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Tuesday, September 16

Night & Day (Frank Sinatra)

Part II of III
Before my husband and I were married, we got to experience mandatory pre-marital counseling.  One thing we still remember our preacher saying was that "no husband wants to come home day after day and find his wife in sweatpants, with her hair not combed and her teeth not brushed."  He said plenty of other important things that day, too, but this is the one I want to focus on today...
 First off, let's face it...we're busy wearing all of those other caps, and oftentimes poor old hubby falls to the bottom of the totem pole.  He can take care of himself, and he doesn't require constant attention or supervision.  Therefore, when something has to give, it's usually him.  I'm guilty, too.  We all do it.  But let's step back for a moment, together, and look at how this plays out five, ten, or twenty years from now - we spend so much time focusing on the immediate problems, and neglecting attention from our helpmate, that we create an even larger problem down the road.
Let's focus on today - just one thing.  Wouldn't you feel better if you took care of yourself?  I mean, honestly.  Yes, it's frustrating when the house is a mess, and the kids are a mess, and the errands need to be run.  But you know what?  Dishes and laundry are always piling up - whether you do them or not.  What's one more day?  The errands....admittedly, some need to be done now.  Others - not so much.  And the kids...well, they can take care of themselves long enough for you to take care of yourself.  (And if they're still babies, toss them in the pack & play and pop them near the bathroom.  Or in the bathroom.)

So here's what we're going to do.  I'm serious.  Make a commitment.  It's for both ourselves and our marriages...  These are all equally important, so they're in no particular order.
Schedule a day - this is the day that you are going to treat yourself!  (If you keep my schedule, then try to at least find an hour or two ALL. TO. YOUR. SELF.)  I really don't care what you do during this time, but if you spend it making lists and plans of what all needs to be done, then you're missing the point.  Read a book.  Take a bath.  Go for a walk.  Go shopping - alone - for something frivolous.  Ooh!  I know.  Go to Victoria's Secret and pick out something that makes you feel sexy.  Maybe it's just those silly looking pants with Pink written across the bottom.  If it makes you feel good, go for it!
Drink a glass of water.  Actually, drink two.  Staying hydrated will keep you from being tired and cranky.  It also helps to ward off "mommy brain."  Just the other day, I wandered around trying to remember my child's name, and then I realized that I had not drunk anything the entire day.  It was after dinner.  This is bad.  Why did it happen?  Because I was too focused on all the minutiae.  So, go get a drink.  Water first - then the wine.
Sleep more.  Yes, I love to stay up to the wee hours of the morning engrossed in a good book, but it's so unhealthy.  I still have to get up early the next morning, and then I'm grumpy and tired.  Whatever is keeping you up, whether it be the computer / iphone / tablet / television / book....just put it down.  Finish the chapter you're on, and close it up.  If you're staying up late because you're keeping the sheets warm....well, good for you!  Free pass - skip to the next paragraph.  If you're staying up late with children, my sympathies.  Been there, done that, still occasionally go back to visit.  That's a hard place to be, but please get as much rest as possible.  And finally, if you're staying up late because you can't shut your brain off...well, we need to come up with something that actually works for this.  My best suggestion is twofold :  1)  Put a notepad and pen next to the bed, and write down every tiny thing keeping you up.  Then you'll remember to do it tomorrow!  2)  Lay still.  Close your eyes.  If you can't get your mind to rest, at least allow your body some rest.
Exercise at least three or four times each week.  It could be taking a twenty minute walk, or running ten miles.  If you're doing the latter already, you can probably skip this paragraph.  There is no excuse for not being able to exercise twenty to thirty minutes a few times each week.  Take up gardening (then you'll have fresh produce!), chase the kids around the front yard, take the stairs, or park in the back-forty at Walmart.  There's always a way to sneak a little more activity into your day.  Not only will you feel better, but you might find certain 'areas' tightening up.  Imagine how those jeans are going to fit now!
Eat a colorful plate.  Have you ever noticed that most of the convenient foods tend to be brown?  It's nasty, if you think about it.  Do your very best to get as many colors on your plate as possible - and I'm not talking about M&Ms, starburst, or jellybeans!  If you plan to eat healthy, it will be much easier to do so, rather than just reaching for any old thing.  You will have more energy, feel better, and be happier!  If you need ideas for healthy snacking, check out any of my cooking or snacking posts.

This said, there are times in our lives, such as during an illness or caring for a newborn, that these basic tasks are going to seem like a challenge.  Heck, just getting out of the bed during these times can seem impossible.  If you're going through a particularly difficult time, cut yourself some slack.  No one can be perfect.  Well, except for me....  (j/k)  Seriously, though, take the time to get over the hump, but then start taking care of yourself properly again.  It's too easy to slide down the other side. 
You have to feel good physically! How in the world can you have a smile on your face, and your hair fixed in the evening when your husband gets home if you have no energy and you haven’t really taken care of yourself??  It's the difference between night and day, and your marriage will thank you.  I promise.
One final word.  Yes, there will be days when you are just pooped out in the evening because of the day you had, but take care of yourself anyway.  Do it even if you don't have a husband - because, aren't you worth it??
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