Whew! We made it through the week of birthdays! Bernadette turned 1 on Thursday, and Deirdre turned 3 on Saturday - both girls enjoying their special days of cake, ice cream and celebration. Deirdre celebrated at school on Thursday, too - we took in cupcakes for the class, she got to wear a crown - she was in heaven.

She was milking her royalty status all week, in fact. We were talking to a friend of mine on Wednesday around noon, and she asked what kind of cupcakes Deirdre was going to take to school the next day. Deirdre responded, "I'm taking strawberry." And I said, "Well, now - that's news to the baker." I explained to Deirdre that we would be taking cookie cups this time, and she looked at me, looked back at my friend, and said, "We're taking strawberry."

Hmmm. Funny how the apple doesn't fall from the godfather tree.

I figured I'd let the whole subject alone - we'd take naps, I'd make the cookie cups, and that would be the end of it.

But where did I find myself later that evening? At the store, buying strawberry cake mix for Miss Priss' strawberry cupcakes. I just couldn't let my little lady down. I mean - it was her very first birthday party at school. And if she wanted strawberry...well then...she'd have strawberry.

Which drives home the point that I always try to make when people ask me about kids and lupus. I always say that you have to put yourself first - that you have to make a point of keeping yourself happy and healthy - all in an effort to keep your kids happy and healthy. And I can say this so definitively because as parents, and particularly as mothers, we're going to do everything we can to make sure our little ones are taken care of. We're going to bend over backwards time and time again, to make sure they've had enough to eat, ensure they get enough sleep, confirm that their greatest and smallest needs are being met. We just can't help ourselves. We're going to minimize their suffering, and in fact, eliminate it whenever possible. Instinctively, we're going to try and keep them as content as possible at all times - without even thinking about it. So what we do have to think about - is the idea of putting ourselves first. We actually have to make an effort to do so - an effort that is vital to our health and well-being. And truthfully, to the health and wellness of our children, too.

The healthier we are, the better care we can give to our little ones. The more rested I am, the better equipped I am to handle my gals. The less stressed and more relaxed I am, the easier it is for me to enjoy every moment with those munchkins.

So just think:

How many times have you said to someone, "My little one does so much better with an hour of down time or quiet time during the day." Yeah- well guess what? So do we.

And how many times have you turned the world upside down to make sure you little one gets in a nap? 
You shush the dog, catch the mailman in the driveway, put off running the laundry, the dishwasher, or taking a shower - just so the house stays as quiet as possible because you know how important that nap is to your child. Well, guess what? Your nap is just as important, too.

Maybe you take one before the kids come home from school, or maybe you ask your husband to take over for 30 minutes after work, or maybe you enlist your neighbor's daughter to play with the kids while you rest. However you make it happen - make it happen. You know you'd do the same for your kids.

Deirdre was getting those strawberry cupcakes one way or another. There was no way I was going to let her down. I just have to remember that I can't let myself down either. It's not fair to me, and not fair to her either. I owe it to her and her sister to be healthy. And from the assertive way Deirdre carries herself, I don't think she'll let me off the hook for anything less!


Ruth said…
Happy birthday to both of your beautiful little ladies. It's my birthday tomorrow, so I might just treat myself to a strawberry cupcake too!

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