Friday, May 9, 2014

Treat Yo Self :: OhDierLiving

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{treat you self cake topper, by OhDierLiving, on Etsy}

I saw an image of the above cake topper in my Instagram feed last week and fell in love. Maybe "in love" isn't quite right, but let's certainly say that the innocent little cake topper spoke to me in a very serious way. Not only does it shamelessly demand that one take care of themselves in ways that no one else can {very much inline with my [PBfNM's] motto & mission}, it's also shown in my very favorite color...um, and on cake.

I instantly commented on the IG photo with, "Love this. Want a t-shirt & wall hanging in it too ;)"

William, the cute architect gone woodworker replied with, "we could do that."

I let him know that I'd be in touch on Etsy to talk specifics. OhDierLiving makes a variety of cool typographic wood signs, have a look here, and I've already got a t-shirt that I love from them. The sign wasn't on my list of needs, or wants for that matter, for the month. But, it was a spontaneous splurge that I couldn't bring myself to pass up.

Taking care of Mom has been coming up lots lately in my world. It doesn't so much relate to Mother's Day either. Although, today it came up again. So I find telling you in lieu of Mother's Day weekend appropriate.

I really noticed it about a week and a half ago when I took Elle West to the doctor. It wasn't the first suggestion, but it was the lest subtle of all previous suggestions regarding the topic. We saw Dr. Zemach, one of my favorites at Pediatric Partners of the Southwest in Durango. My guess is that he's in his late 40s or early 50s. He's a nice height, handsome, and has buzzed, lightly speckled gray, but mostly really dark hair. He speaks with a lisp, and is so charming that one might think {between the charm & the lisp} that he might be gay. However, he often times mentions his wife in quick yet attentive conversation.

After Dr. Zemach finished examining Elle, and diagnosed her ear infection, he gave her a job. He said, "Your job today is to take care of Mom, okay."

She said, "Okay."

He continued his instructions to her in sort of a sonnet-esque way by saying, "Because Mom always takes care of us, but who takes care of her?" After that he was pretty much done and out the door.

His words lingered with me a little longer, or a lot, and I began answering his question to myself.

Who takes care of Mom?

Well, the initial and obvious answer for me was/is, Gabe. I stay at home, and he works to support us. Alright, well who else takes care of me? It's sort of easy and complicated at the same time. I instantly thought about Gabe and money, but what about emotional care. Or, money aside, physical care. My friend Emily and I have talked about this before...we draw what we need, as moms, from a variety of sources. There isn't any single person who can satisfy all of our needs. And, what can be so tough is that we don't necessarily get to choose who it's from, or when. We are continuously under demands to attend to the needs of others. Yet, most times the moments in which we need something, there's no one but ourselves to demand it from.

So, who takes care of Mom?

We need a reserve inside us, in which we can draw from, in time of need. What/who feeds our reserve varies from husbands, friends, parents, siblings, our kids, articles/books, exercise, creative expressions, encounters/interactions with complete strangers, and ourselves. Really the list goes on and on. But, the odd thing is, no one really takes care of us but us. That's the answer to the question. Once a mother always a mother, and we are in charge of not only our kids' care from that point forward but, also our own. It's sort of a big deal.

Our care needs range from knowing when to keep quiet, when to talk, when to reach for someone who understands, when to buy new underwear, when & if to buy designer jeans, when to eat, when to sleep, when to get our hair cut and/or colored, when to call our daughters or moms just to talk & cry, when to have sex, when to just stop, when to GO, when to listen {to them, the birds, the wind, ourselves...}, when not to listen, and when to treat ourselves.

If we don't care for ourselves, if we don't set appropriate boundaries, and if we don't treat ourselves when we need to...then there's a pretty decent chance that the need won't be met at the moment in which we need it to be.

Not everyone needs a cake topper or Treat Yo Self sign hanging on their wall, and I'm not suggesting that they do. But, all Moms need a regularity of sources feeding their reserve in which to draw from. And all Moms need to know how to reserve the important bits, get rid of the rest, and how to draw from her reserve & when. We need to take care of ourselves in order to best take care of the ones we love.

I can't say for a second that I've mastered it. But, the Treat Yo Self sign that I've got coming will be a nice and pretty reminder. That's my Mother's Day gift to myself this year. Happiest Mother's Day to you, and a genuine thank you to the many who feed my reserve. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend with the Moms and/or kids they love.

X O X O, JL

*I won't likely post a follow-up once I receive my sign, but WILL share a pic on Instagram. You're welcome to check-in @prettybyjl for a peek! Check out OhDierLiving on IG @OhDier.

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