I’ve never been very good at flossing.
I always brush my teeth and wash my face before bed, but for some reason flossing seems to take so long and be such a hassle.
Sure I’ve had a week or two here and there when I’ve flossed regularly (usually right before or right after a dentist appointment), but I’d always give up pretty quickly.
After Eleanor was born and the sleep deprivation torture started, there was no way that I would consider doing anything that would reduce my sleep by even 3-4 minutes (yes, I’ve timed how long it takes me to floss).
And then, I had my six-month visit to the dentist.
They had quite a few things to say about my horrible flossing habits, most of which I had heard before, but for some reason this lecture really hit home for me.
I was feeling very overwhelmed between our huge work conference ending a few days prior and the first year of parenthood. When the dentist asked me why I wasn’t flossing the first thing that popped out of my mouth was:
“I just can’t do anything more than I am already doing right now.”
I was at a breaking point, and the thought of one more thing that I had to do every day sent me over the edge.
*If you saw someone crying on the yellow line metro on the last day of February it might have been me.*
I left the dentist, called my husband, called my mom, and then went home and took a three hour nap.
Sleep helps everything.
When I woke up I still felt ashamed of my bad (nonexistent) flossing habits, but I also felt resolved to change my ways.
So I dug out all the free floss that dentists had given me over the years — I never threw them away, see, I always had the intention to be better — and I started flossing every day.
It got easier and easier as flossing became a part of my nightly routine.
I flossed for 41 consecutive days!
Last week the streak was broken by a particularly rough night with the baby. I feel guilty about it, but I woke up the next day ready to start again. I’m now on day 6 of what will hopefully be an even longer streak.
While I’m still quite embarrassed about my previous lack of flossing, I’m also really happy that despite feeling totally overwhelmed and stretched too thin, I have made the decision to take some time every day to do this small thing for myself (and my gums!)
It’s a good reminder that even in the hustle and bustle of family responsibilities, work, fun with friends, and just life in general, it is possible (and necessary) to carve time out to take care of yourself.
If anyone has any floss recommendations, let me know – I’m still searching for my perfect floss!