*this picture was taken for this article I wrote- “Tips on Taking Family Photos from Someone Who Hates Having Her Picture Taken.”
I think watching our mothers has a great impact on how we view certain things, certain things like self care. Is self care indulgent or necessary? I think our mothers have a large influence on our view of this. If your mother never took time for herself, you’re going to see this as the norm. I am fortunate to have a mother who looked at self care as not indulgent but necessary. She took time to get regular massages. That was her big thing. It’s my big thing now too. She also spent a lot of time tending her garden for the shear joy of singing to her plants and being outside.
Because of my mom, I grew up believing that the more I gave to myself, the more I could ask of myself, and the more I have to give to other people. This is why I don’t feel guilty taking daily breaks for myself away from my child. It’s why I set aside once a week to “sabbath” and don’t cook or do chores. I just relax at home and watch a Netflix movie, flip through magazines at the gym, or go to the mall with my boy and get a foot massage while he’s napping in his stroller.
How did your mom view self care?
If you have the tendency to put yourself last and don’t prioritize self care, ask yourself if this was something normal growing up, watching your mom. Ask yourself if this pattern is serving you and if it’s the same message you want to send your children. I truly believe that everyone is better off, mom, dad, and kiddos when mommy takes time to nourish herself. For you it might mean asking your husband to take the kid every day for 30 minutes to meditate, read a book, or sit in a bath. Maybe your act of self care is taking time to exercise every day or having coffee with a friend without baby once a week. Whatever it is you need to feel restored and rejuvenated, make space in your life for it, every day if possible. That is your act of self care.
The Perfect Gift to Give Yourself Has Cheap Childcare
So what is this perfect gift you can give yourself this holiday season? If you don’t have one already, I would recommend getting a gym membership. Why? Maybe you’ll workout, maybe you won’t. But you will have two hours of daily time for yourself sans baby. At my gym, I pay $1 an hour for childcare. A DOLLAR! That’s because my gym membership is $29.99 and childcare is $10.00. I take my two year old to the gym 5 days a week for 2 hours a day.
Do you know why I love my gym daycare besides the price? They don’t change diapers, all the kiddos and childcare attendants are in one big room surrounded by windows, and this means I can see everything that’s going on. This comforts my mind.
What I do
Do you know what I do at the gym? I’m the girl who never works out. They know I got my membership for the childcare. I am at the gym typing right now. I take two hours a day, four days a week to work on my blog. It’s my passion; it’s meaningful work. Blogging feeds my soul because it has nothing to do with motherhood or babies or being a wife. It’s just my thing. I sit in the smoothie bar for these precious two hours, and I allow myself the pleasure and blessing that is meaningful work. It allows me time to be creative and entrepreneurial. I get to be my own boss.
On Fridays when I sabbath, I come in and bring style magazines from the library to flip through. I sometimes sit in the sauna, sometimes sit in the hot tub. Sometimes I just bring my laptop and surf the Internet for two hours. You can bring your laptop and watch Hulu or Netflix. Imagine getting to watch an entire movie from start to finish without any distractions. Doesn’t this sound lovely?! You could bring your favorite nail polish and mask and have yourself a spa day in the women’s locker room.
What Can You do with this gift?
Maybe you don’t have entrepreneurial ambitions like I do. That’s okay. This is still the perfect gift for you because there are so many other things you can do. You can use the gym to actually work out (novel idea) and take a long, hot shower in peace! Or you can bring a book and sit in silence for two hours reading uninterrupted.
One of my friends loves adult coloring books. You could bring a coloring book and go to town on that scrapbooking project you’ve put aside.
Let me tell you what a lifesaver this gym membership has been. Who knew two hours alone at the gym could make me feel more sane and more ready to give my baby quality time and attention. It’s just magnificent.
The other benefit that a gym membership has is that it gets you out the door and on a schedule. I know I do better on a schedule instead of just having an open ended day as a stay at home mom.
So, what do you think? Isn’t this the perfect gift to give yourself? Do you have a gym membership? Do you use it to have me time?
*Friday Find is a weekly feature on this fashion and beauty blog for apple shaped budget conscious women. Would you like tips and fashion inspiration for your specific body type? Fill out your email address below to get your free capsule wardrobe and my exclusive monthly newsletter–