Please Don’t Tell Me To Take Care of Myself

“Take care of yourself.”

I heard that same line over and over again after I had Madilyn in 2005 at the age of 21. I’m sure you have, too.

Take care of myself? I can’t even give my child everything she needs so how am I supposed to take care of me? What does it even mean, “Taking care of myself?” I was essentially healthy. Yes, exhausted, but healthy by comparison it seemed to me.

Sleep more? Yeah, okay… first off, I have a newborn. (If that one sentence doesn’t explain everything then you don’t need to be giving me any advice. Period.)

And second, I have a bazillion questions and things I need to learn about raising a blind baby that aren’t magically going to pop into my head during sleep. So if you have a way for all this to get done and still have time for the R&R, please fill me in.

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Hillary & Madilyn, Superbowl Night 2018

And you know what? I’m not sorry.

 

I worked hard, stayed up late, and fought tooth and nail to get where I am today and more importantly, to help Madilyn get where she is today. She’s 13 years old and continues to persevere despite the obstacles placed in her path.

She shares her wonderful sense of humor, passion for music and love for all every single day. Some days are harder than others, some are beautiful in ways you can’t imagine, and a few days are simply perfect.

But those perfect days aren’t the ones I live for anymore. Now, I live for every single day because I deserve it. Throughout my day, whether it’s when I’m by myself, at work, in the car, or at home with my family, I’m working to be truly present and aware of myself and everything around me.

Because I deserve joy and happiness.

And reminding myself daily that I belong right where I am at this moment, is the only way I’ve found to stay grounded when the rest of the world is trying its damnedest to mess with my plans. I may look tired or frazzled and my hair undone, but I’m doing what I think is best and that’s all I need.

I take the sleep when I can get it, and staying hydrated is now my daily goal, but I’m still going to continue to work my ass off to make a difference in this world. I don’t think of it as a choice. I see it as something I must do.

Because if not me, then who?

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