Thursday, July 15, 2010

Am I Finally Growing Up?

Although I am 32-years old and have four children, I think I may have made a huge leap in my level of maturity last week: I have decided that it is not just about me.

So, a little confession here: I am naturally Extremely Selfish, not just the Normal Selfish. During the past ten years, I have often wondered if having children has made me less or more so. But, until last week, I had never really tried to change major behaviors to actually prevent myself from being so selfish, and focus on others' needs before my own.

Phew. Honestly, it's embarrassing how long it has taken me to get to this point.

The Proper Care and Feeding of HusbandsIt started with me deciding that I would make Feeding My Husband a top priority. (I read this book forever ago when we were first married and actually liked some of her ideas, although I've never listened to her speak, or read her other books.) So, I have been waking up at 5:15 a.m. for the past 10 days (excluding Sunday) to make breakfast and lunch for my husband. I have also made sure that dinner was ready as soon as he walked in the door each night.

Let me pause here, for effect.

The first day that I woke up at 5:15 a.m., I exercised and showered BEFORE my kids woke up. It was so completely wonderful that I decided that I would continue this behavior so that I could be completely focused on my kids all day, rather than on me-exercising-and-showering-some-time-before-6:30 p.m.-when-daddy-gets-home (my two goals every day for the past 8 years). (I have attempted to exercise early in the morning since having 2+ kids before, but have never continued it for more than 3 or 4 days.)

I don't think I have ever been so exhausted in my life. I am falling asleep almost anywhere. I can't blog any more because I can hardly brush my teeth before falling into bed at night. I haven't answered e-mails in weeks. I feel more forgetful than when I was pregnant with my fourth baby.

Yet...

my kids are happier, my husband is happier, and I think I feel less selfish, (my brain is a little too delirious to actually think about how much it is currently focused on itself), but I am also happier.

Now I just need to learn to go to bed at 9:00 p.m. every. single. night. no. exceptions.

6 comments:

Britt-Marie said...

I read that book a year or so ago and actually just re-checked it out of the library for a refresher. Great book. I wish I would have read it right after we were married. Totally changed the way I looked at things (in my selfish way). I have not implemented what I read to the extent that you have- good job! Though I (ironically) blame it on my husband who likes to stay up late, so I can never get up that early. Thanks for your example.

Britt-Marie said...

p.s. You should read her other book- In Praise of Stay at Home Moms. Also wonderful.

sabrina said...

i can't believe this is the first time you've tried not exercising with your kids. really when we get some 'me' time it does make the rest of the day so much better. good luck keeping it up. so worth it.

Lillian Angelovic said...

Liz, you're a darling and I love you. You know you're a real adult when you can't stay awake because you were up late/early because your life is dedicated to serving the people you love. Good job! (And good luck keeping it up!)

Barb's blessings said...

Liz you have discovered the key to an organized, constructive life filled with accomplishment. You have to get up before everyone else and get a jump on the day. I have been doing this for 40 years which explains why I am always tired :-).

So many times I have had women at church ask me how I find time to do my hair and makeup or iron white shirts, etc. I tell them it is simple. Just get up before everyone else. You can't let the kids get a jump on you as you will never catch up.

You are a jewel. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to see you in a week and a half.

Love, AB

Jen said...

Liz,
I'm currently reading "In Praise of SAHM's" by Dr. Laura and she mentions this book several times. Looks like it needs to be the next on my reading list. 5:15 sheesh you are dedicated.
p.s. I'm interested to hear more about your son and his "health craze". Lizzy sometimes does that when I'm in town and it always makes me so nervous (I guess maybe overly paranoid after a few years of working with eating disorder patients). Keep us all updated.