About a month ago, things came to a head as far as my health is concerned. I had symptoms of PPD, tests showed I was seriously nutritionally deficient, I had no motivation... I was at the lowest point that I had been in for more than a decade. The turning point came in a diagnosis: ultrasound showed that I had polycystic ovary syndrome. It's a hormone imbalance that causes irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, and weight gain due to insulin resistance. There's no cure for this, the only thing that can be done is to treat the symptoms individually, but it has been known to reverse itself with weight loss.
That diagnosis was what made me decide that I had to start putting myself first, at least a little bit. I was sacrificing myself to my children, and while that is what's required of a mother to a degree, I was taking it to an extreme.
So I got a gym membership.
I've been working out 4-5 times a week for the last 3 weeks now. Most of the time I take the girls with me and they stay in the child care center at the gym while I work out. (We still make our playdates and fun activities in the mornings; I go to the gym with them after they're done napping in the afternoons.) I've already seen great improvements with my energy and stamina and motivation and my cycles are already back to normal. So I know this is exactly what my body needed.
While I feel great that I'm getting the exercise, I also struggle with feeling guilty about leaving my children in the child care center. They're only there for 30 minutes to an hour at a time, but still the first two weeks were really hard for them: lots of tears and I would frequently get paged to stop my workout because one of them just couldn't handle being left there. (The care-givers give me a pager when I drop the kids off in case they don't do well.) Let me tell you just how great this made me feel about finally deciding to do something for myself... Needless to say, I constantly question the decision to do this. And I hate to say it, but it often feels like the price is not worth the reward. It's been 3 weeks now and Mira is doing better... pretty well, actually. But Ellowyn still cries every time and she has developed a pretty nasty case of separation anxiety since I've started going to the gym. It really pains me to see her struggling and I'm constantly wondering if I'm making the right decision. I know that this is the right thing for me; my body is showing me in so many ways that this is the answer. But I'm finding it so difficult to put what my body needs ahead of what my daughter needs from me. I guess it's just not in my nature to be selfish in this way.