Laura de Medici-Bentley: Don’t forget to take care of yourself

Laura de Medici-Bentley

One of my readers asked what the biggest challenge I’m currently facing as a parent is. Lately, my biggest challenge is taking better care of myself.

When I became a mom, I started to forget about myself a little more every day, and two years later, I look in the mirror and see a somewhat neglected version of myself. After a fun and busy weekend of birthday and Father’s Day festivities, my reflection seemed to be saying “Hi, remember me?”

When I started researching the pros and cons of staying home, most of the “cons” I read about had to do with how easy it can be to lose sight of yourself when most of your energy goes into your kid(s). I didn’t think it’d happen to me, but over the last few months, I have seen a steady decline in how I look and feel.

Getting exercise on a regular basis is something I really want and need for myself, and yet, I haven’t been to the gym in ages. I’m seeing and feeling the effects of not taking care of myself, and it’s a little depressing. How come it’s so easy for me to fit story time or swim lessons into my routine, but finding an hour to go to the gym feels difficult? Why do I feel guilty about taking a little time to do something that’s good for me?

This week, my goal is to start making my health a priority again. Since our mornings are spent learning and playing, I will unapologetically dedicate part of the afternoon to going to the gym and getting healthy again. Taking better care of myself can only help me be a better parent in the long run. I hope to set a positive example for Livia by showing her that even though she is the light of my life, I’m important to myself, too.

Laura de Medici-Bentley, of Winchester Virginia, is a former early childhood educator who currently enjoys staying home with her 2-year-old daughter. She is an author of a personal blog, She can be reached at