Nice Moms Finish Last

We're supposed to make time for ourselves—but how?

Photograph by Veer

Every time someone tells me that I need to take better care of myself, it never fails that I also hear that oxygen mask analogy.

You know, the part in the onboard safety-instruction video where the super-high-cheek-boned flight attendant with gigantic lips tells you to put your own mask on before helping others around you.

Like I haven’t heard that one before. I’m married to a pilot, for God's sake.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the concern. I certainly don’t want to be the next casualty of motherhood, run over by thousands of little Matchbox car wheels and strangled by my husband’s boxer briefs that can never seem to actually make it into the laundry basket.

But if we’re speaking in cliches, here’s one for you: It’s easier said than done.

I know some people will argue that the second we push out a baby, we go on auto-pilot and our needs become secondary. And on some days when my husband has the incredible ability to drop absolutely anything he’s doing to take a shower, even if it’s right at dinner time or better, five minutes before we have to get somewhere, I’m inclined to believe in the sacrificial mother.

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There are about 4,000 other things I would choose to do before showering. And you can bet that if we’re about to eat dinner or leave the house and I’ve only got five minutes to spare, I’m reapplying deodorant, scrubbing my head with dry shampoo and dousing myself in perfume.

Give me seven minutes and I’ll have a new outfit on, too.

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