As I have mentioned before, I have spent most of the last seven years either pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant. I have also spent all of the last six years as a full-time, stay-at-home mom. I do not regret these choices that I have made.
That does mean, however, that I have spent the past seven years focusing on things and people other than myself. My absolute, utmost, and foremost priorities have had very little to do with me. Sure, I made sure to eat well while pregnant, but it wasn't for my own benefit; it was for the boys. I did the same while nursing, for the same reason. Just about every decision I made during this period was to ensure that someone other than me would get the highest benefit possible.
I don't begrudge my children anything. I would gladly give of myself again, for their benefit. But now, the time for me to give of myself physically (through pregnancy or breastfeeding) is over. I will continue to give of myself emotionally, and spiritually, to shepherd them on the path to adulthood. However, I now need to move myself and my own well being - physically, emotionally, spiritually - higher up on my priority list.
It's now time for me to be a priority. I need to do things that make me happy, for my own benefit. I need to do things that make my body feel strong and healthy, spend time with my friends, figure out how I want to give back to the world. I need to show my boys that I am a vibrant woman with many, many interests, who is capable of many, many things.
The men in my life will benefit, but that won't be the reason why I'm doing it. No, I need to start nurturing *me* for my own sake.