Love is in the air. It is the day of spreading love. Well, spreading love and eating a lot of chocolate. I don’t know about you, but I find it incredibly easy to bestow love upon others, but when it comes to myself…it’s like I have used all of the love up or something. This year, I want to practice a little self-love.
I am inspired by Tracey Clayton‘s recent guest post on the blog. In her post, she describes the five ways she has fallen in love with herself after giving birth. As I read her story, I thought about how I, too, lost any selfishness after becoming a mom. It seems as to be an almost natural instinct to become selfless after becoming a parent.
From Selfish to Selfless
The problem with complete selflessness is that you actually stop caring about yourself. You stop caring and you stop taking care of yourself. I don’t know about you, but I became a huge fan of elastic waistbands and scrunchies after becoming a mom. Makeup? What’s that? Some days I am lucky to take a shower and brush my teeth.
Besides the problem of frightening the neighbors with my appearance, my overall health has not been a priority. I forgot to eat most days when my daughter was an infant and these days I still occasionally deem Goldfish an acceptable meal. Doctor and dentist visits have fallen by the wayside and you do not even want to know the last time I have seen the inside of a gym!
This all-consuming selflessness…is it really the best thing for my daughter? Sure, she knows that I love her and would do anything for her. But, would I want her to grow up and follow my lead? No way! I want her to know that taking care of yourself is important and one should never sacrifice their health or well-being…even when given the gift of parenthood.
3 Ways to Practice Self-Love
I have begun to realize that self-love like being on an airplane. You know how the flight attendants tell you to adjust your oxygen mask first before assisting your child? That is kind of what I need to do. I need to ensure that I can help and love myself and then I will be able to provide my daughter with what she needs.
1. Self-Love Means Making and Keeping Appointments
If my doctor or dentist is reading this, I just want to say I am sorry! I know I am at least three months overdue! Attending to your health has to be the number one priority. (Do as I say, not as I do.) How can I expect to care for my daughter effectively if I am sick or have a toothache? That’s right. I can’t. First, on my self-love list is to reschedule these very important appointments!
Missing face time with my doctor and dentist are not the only appointments I have been breaking, unfortunately. I am guilty of breaking plans with girlfriends, too. A night out with the girls sounds great when we plan it, but as the date approaches, I can’t help but think how much work it seems. I have to get dressed and put on makeup? This whole mom thing is exhausting and if I have a night off, I want to binge watch Netflix and drink wine in my jammies!
However, as much as I love Netflix, I love my friends more. Making time for them has to be a priority. They could come over and watch Netflix with me! Whatever our plans may be, if I may a commitment, I need to stick to it!
2. Self-Love Means Taking Greater Care in My Appearance
As a work-from-home teacher, it is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy that I will spend the entire week in sweats. Logically, this makes sense. I need to be comfortable as I am attempting to teach our youth while simultaneously wrangling a toddler and keeping up with household chores.
If I were a Real House Wife of Wherever and had an entire team of people to help me clean my house, dress me, do my hair, and paint my face with layers of camera-ready makeup, it might be different. But, it’s just me. Eyelash and hair extensions are not exactly practical.
However, showering before 3 p.m. is possible. Actually, this should just be a rule. My other rule is to wear something that makes me feel pretty at least one day a week. This is usually the day I go into the office to meet with students, but I am trying to branch out to one other day.
I have to say the one thing that has really helped me accomplish this mission lately is Stitch Fix. You set up your account and designate your sizes and style preferences. A personal stylist reviews your style profile and sends you five items that they think will be perfect for you. You keep what you want and send the rest back.
The past two months, I have kept all five items! As a busy, working mom, I seriously do not have time to shop. And if shopping were left up to me, I would probably buy more sweatpants. My stylist has been sending me great pieces that are casual enough for home but can easily transition into the office with the right accessories.
The other great aspect of Stitch Fix is that my stylist selects pieces that I would never think of for myself, but absolutely love when I put them on. Last month, my stylist sent me one of those trendy quilted vests that are all the rage on Pinterest. I would never have picked it up in the store, but it is the perfect layering piece! The stylist even includes a card with outfit ideas, so I get to feel pretty, but it is totally effortless.
*The links above are referral links. There is no additional cost to you, but I may receive a credit on my next fix, should you decide to check them out!
3. Self-Love Means Making Time for YourSELF!
I mentioned earlier how much I would love to binge watch Netflix with a glass of wine in hand. However, if Netflix is on, it is probably playing Sofia the First and instead of wine, I am holding my daughter’s apple juice.
My birthday is in a few days and when I asked what I want, I say the first thing that pops into my head. The one thing I want more than anything is…a nap. I want to lay in bed and read a book until I fall asleep…by myself. No toddler crawling all over me, not even my dog laying in the crook of my knees. I want just a little nap all by lonesome.
If a nap is not your idea of a good time (but it does sound heavenly, right?), the important thing is to set aside time each day or each week that is just for you. Tracey mentioned going to get a mani/pedi. Or maybe it is a drink with the girls or a few hours at the coffee shop sipping a latte and reading a good book.
I am sure that you have a list of a million things you could do with your “me time”, it is the making of the time that is often troublesome! One thing I have begun doing is getting up even earlier. I know, I know, I just said I need sleep. And I totally do, but in lieu of sleep, especially when I am suffering from insomnia, I just get up.
Now, here is the key. If you get up even thirty minutes before you normally do, you must do something just for you. Normally, when I cannot sleep, I get up and just start working, which makes me wired and agitated. Don’t do this! Get up and savor that cup of coffee. Or read a book. Go for walk. Do yoga. Even watch television!
Whatever you do, just enjoy this peaceful time to yourself. This is the time where all is still. Everything is quiet. Soon, your kids will be laughing and yelling. There will be the never-ending “To Do” list to tackle. You will be running amok. Use this time to be alone and thoroughly enjoy your own company. Give yourself a little love!