Welcome to this week’s classic, first world problem: We need to start setting up a nursery.
But the privileged Western side of me says “Hey! Target keeps sending me coupons. I better at least look at them.” And I’m not even going to mention the time suck of Etsy and Pinterest, because I’m embarrassed by how many hours I can log looking at other people’s ideas for picture frames and fabric initials and homemade stuffed animals sewn out of old jeans and grandma’s floral blouses.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing bad about creating a space for babies. And that whole nesting instinct? That’s real. Because suddenly, I’m in a fit of panic about what color to paint the babies’ room. Is pink too, well, pink? Yellow reminds me of kitchens. Blue and green are hard to pick. White is impractical. So on, and so forth. We need another crib. A dresser. A rocking chair.
So I go into a fit of pregnant activity, buy the paint, open the windows, and start in. Two hours and one wall later, I realize I probably should have asked for help. My stomach is covered in paint. It is now 11 pm and I can’t even think straight, much less paint a straight edge on the ceiling slant.
The non-pregnant me would have tightened my ponytail, turned up the fan, and tackled the rest of the room regardless. (I’m pretty good at self talk and internal pity parties.)
But the pregnant-with-twins me sighs. Stands in the middle of the room. Stares at the rest of the walls. And says screw it – I need to go to bed.
This is where I’m thankful for the pregnant-with-twins me, because honestly, I’m learning a lot from this person. There’s something to be said for purposeful self care, and there’s a reason why the Old Testament commandment in Leviticus says love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Not because we need to be narcissistic, or so completely wrapped up in our own lives and bodies and selves that we cannot think about anyone else.
Precisely the opposite. We love ourselves so that we have the capacity to love others.
We leave the mess and choose to relax with our loved ones. Forgo dishes in order to play whales with the toddler in the tub. Ignore the clothes in the dryer to catch one more minute of burnishing twilight.
Why? Because these are the moments that feed us, body and soul.
Luckily, self care these days automatically equates to care for my girls. But I don’t want it to stop when I’m no longer pregnant. I want to continue to be intentional about how I care for myself IN ORDER TO have the capability to fully care for everyone else in my life.
I want to take in as much love as I can in order to pour it all back out when someone else needs it. I want to be a culvert instead of a dam – a place for love to go roaring through, nourishing life on both sides.