Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Taking Care of Mom

So, I went and got my hair cut the other day... for the first time since May.

For those of you who are trying to do the math, it is mid February...  That's right, nine months ago I made an appointment for myself and got a little trim.  As someone who used to make a living as a hair stylist, I can assure you that nine months, without a trip to the salon, will generally earn you some pretty fabulous split ends.

The ironic thing is that the only reason I managed to sneak away for that hair cut last spring, is because I had a gift card that was burning a hole in my pocket, and we were about to move out of state, so the frame of time in which I had in which to use it was quickly running out.  The gift card was a birthday gift from my husband and kids for a full day at the spa, and my birthday was in July, 10 months prior.

I never did use the gift as it was intended... all at once, for a full day of rest and relaxation, a reward for all of my hard work at home. Rather, I broke it up into smaller increments, sneaking away for an hour here, a half hour there, all the while feeling guilty for spoiling myself and leaving my children at home, with their more than capable father.

So, as I sat there in the salon the other day, melting into the chair and staring at my exhausted reflection in the mirror, while my stylist worked her magic on my mane, I couldn't help but think, when did I forget to take care of me?

I am currently 32 weeks pregnant with baby number three.  I have a 3 year old and a one year old, and I manage our household on a day to day basis, by doing all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, appointment juggling, finance handling, kid wrangling, etc.

When my husband needs a haircut, once a month, he goes... heck, I even make the appointment for him.  He doesn't ask me if he can, he just says, "I'm going to get a haircut."  When my son needs a cut, I take him.  I always make sure everyone else in our family is well taken care of.

It appears that I have only let that "care" slide when it comes to me... The thing of it is though, I have no one to blame for my lack of self care, but myself.

My husband often encourages me to go get a pedicure, to slip out for a massage.  Heck, he even purchased me another gift card for a mineral bath at a local spa as a Christmas gift this year.  He has asked me no less than once a week since then, when I am going to make my appointment, and yet here we are, it has been almost 2 months since Christmas, and I am due to give birth to our third child in approximately 8 weeks, and still no relaxing bath at the spa for mama.

Lately, my back is killing me, and I am incredibly uncomfortable.  I feel huge, and unkept, and well, if I'm being honest, I don't exactly feel my best... and yet I can't pry myself away from my children and our home for a little over an hour, every once in awhile, to go indulge myself in a little time for me.

I'm not entirely sure when a 10 minute shower, or a trip to the grocery store alone, become my version of a day at the spa, but somewhere along this path to motherhood, I undoubtedly lost my well-manicured way.

At the end of my appointment the other morning, I felt amazing.  My hair was bouncy and shiny, and styled the way I liked it, and that in itself was enough to leave me feeling oh so good.

Lately I have felt anything but good.  I have felt frumpy and washed up... but after this trip to the salon, it dawned on me.  When I shed the yoga pants and let down my "mom bun", and I actually put in a little bit of effort, I really and truly feel so much better about myself...  My mood improves ten fold... and when I feel good, I am in a much better place to care for my family.

More than all of that, what kind of an example am I setting for my children if I'm not showing them that I take care of myself while also taking care of them?

So, from this moment forward, I am going to make a valid effort to better take care of me. My husband and children will no doubt, still come first, and I don't think I'll be heading to the spa for a day's worth of treatments any time soon. I also highly doubt I'll be shedding my yoga pants quite yet... but perhaps I will make that appointment for my mineral bath, maybe even attempt to blow dry my hair and style it a little more often.

Baby steps to start I suppose, but as mothers, we work so hard, I think we deserve a little pampering from time to time.

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