doing with myself once Sister starts JK? While I have these great dreams of getting the house more in order or organizing the basement, you’ll probably more often find me at the gym. Or at the coffee shop near the kids’ school, blogging. Or maybe even getting a pedicure. I’ll be spending those two hours in the morning just having some time to myself – to take care of me.