This elbow break has been no joke. The thing is, the break itself was pretty manageable- hairline fracture, no cast, no surgery, minimal pain- but it’s hard to rest, ice, and heal the way you need to, when you’re also trying to be the mom you want to be.
On days where I rested the way I should have, I felt bad for letting JD do everything, and guilty every time L raised her chubby little hands at me, asking to be picked up. On days I did too much, I paid the price by the end of the day (and usually into the next day) as simpler tasks became painful again and I worried that my arm wouldn’t heal the way it should.
It was very, very frustrating and I could feel myself losing patience. In my weakest moment, I started crying to JD about being a neglectful mother, and how I thought I was scarring my baby for life, and I think somewhere in there I started babbling about how my mom always made custom birthday cakes for us (whatever we requested!) and how it was those little things that always made me feel loved, and how would L ever know how much I loved her if I can’t decorate cakes?
Yeah, that happened. It wasn’t my finest moment.
But through that, what both JD and I realized is that what I needed was a break, not just physically, but emotionally. I needed to be able to check out for an hour or two, and not think about motherhood or work or broken elbows or any of the other day to day stuff.
So, I went into the bedroom to ice my elbow and recharge by catching up on DVR’d shows, and it only took an hour or two before I felt much, much better.
Women, mothers especially, tend to put the needs of our loved ones first. But the thing is, you can’t be a great mom and a great wife unless you take care of yourself, physically and emotionally. We cannot feel guilty about taking an hour to go to the gym or request quiet time to read a book or gossip magazine. This is especially hard for me because I’m a working mom and I already spend enough time away from L, but if you want to give your family the best version of yourself, sometimes it’s necessary.
It’s not always about quantity. Quality counts too.