It was supposed to be a Hot Girl Summer for me and my two girls… the reality is, it was more of a Hot Mess Summer😆. An exaggeration, but most of my personal goals were neglected. I underestimated how time consuming running after two toddlers, (1 still nursing) would be full-time!! Yes, I stay home with them alot, but I am not a FULL TIME STAY AT HOME MOM. I work 2 part-time jobs, one in which I am off during the summers, the other I only work 8 hrs a week (summer hours). I forgot how refreshing working 2 full days a week is for me, and allows me to be Letitia 🥰 and not a mom or wife.
From late May until the last week of August I was “thuggin” parenting solo, with no breaks!! This left little time for blogging, so I didn’t even have that outlet. Now🛑, before I get blasted for not getting me time, not everyone is in the position or has the means for receiving help. Also note that ‘free’ help is not free. After learning the hard way, being overwhelmed, exhausted, and burned out, I had to demand time, because I realized unless I spoke up🗣, no-one was going to give me the time I needed. So I finally scheduled my recurring ‘self-care me’ time and ‘us time’ since we hadn’t had a date night in forever. I can’t wait to see the effects it has on me once it is consistently implemented. This was just started last week, but at least it’s a start.
I’m not sure when the definition of self-care started to mesh with pamper or pampering, but the two are not the same. As a mom of two young girls it is hard to find time to pamper myself, since most of the childcare falls on me. Despite the fact that I am unable to pamper myself like I did before children, that doesn’t mean I totally neglect self-care.
Let’s examine the definition of both self-care and pamper(-ing):
📕Self-care, noun; selfcare, noun
-the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. “autonomy in self-care and insulin administration”-the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. “expressing oneself is an essential form of self-care”
📕Pamper, verb pampering, present participle
-indulge with every attention, comfort, and kindness; spoil. “famous people just love being pampered”
synonyms: spoil, indulge, overindulge, cosset, mollycoddle, coddle, baby, pet, wait on someone hand and foot, cater to someone’s every whim
Somehow the two definitions became intertwined, and some days I am guilty of feeling like I’ve neglected my self-care, when in actuality it’s the lack of pampering and “me time” is what I’m missing. There is nothing wrong with routinely pampering yourself, and if you have the time and means to PLEASE DO so. As mothers, we need to make sure we are practicing self-care at all times, so here is a list of things I like to make sure I do as self-care, even if it has been a struggle to find that me time.
Yes, I am saying doctor (and dental) visits are a form a self-care I practice, because if I don’t take care of myself what good will I be for my children or spouse. Get those annual check-ups, that OB check-up and dental visits, because nothing is worse than a toothache on a Saturday night and you can’t get to a dentist until Monday. We have to make sure we keep up the maintenance of our bodies, because preventive care is the best care.
Now since having kids I haven’t been able to make it to the spa or get my facials, but I do spend time looking at products and stopping into Sephora (by my job) and making sure I have what I need for skincare, because for me, I am mentally in a better mood when I feel good about myself, and a bad skincare day can definitely put me in a bad mood. I like to make sure my skincare routine is simple and effective for each season, and make sure I have whatever I need for spot treatments here and there. Also adding my favorite essential oils to my routine or in the shower also helps gives it a ‘pampering’ effect.
I’m a foodie. I will ALWAYS prefer food over sweets, and I do not like to cook often, (so this one for me is both self-care and pampering.) Ordering my favorite takeout a few times a month (or a few times during the weeks on hard days) helps brighten my spirit and nourish the soul. Not all takeout is unhealthy, so I try to make healthy options. Food always makes me dance, lol, so a good meal is perfect for me, especially if it is easy clean up.
Disorganization and chaos is a NO for me. Motherhood and marriage has taught me that I can NOT control this no matter how much I would like to. With hectic schedules and expensive childcare cost (that we can’t afford) I opted for having a cleaning service come into the home 1 – 2 times a month to do deep cleaning. Let me say this, it is such a relaxing and exhilarating feeling. Just talking about it I can’t wait for our next cleaning day. Now to be fair, it does put pressure on me to ‘pre-clean’ before they get there, and sometimes I help (only because I want things placed in specific places lol) but it helps me detox.
It has become extremely easy for me to forget, or even push my personal goals aside for the benefit of the children. But I make it a priority to NOT backslide completely (the kids will eventually leave the nest and I need to have things in place for me.) This is why I chose to work Part Time. I wanted the flexibility of being there for my children and raising them (plus the cost of childcare in NY is very high), without neglecting my career.
Saying No is the best form of selfcare sometimes. It is ok to say you can’t handle that task, or you can’t go out. It is ok to say No to anything and anyone that is adding to your mental exhaustion. Saying No at work can be helpful as well. A simple, I would love to work on this project, but with the current workload I have, it will be difficult to finish what I am doing and put 100% into this. Of course, you must do it within reason, but realizing you need to say no and doing it is a GREAT form of Self-care. Of course, I personally am still working on this, but I have made strides in this department. Part of “Saying NO” also includes saying No to Toxic people and removing them or situations from your life. Marie Kondo folks… if they are not sparking joy (family included)… you get the point.
☕️I want to hear from you and get some suggestions for getting more ‘me time”. What are some of your creative techniques in scheduling ‘me time’? What are some of the ways in which you practice self-care?