September 25, 2013

Beautiful and Good Things


"Luxury is not a necessity to me,
but beautiful and good things are." 
— Anaïs Nin

In the grand scheme of things, it's of little significance. Yet it took me 3 months to the day when Walter was born- probably even longer, because I can't remember the last time. I pulled the bottle from the drawer, balanced myself on the side of the bathtub, and painted my nails.

Only one or two smudges, glossed over with another coat of shimmery red that had just a hint of purple in the right light. Millie examined them and said, "I like your nails, Mama."

When I first heard the term "self care", I rolled my eyes and groaned a little. After all, aren't we all pretty fabulous at being selfish, putting what we want ahead of everything else? But I realized real self care isn't a selfish thing. We need nourished. We need rest. It's okay to sometimes remember that our hearts and souls and minds and bodies are worth looking after.

It's for everyone, not just mothers. But what no mother realizes is just how much she'll lose herself. At least, I didn't. There is always someone who needs you, always, and there is no pause or break, not one minute of let up. It is beautiful and humbling to be so needed, so necessary in someone else's small world. Still, it means we become mamas, and wives, and forget what it feels like to be that twenty year old girl who dressed up in high heels, flirted with boys, and had an empty home to go back to at night. We can't remember what it's like to meander though a bookstore and not make a beeline for the children's section, or spend hours and dollars at a salon just because we can. We can't remember bedtimes that aren't an enormous struggle, or even what the house sounds like when we're alone.


So these moments, however small and silly, are my self care. That bottle of paint, my minute away. The polish that's already chipping a little, my reminder that I matter, too.

I looked at my hands and told Sky I would be blogging about it.

And I did.

13 kind comments from you:

Cat said...

Worth doing, and worth blogging about. Glad you got some you time.

Julie Monroe said...

Great post! I'm trying to do the same thing while my husband is away at training. Taking time for me, going to the gym, doing my hair. Even though I'm not a mother yet I feel like I've let so many of these habits go.

Karen said...

It's sometimes so hard to find that "me" time but when you do find it - it makes life oh so much better :) And I really love that nail colour.

blm said...

amen. i'm very type a and like to be in charge of everything, but also a textbook introvert in that i literally crave QUIET. it's not a very good match with my chatty husband and daughter, so i always try to plan like an hour a week, away from work and sometimes just locked in my room for "mom timeout," that's JUST for me. i've taken to waking up at 5am so i can get in a workout before the other two wake up. it's SO refreshing!

Jessica Lynn said...

I don't know why I didn't take time for myself earlier. I had a mini breakdown the other day because I was just feeling so stuck and claustrophobic (living in a hotel room wasn't/isn't helping). I didn't ask (I feel bad about that now), but I told my husband that he was taking care of the baby and I'd be at Starbucks for an hour. He was totally fine with that and was the one who said we should've been doing that a lot more often. That hour away was pure bliss. We've decided to do that at least once a week so I can have a little bit of time to myself. I still haven't had time to paint my nails (I actually keep a bottle in my purse in case I ever have some time to paint them and let them dry—HA!), but I think that day will come soon.

Chantal said...

I'm actually going to write a post similar to this in a week or two. Mothers need to take care of themselves, as little or big as that means to them. I make sure to get a shower every day or else I don't feel like myself. Going to work out helps too. Just because you have a child that rules your day, doesn't mean you can't take a moment to breathe and be a woman, not a mother.

Allison said...

I actually just used all of my personal money this month to get a pedicure, gel manicure and an eyebrow wax. Best money I've spent in a long time. My nails look lovely, the massage chair was divine and most importantly, I feel like a real person again. One who cares about herself. It feels so nice to feel feminine.

Like Jessica Lynn, my husband encouraged me to take a little time for myself more often, as well. He could tell that two hours away did me and our family a world of good.

So interesting to see all of us ladies in the same boat, and we wouldn't have realized we weren't alone unless you had shared first. Thanks!

Erinn C.D. said...

As per usual, I like this :)

Fran said...

As strange as this sounds, I needed this today.

Mrs.B said...

I think this weekend I'll be locking myself in the bathroom with some wine and a bath. It's been too long. You are beautiful!

Jen said...

Self-care is so incredibly important no matter how small or big it is. I love everything about this post.

Semper Wifey said...

Good for you! It really is just the little moments of solitude and doing something completely for yourself that can refresh you the most. :)

threeconejitos said...

totally made me cry. Self-care is such a big deal. I never realized how important it was either until E was a year old already.

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