Saturday, October 28, 2006

If mama ain't happy...

t'aint nobody happy. I haven't the slightest idea where this phrase originally came from but I hear it in my head often. At first it sounds mean spirited (at least to me) but the more I think about it and Mama self care, the more it rings true.

I've never been all that good at taking care of myself and my needs before my kids. If I do attempt it, I often set myself up for failure -- such as trying to exercise for a decent length of time while the kids entertain themselves, trying to meditate in any way shape or form while the youngins are awake!

The other phrase which most brings home to me the importance of self-care in Mamahood is oddly found in the world of aviation. Pretty much all of us have seen the airline stewardess go through the instructions of what to do in an emergency (sometimes if Mamahood isn't a emergency state, I don't know what is). Anyhoo... they always dutifully instruct that the adult MUST pull down and attach their oxygen mask before the child's. IF YOUR NEEDS AREN'T MET, YOU CAN'T TAKE MEET THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD. Aha!

And so I humbly submit my list of quick yet fairly easy Mama spirit lifters in which I recently engaged:

- Exercise 40 minutes at 9 pm (good cause I got to watch Grey's Anatomy, bad cause I couldn't fall asleep later),

- Exercise 40 minutes at 5:30 am (damn early but much better than the previous version),

- Buy yourself a new coffee mug (try hard to make certain the one you love is the only one and on the highest most unreachable store shelf),

- Cut caffeine intake (remember the mug) in half,

- Pass on that glass (or several) of wine,

- Take all appropriate prescriptions and vitamins,

- Take a quick shower (even 5 minutes is good),

- Sing LOUDLY alone in the car!

Music really lifts my spirits and I have to remember to seek out oldies but goodies that help me, as The Partridges used to say, "Come On, Get Happy)! For those who remember that song... it is a guaranteed mood lifter, even if you hate it! I used to play it loudly in my office (you may not want to try this at yours but I DID work in a record company) whenever there was discord in the office or halls... inevitable people would sing along, laugh, ask "What the heck?" or shout "Shut that off!" Either way, they were distracted (can be used with children younger than 7 as well).

But I digress.

Here is my radio sing-along playlist for yesterday's work commute:

1) "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor

2) "Stitch Me Up" by John Mayer

3) "Raspberry Beret" by Prince

4) "Now That We've Found Love" by Heavy D. and The Boyz

5) "Small Town" by John Cougar

6) "Mandinka" by Sinead O'Connor


  1. You still have a recording of Come On Get Happy? Because we could still use that in the office on occasion!

    In college, the pick me up song that I'm sure would have gotten us voted most likely to be tossed out of the dorm on our ears was "These are Days" by 10,000 Maniacs. We used to play it over and over and over and over (put the CD on repeat) really really loud till the guys next door would come over and steal our CD. I still love that song.

    As for spirit lifters, let's not forget eating your fruits and veggies and indulging in a fabulous piece of dark chocolate on a regular basis!

  2. Well, having your team win the World Series, is a pretty good spirit lifter....but then so was sitting in the middle of a pile of leaves and having your 2 year old rain more leaves down on you and then having your Dad pull leaves out of your hair at your 9 year old's volleyball game later, calling you "my hayseed daughter!

    and realizing that, although the budget is tight, the floor needs vacuuming, and there will always be piles of laundry, many people love you exactly as you are.

    p.s. my Partridge Family album is still at my parent's house!

  3. Haircut 100!!!

    It's been driving me nuts for days trying to remember the name of the group. Whew. I feel better!