Sunday, February 26, 2012

Taking Care of Ourselves; Part 1

I wanted to do something a little different with my next two posts. I want to stress the importance of taking care of ourselves. Not just our bodies and what we put into it, but the importance of taking time to take care of ourselves. When I was at my heaviest, I'll be the first to admit the last thing I thought about was what I looked like. My goal was to keep the spit up from staining my clothes and not run out of newborn diapers. I have noticed that I'm not the only one who was (or is) like this, but we have to learn how to take care of ourselves because we have to learn how to love ourselves.

I hated myself. Hate is a strong word, I know, but I'm dead serious. I hated myself, what I looked like, how I let myself go. I had to learn how to fall in love with ME to really take care of myself. Sounds silly, I know. As mothers especially, we always seem to come in last place. The kids, the house, our spouses, work, it all comes before us. I had to learn how to re-prioritize my life and put myself on that list for the first time in my life. I felt guilty at first, thinking that I shouldn't be worried about me, I had 2 kids who need me. Just this morning my husband wanted to spend time with me, but I got up and laced up my Nike's. He looked at me with puppy dog eyes and said "well, I see that run is high on your list this morning". I felt so guilty, but he's right. My run can only be done at a certain time of day, when my little one is napping, so I had to tell my hubs that we would have to spend time together after he gets home from work. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices to get our lives in order. It sucks. But, I reminded him, I am doing this FOR him, and our kids, and myself. I work out so I'll be a hottie for him. I work out so I can chase our kids, and so I can be the person I want to be.

Time management is crucial for being able to do this. I sat down with my daily routine with the kids, and looked at when would be the best time for me to workout, shower, and get ready for my day. I have to re-do this when things like preschool for my kids, or doctor appts, or other things in life come up (which they do all the time). One day a week I meet a really good friend of mine for lunch, so I rearrange my workouts for that too. We have to learn how to still get a workout in and make the most of the 24 hours we are given each day!

Me on a typical day. I always remember the reason why I do this; for that little man right there!

I made extra time to really make myself look pretty after my shower. Trust me, it helps. My newborn would usually be up by then, so what I would do is grab his bouncy seat and put him in my bathroom while I took a shower and got ready. I'd put on music and he'd laugh and bounce while I did my thing. We'd sing songs and play toys too, he loved it. I did my make-up, flat ironed my hair, and made myself pretty even on the days that I wasn't going anywhere. It will make you feel better during this transitional period in your life. It may sound silly now, but please trust me on this, it will do wonders for you in the long run. I promise you. Just going through the act of making yourself pretty even when you don't want to will boost your confidence and make you feel so much better about yourself if you are not used to doing it.

Now, I know most of us busy moms don't have a ton of time to do this, so part 2 of this post will be my favorite, best rated time savers on make-up and hair products. I can take a shower and get pretty in about 40 minutes (which is the longest I've taken).

Be on the lookout for part 2, I'll be making a list of my favorite products!


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