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As a mother, sometimes I feel pulled in a million different directions. Volunteer here, go on this field trip, bring snacks for this class, get new designs in the shop, get a new post up, take this picture, document that moment, go on a date, go to a girl’s night, check up on this person, go to the grocery store, make dinner….make a dinner that everyone will eat, exercise so you can finally fit into normal clothes… and the list goes on. A lot of that list entails things to do for others and the things that aren’t for others usually get put off for another day or another week or another month. Why? For me it is because of guilt. What is with the guilt of doing things for yourself?
After I had Madeleine I had a pretty serious talk with my mom who was staying with us (to help with everything!). She asked me what I planned to do when she left. What do you mean what am I going to do? I am going to drown obviously. Ha! I had no idea how I was going to survive without that extra helping hand. She looked at me sternly and told me that while I did have to worry about housework, school schedules, the children, she was mostly worried about me. So often we put ourselves last to get everything done for everyone else that it takes a toll on us- we are human after all. How can we continue to nourish others when we aren’t nourishing ourselves as well?
This Christmas season as we think about the perfect gifts to give to others, let’s also remember to give ourselves little gifts as well. When I say gifts I don’t mean material things (although those cute shoes can be included!). I mean meaningful gifts that will relax, revive and recharge you as the holiday season continues. Here are 5 gifts that you can give to yourself:
The gift of being “enough”: I know you want to do it all and be the best at everything but the truth is no one can. Trust me, I stress myself out over doing the best instead of my best. There is a difference. We all have to learn when our best is good enough. You may not be the best baker but you are a decent enough one to bake a box cake. You may not be the best at being crazy and spontaneous with your kids but you are good at teaching them how to use their imaginations and be creative. You may not have your house spotless on a daily basis but you keep it clean enough that it isn’t a health or safety hazard (haha!). And that is okay! Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. It’s enough. You are doing enough. You are enough.
The gift of good friends: As adults don’t you find it harder to make friends? And because it is hard why would you want to deal with those that aren’t good friends? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Seriously. There are people that can just suck you dry and then rain negativity. Again- Ain’t nobody got time for that. I am not saying be mean or rude to them but don’t waste your energy on people like that. On the flipside, don’t be that kind of “friend” either. There are people that will love you and help you whenever you need them to. They are the ones that laugh and cry with you. That don’t care if your are wearing the same sweats as yesterday and have baby spit up on your shirt. They tell you when you have food stuck in your teeth. Or set up meals for you after you just had a baby. These are the people you want in your life and remember to be that person for those in your life as well.
The gift of saying “No”: This goes back to the first gift. We can’t be great at everything and we can’t do everything. I know you want to volunteer at your son’s school and watch your friend’s kids and plan the social gathering of the month and host dinner parties every week and on and on. But you can’t. And you shouldn’t. This will just burn you out. Prioritize. The few things you decide you want to dedicate your precious and short amount of time to will get your best and won’t just be a check mark on your to-do list. It is okay to say “no.” Say it with me: no. No. Sorry, I can’t. No, I won’t be able to make it tomorrow. No, I can’t make a meal tomorrow but I can the day after. No, I just can’t take another project on. See? It’s okay. When you say no to some things you will have time to say yes to other things like finally working on sewing that blanket for your daughter or drawing up a prototype of that idea you had or even just drawing because it makes you happy.
The gift of attention: When you start prioritizing things in your life you start having time for more important things. One of those things should be you. Yes, you. Having that “me” time is so important. It gives you the chance to actually pay attention to your needs. You can start small like actually taking the time to make yourself a nice lunch instead of eating your kids’ leftovers. It can also be taking that shower and shaving your legs with your new razor. It can be to finally whiten your teeth like you’ve been planning on for the last week. It can be reading a chapter in that book you’ve had on your nightstand for the last month. It can be sitting on the couch and thinking about your goals, your dreams, your plans. Take 5 minutes to pay attention to yourself. You’ll be able to find out about who you are and what you’d like to do.
The gift of confidence: It is amazing that when you prioritize, align your body and mind, become more productive, that you feel so much better about yourself. You can feel great after giving yourself those few minutes a day or several times a day. Those few minutes can recharge you and give you that energy to keep going. So, keep it up! Wear that lipstick to pickup your kids from preschool, buy the shoes you can’t stop thinking about, draw up that business plan for the idea you can’t stop thinking about, ask out your husband. Be confident in those decisions. There is something so beautiful about a confident (not cocky) person. It’s like they can just take on the world and make their dreams happen. You can do it. I know for me I lack confidence in certain things but I can change that. As silly as it sounds I think I’d have more confidence in my smile if my smile was brighter. I have been wanting to get the Crest 3D White Strips Combo Pack but always put them back as I prioritized necessities. But now I feel like it is time. I’ve put it off long enough and I feel confident in my decision to do this. I felt a little embarrassed about the vanity of this desire but I don’t care anymore. It will make me feel more confident and if that will help me achieve more of my goals then… awesome! Others’ opinions of my insecurities won’t bother me because what matters is what I feel most comfortable doing, wearing, reading, creating, writing and so on. Don’t let others’ opinions sway you either. You be you.
As a reminder to gift yourselves these gifts, I made a wallpaper for your phone (because I know you must check it every 10 minutes!). It’s a reminder for you to “treat yo’ self.” Yes, you deserve it, too. Treat others the way you want to be treated and don’t forget to treat yourself like you treat others. Sometimes we are much kinder to others than we are to ourselves. You need to be kind to yourself, too!
I was shopping at Costco for treats for this craft/service project party when I came across these beauty products. I’ve also been putting off getting the Venus Swirl but my legs can’t take it anymore so I went ahead and bought what I needed! With all those cartridges for the razor I knew I wouldn’t be running out any time soon. Even though it is a little pricier to buy in bulk at the time, in the long run it is usually more economical to do so. I just love Costco because of that and I always feel like I’ll have enough for guests and it has everything I need! You can find these products here: