I, along with many other women I (I assume), often feel pulled in so many directions on a daily basis that something needs to give. I work a full time stressful job, have four kids, am pushing 23 week pregnant with baby #5, own my own business, and still have to keep the house in order (bill paying, appointment making, cleaning, etc). But, as I continue to get older and pile more on my plate, I have realized the importance of self-care. And I’m not talking about the Instagram worthy self-care that begins with a solo trip to Sedona and a week away from my responsibilities, because who really has the time and money to do that?!? I’m talking self-care that a normal 35 year-old Midwest mom of four can pull off. AND, I take the time to do it because I know it is important to take care of myself, but I also take the time to do it so I do not LOSE MY SHIT on everyone around me. So, this is what self care looks like to me…
First of all, let’s get this straight. The routine I’m about to describe usually happens once or twice a month, and usually on a Sunday. Our house is up at about 5:30am most days (definitely not by my choice). We hang out, drink coffee/milk, have breakfast and put Callum down for his first nap around 9am and then the routine begins. This is what I focus on:
Take care of my physical well-being by working out. I will not lie to you and tell you that I’m able to get a workout in 5-7 days a week while folding the laundry, cooking dinner, and looking glamorous. I honestly try to work out at least 2 times per week, but sometimes that does not happen. Today Mark and I put on our workout gear, brought all the kids who were awake down with us to the exercise room/playroom, and did a BeachBody 80-Day Obsession workout. It’s so nice to have a partner who wants to workout together. It makes me feel less guilty about spending that time on self-care, and it motivates my pregnant self to get moving! I feel so much better and stronger when I get a workout in, and that not only does a ton for me physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
Take care of my physical and emotional well-being by rolling around in the hay. After our real workout, we got another workout in! We put a movie on for the kids and went upstairs to do our thing. Feeling close physically, emotionally, and mentally to your partner is an extremely important part of self-care. When your partner and you are on the same page, you can conquer the world! And, there are days where we feel like we are doing just that. Even though our lives get busy and stressful, Mark and I make sure to make time for each other. Allowing our bodies to feel physically fulfilled and our hearts to feel full makes us better partners, parents, and people. And that is important.
Take care of my physical and mental well-being by taking a real shower. Most days I take a TPLB (tits pits lady bits) shower, but on the days that I’m really focusing on self-care, I take a long, relaxing, productive shower. This includes washing my hair (twice!), a nice deep conditioner, shaving my legs, and taking care of my skin. I whip out my Clarisonic Smart Profile and use it to wash my face with a safe and gentle cleanser. Using the Clarisonic exfoliates and opens my pores so my skincare routine will be more effective. This then leads me to my next step of self-care…
Take care of my body’s largest organ….my skin! I celebrated my 35th birthday last week, and as I reflect on getting older, I realize how important it is to take care of the body that I have. I have accomplished a lot in my 35 years, and I know that I will continue to age, but I can be proactive to make sure I age gracefully.
On my self-care days, I perform a total spa like skincare routine. It does wonders for my skin, but also does wonders for me mentally. Knowing that I am nourishing my body’s largest organ and taking care of it for my future self is very relaxing and rewarding. I am extremely careful about what I put on my skin both because I am pregnant and because the beauty industry is unregulated and there are a lot of unsafe products out there. I have done extensive research and use only products that are safe and high performing.
Before my shower, I put on a charcoal mask to get rid of any impurities, dirt, oil, etc that have been lingering in my pores. I rinse that off in the shower, and proceed to use my Clarisonic. When I get out of the shower, I spritz my face with a facial mist to tone and prep my skin. The one I use also helps plump my skin to help with loss of elasticity, dryness, and fine lines. After I let that set for a minute or so, I use a serum designed to even my skin tone, add hydration, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. After the serum, I apply an eye cream to help with puffiness, dark circles (hello 5:30 am wake up calls!) and fine lines. I wish I could’ve told my younger self to start using eye cream earlier! Next, I apply 4-6 drops of a face oil. Face oils are another thing I wish I would’ve started using earlier. I was scared to put oil on my face, but my skin has transformed since using one. It’s more hydrated and balanced (not oily at all) and youthful looking. And then I finish it all off with a nice moisturizer. The face oil helps add/balance moisture and the moisturizer actually locks the moisture in while adding nutrients to my skin.
I do this full routine on my self-care days, but on an average day I wash my face, and then apply serum, eye cream, and moisturizer. At night I wash again and apply serum, eye cream, and either face oil or a night time moisturizer. I also bring my face mist in my purse with me and spritz throughout the day when my skin needs a pick me up.
Take care of my entire well-being by participating in nap time. The kids are all still at an age where we can enforce nap time after lunch. It’s probably more quiet time than nap time for the oldest two, but everyone is in their rooms for a couple of hours either sleeping or doing something quiet. This includes me, and I do not feel guilty about it. Sleep is very important to me, so I do not feel guilty at all taking an hour or two to recharge my body. Part of me feels like I should do something productive during this quiet time in the house, but a bigger part of me says fuck it, and that part wins. I am a better mom, partner, and person when I get enough rest, so I choose to nap.
So, overall a self-care day looks like this to me: coffee, workout, roll in the hay, real shower, spa-like skincare, and nap. It’s nothing extravagant, and it’s nothing that a busy working parent can’t do. But, it is enough to take care of my physical, mental, and emotional well-being so I can be the best I can be every other day of my life. Now, if i could only have a glass of wine!
What does self-care look like for you?