Today I took a drive without any kids in the car. Anyone who knows me understands I love my kids more than my own life, but I can't tell you how liberating it felt to turn the stereo volume to an ear-splitting decibel and sing at the top of my lungs. I wasn't listening to Tom & Jerry or to Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey (which I know every word to, by the way). I was listening to actual pop music, and my happy mood was almost manic. To top the treat of riding in the car by myself, I went to lunch sans children and laughed for an hour and a half with other moms. Oh, and I ate real food, too--delicious food---instead of Easy Mac or peanut butter and jelly. Today was legendary. Okay, maybe legendary is a stretch, but it was definitely awesome.
My point is, mommies, don't forget to nurture your own spirit. I know it's hard to do. There isn't much time between packing lunches, breaking up fights, and scrubbing toilets, but it's so important. It's easy to become consumed by the joyful task of nurturing our little ones' spirits that we don't always notice when ours is buried in laundry. Dig yourself out from under the dirty clothes every once in a while and dust yourself off (or Febreeze yourself, depending on what kind of laundry we're talking about). Remove the hat you wear for no-shower days and go wash your hair. Then go all kinds of crazy and blow dry it. Take a drive alone and listen to whatever you want. Get those scary toenails to a nail salon and let some unsuspecting technician try and work some magic on your neglected feet. Better yet, do something as simple as lying on your bed listening to soothing music and getting lost in your own thoughts. Remember those? They might be hard to tune into at first after being drowned out all this time by the tromp-stomp of kid crazy, but they're in there somewhere.
How in the world do you manage to find time to nurture your own spirit? Never underestimate the power of your mommy friends. They will always bail you out when you need them, whether it's throwing an extra seat in the van and grabbing your kiddo from the carpool line or managing a playdate while you escape and regroup. Don't be afraid to rely on them for support. No one offers a better shoulder to cry on than a mom who is on her own seesaw, and you can't find a better comedian than a fellow train wreck mommy when you need a good giggle. I can't help but imagine myself dancing a groovy choreographed sequence to an upbeat Disney song when I say this, but we're all in this together. I've got your back any time you need to cruise (alone) in your minivan like the hot mom you are.