Left: Photo of me and Zoe before our trip to N.Y. Right: Me & the beyond gorgeous mama-to-be this weekend.
This past Monday I was on a flight coming home from visiting my oldest (and currently very pregnant) friend. This was my fourth flight this month so I've been a jet setting mama! This trip was long overdue and I was so glad I was able to get there and have some "girl time" before she becomes a mama. The trip was last minute and I could have thought of a gazillion reasons why not to go. They would have been excuses really. I had just gotten back from another trip, I have a 15 month old who keeps me very busy and flights are expensive. But, there was NO WAY I wasn't going. Not just for her sake, for mine as well.
So there I was, sitting on the plane heading home, listening to the stewardess talk about safety. I have to be honest, I don't always listen to this speech anymore. I fly a lot and I'm super comfortable with it. But really, I knooooow I should be paying attention. So this time I did. And then she said it.
"If you are traveling with someone (like a child for instance), put your mask on first before you offer assistance."
This is a statement that my friend Jacinda had mentioned to me a few weeks ago. We were talking about being moms and self care. She said "I gotta put my mask on first, ya know?" And at the time I sort of just nodded not really taking it in. But hearing it again on the plane, right after seeing a friend who was about to embark on this crazy journey we call motherhood. It really hit me. This is my new mantra.
"Put your mask on first."
Ultimately, if you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else. Tweet it!
Us women, we have a real tendency to over extend ourselves. We love to help out, and give, give, give. I can't tell you how many times I've made myself sick because I was working too hard on a project or taking care of someone else. When I think about self care, it's not something that comes naturally to me. What comes naturally is burning out. I'm not sure why I feel the need to give to the point of exhaustion but it's something I'm working on. Because let's face it, I'm a better mother, friend, wife and business woman when I've slept, showered and taken care of myself. So going on a mini trip to see my good friend is really important for my soul. Which is just as important as getting a manicure. Which is just as important as eating healthy. It's all the same thing really. Put. Your. Mask. On. First. Do what you need to do for you.
This quote has always stuck with me and I think it sums up my point brilliantly.
"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." -Audre Lorde
Does this sound familiar? Working yourself to the bone? Not sleeping or eating right because you are too busy taking care of everyone else? I'd like us to all work on this one together. So I invite you this week to do something nice for yourself. Let me see it by hashtagging #hohwithmelanie #putyourmaskonfirst and tagging @hohwithmelanie so I can see what lovely thing you have treated yourself to. Also, I'd love to hear in the comments section below about what you do (or plan on doing) for yourself, and if you have noticed a change from it. I got you girl. We are in this together.
Oh, and have you seen the Virgin America flight video? It's amazing. I could watch it all day. Is that weird? I mean... it's just so good!