*This post is sponsored by Curel. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow The Mama Notes to stay in business and for me to produce content!
Oh, self care. A term we all hear a lot about these days, probably because most of us seem busier than ever, leaving little time to care for ourselves. Looking back I think I was pretty good about self care before I was a mom, I had much more time on my hands and could do what I wanted when I wanted essentially – so leisurely shopping trips and coffee dates and frequent manicures were part of my weekly routine and I didn’t think anything of it. Now that I have a 2 year old to be responsible for and limited childcare the picture looks much different — and drastically so. It’s one part of motherhood I’ve really struggled with and don’t often talk too much about. I’ve always been very independent, spent nearly 5 years living alone in NYC and truly need my alone time. It helps me to be a better mom, fuels my inspiration and drive for work and lets me recharge. Without realizing it, over the past 2 years I’ve snuck in different bits of self care into my week and here’s what they are. Most of them are simple pleasures that I personally enjoy, I think the key is finding time to do little things that you love when you can . Here are mine:
SHOWER & BATH
Yes, most of us take a shower daily but when I became pregnant with Piper and couldn’t have a glass of wine after a long day I took to making long showers replace it. In those early weeks and months of motherhood I still looked forward to my showers, though they weren’t always as long they were my escape and alone time. I try to take a bath a few times a month (but wish it was more)! I have fun testing new scrubs and bath products and just finished trying Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer for the past month. I love this moisturizer because you apply it right before you hop out of the shower onto wet skin, it quickly absorbs into your open pores and you towel dry as normal. I’ve not tried lotion that actually hydrates my skin this well in a long time and I swear it’s because I’m applying it to wet skin, it also doesn’t leave a greasy feeling and keeps your skin supple all day! I use it when I shower in the morning and with my nightly shower in the evening, too.
SET UP RE-OCCURING “ME TIME”
I highly suggest doing this as soon as you become a mother (or if you’re not a mom, as soon as life starts feeling too busy to make time for yourself)– work with your partner, family, babysitter or friends to set up time for yourself that happens every week or every month. Piper has a sleepover with her grandparents on average 2x a month, most of the time it’s to help with work obligations I have or a date night — and my favorite part is always the morning after before I go pick her up. I wake up, make myself coffee, spend a while on Pinterest and reading and it feels totally indulgent and so necessary at the same time. I also have friends that take turns with their spouse having a solo afternoon or day “off” duty to focus on themselves and I love that idea.
BOOK YOURSELF AN APPOINTMENT
This is a newer routine for me but I’m so bad at taking the time to get my hair or nails done so I’ve started booking appointments further in advance. Then I have them in my schedule and really look forward to the outing. I accumulated a lot of gift cards and have really been enjoying massages lately, too! I often feel guilty about using my childcare to tend to personal needs like this but I’ve found it to be so worth it.
MAKE PLANS WITH FRIENDS
Tending to my friendships is a huge method of self care for me. Over the past few years I’ve felt my time be pulled further and further away from my friendships thanks to work, motherhood, buying a home etc…. and focusing on my friendships and making them an important part of my life has made such a positive impact. I work to set up plans in advance with friends, and I also say YES to more spontaneously, ignore my to-do list and just get that coffee or dinner out. I also simply TEXT my friends a lot more and try to stay in touch. It may not sound like self care but talking to my friends in the evening or throughout the day is for me!
HAVE A FAVORITE MEAL DURING THE WEEK
This sounds kinda silly, but when I make my weekly menu I try to keep things pretty healthy and varied but with one exception, I always try to plan one ‘treat’ meal that I love to eat during the week. It’s a tiny pick-me-up but come dinner time it feels so good to eat comfort food in the middle of a long week.
I recently shared on Instagram that I’ve been trying to walk daily until I give birth — it’s relaxing, clears my head, gives me 20 minutes of fresh air and is great exercise (not to mention hopefully helps this baby move into position)!
Images by Lauren Swann