HerSelf First. The name may strike you as a bit quirky. Some of you may wonder what exactly does it mean? And others may sigh and think ‘wishful thinking’. We are all technically savvy, able to put mobile phones on ‘silent’ or ‘vibrate’, computers on ‘sleep’ or ‘hibernate’ and have the advantage of using ‘restart’ or ‘reboot.’ But women, especially moms of young men with Duchenne, have a mental list of activities that need to happen each day. Where is our reboot? 


Long ago, my day started at 5am and officially ending at 11pm or so, everyone tucked in bed…. And then the “help me turn, mom,” during the night. I remember a day when I woke at 5am, after what felt like a sleepless night, in tears, my heart breaking that I felt too tired to go on. I remember Chris saying, “Get your nerve medicine Mom. I can wait.” I ran down the stairs, poured myself a Diet Coke and sat, maybe two minutes total drinking my Diet Coke and watching the sun come up through the trees. And I was better, healthier (we can debate the Diet Coke for breakfast issue later) and ready to go. I just needed to pause.


Herself First is about remembering to put yourself on pause, on silent, and breathe; to remember something that makes you smile, something that you can own, as a woman.  


My mother has taught me a great deal. She often said “if you don’t know who you are, you will not be able to know any other person.”


HerSelf First, led by Sheila Moeschen, is a program about women,  about finding your ‘Gayle’ in life, about finding out who you are, so that you can grow and nourish those around you. It is about preserving yourself, your core, your soul, and sharing your gifts with others.


We would love to learn how you reboot, what you do or would like to do or think about if you took time for yourself.


As part of the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy’s Women’s project, we are happy to announce the launch of the mothers’ survey. This survey collects information from mothers of children with Duchenne and Becker: your needs, your strengths, and your wellbeing. The results from this survey will help us develop new interventions to improve mothers’ wellbeing. We’ll continue with mothers’ surveys for 5 years so we know more about how mothers’ wellbeing changes over time. Go to www.parentprojectmd.org/motherstudy to learn more, or email Holly Peay at holly@parentprojectmd.org or call 443-791-5927 to ask questions or join the study.


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Comment by nbpendley on October 31, 2011 at 2:25pm

Sounds like a good direction.  As a divorced father of 4, 1 with Duchenne, I completely relate.

Comment by Sheila Moeschen on October 31, 2011 at 12:35pm

Thanks for this lovely and very moving post, Pat. I'm excited to be a part of PPMD's commitment to servicing the needs of its families, especially those incredible women who make up the foundation of many of those families. We're excited to connect with more women through the survey and through our existing and forthcoming aims! Thanks!

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