Taking Care of Mama


A boy sitting on the kitchen table hugging his mother.Maybe it was the morning I forgot to open the garage door before backing out, or possibly the afternoon my OB/GYN prescribed me a pedicure and a night out with my husband instead of medicine. There were too many instances this past year that clearly showed that mama was under too much stress and desperately needed to make some changes.

I could be the poster child of what happens if mommy doesn’t say yes to herself once in a while! What I have learned this past year is that I am no good to anyone if I do not take care of myself. 

I don’t know about the rest of you mamas, but I often put myself last in everything. My doctor appointments always get canceled when something more important comes up for one of my kids. My much-needed exercise is viewed in my mind not as a necessity but rather as a luxury. I don’t know why I don’t put as much value on these things as ballet class for my daughter or swim lessons for my son, but it has become a nasty habit. A habit that needs to stop.

So I made some changes. I took a leave of absence from my job for one. I realized that the almost two-hour drive each morning was not beneficial to any of us, especially since the time in the car was putting stress on my back and causing nerve issues in my right leg. It was super scary to leave a job of nine years in a leap of faith that something closer would be available or that we could make ends meet for a while without me working. However, I knew I could not continue doing that commute year after year without letting the stress of it get to me.

With this new change, I also vowed to do the following things and start taking care of mama:

  • Remain up to date on all my doctor appointments and preventive care.
  • Incorporate exercise into my schedule – not as an extra, but as a necessity.
  • Take a half-hour each night to just relax.
  • Not to feel guilty about getting my stuff done on those rare moments when my children are busy playing together.
  • Use a personal day for just me!

I have learned that taking care of myself is not selfish. “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”

What are some stress relievers that help you be a better mama?

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Shannon has lived in Fairfield County, CT for most of her life and currently lives in Monroe. She has a daughter L (September, 2008) and a son B (May, 2012). Shannon balances being a wife and mom with working 186 days out of the year as a special education teacher. Thank goodness for vacations, summer break, and snow days! You can be sure that she fills those days with as many amazing activities and outings that she can think of to make up for the time that she is at work. In a distant life, way before babies, Shannon was an aspiring actress and musician. You can sometimes still find her leading sing-a-longs with her guitar at the kids’ playgroups or at her daughter’s school.


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