In between overdoing it

Posts tagged ‘morning routine’

Month 4 of Taking Care of You: Pamper Yourself

Pamper YourselfThis is the fourth installment in the “Taking Care of Me” series. In month one we examined Habits, month two we looked at Loving Ourselves, and month three we examined Letting Go Of Something Toxic. This month is about Pampering Yourself.

This month, for the first time in years, I actually looked at my face. Sounds pretty crazy right? For years I have not taken the time to look in the mirror. With how busy of mom life is each morning, I would wash my face, brush my teeth and get on with reading for the day. The hustle and bustle of the increasing morning responsibilities with children chipped away at my make-up routine.

Eventually what little primping I did evaporated. Jewelry and accessorizing was a practice that went away along time ago. Morning life just became too busy to take the time to stare in the mirror outside of  a cursory glace as I ran out the door. (This was pretty much to make sure my hair wasn’t sticking up and I didn’t have baby food anywhere.)

Never having been a girly girl, I ;et go that at this point in life I just didn’t  have the time to paint my nails, put on lipstick regularly and select complementary accessories. Yes, I would stare in jealously at the women at work who always looked put together and ready for the day.

I vowed to myself someday I would take the time to take better care of myself. Finally I would use the trendy facial mask collecting dust on my vanity. Or at any rate I would at least fully dry my hair before I left the house. In reality those things never happened, I never made the time. Feeding the baby, throwing in a load of laundry, and packing lunches. Those things had to happen first.

So I let the primping and coloring go. I stopped caring about doing my hair and make-up. Hey, I was raising a family, lipstick had to take a backseat. So what if I felt disheveled and a bit embarrassed when I got to work? None of it really mattered when I thought about all I had done before leaving the house each morning.  Looking back I give myself and any working mom a pat on the back for managing to get to work at all.

Then one day I looked in the mirror. I REALLY looked in the mirror. Who was this person? My skin looked terrible. The big dark circles under my eyes make me look like I got double face punched. My eyebrows! They were an Italian girls nightmare. Suddenly the acne that had plagued me disappeared but in its place was this patchy dry, sagging dullness. My skin didn’t look like this before. My face looked tired…and old. In my hustle, bustle and self-neglect, I had aged.It was written all over my face.

The process of change began by the purchase of moisturizer. A product me and my formerly oily skin, stayed far away from. Then with the help of some Younique and Sephora samples I stared to experiment with other items like primers, creams and foundations. I never used a ton of make-up due to my acne. Everything I used would break me out so I kept it very basic and never experimented much.

After about 5 (or more) years of not taking the time to care for my skin and face, I was shocked and saddened by the changes that took place. This could not be me. I didn’t look like this. Who was this person? But I knew the answer was staring at me like that new tub of moisturizer.

This is the mom when stayed up with her restless daughter or sick son. The daughter who buried her father, and grandmother. She is the wife who tried to keep the house quite and let her husband sleep in because he worked all night. This is the caregivier who cooks a weeks worth of food in one day so her family will be well feed. This face is me. Maybe not the 20-year-old me, but it was me all the same. And it was time I took care of her.

This month I (literally) came face to face with my face. Deciding instead of pining for the skin I once had, to take the time to accentuate what I am now. Instead of noticing my new wrinkles and dull skin, I need to take a moment to pamper myself. Discover and apply some products that make me feel good about the person I have become. The tired mom… well she is still here but I no longer have a baby crying through the night and my red, bumpy, painful acne is a thing of the past.  I can embrace the face I have, with all the wonderful experiences that are etched into it.One year of taking care of me

For the first time in my life I am learning about make-up. Finding joy in the pigments and products. Exploring how proper skin care and application can transform a tired face into one of brightness. Honestly, I didn’t know how transformative proper skin care could be.

Learning all about the amazing array of products, what they do and how to apply them has been fun. Pampering myself was never a phrase in my vocabulary but venturing into this area has been so restorative, emotionally and physically. Overall I just feel better about myself when I use these new products and take the time to apply them regularly.

Although it has not been easy. Some mornings I have had to force myself to set aside time. Literally locking my husband and kids out of the room until I was done. I have even started night routine. Before I would just crash into bed from the exhaustion of the day. Now I am preparing myself for bed.  This month I learned a lesson in valuing myself and making my face a priority. It is not a great deal of time, but it is a enough to get back to the me I need to be. The one that I now see on a daily basis in the mirror.

This month is about Pampering Yourself. This could mean scheduling a spa treatment or massage. Finally getting the expensive purse you have been loving from far. Or just stopping to take a needed nap on a Saturday afternoon. This month make a special effort to treat yourself right and give to yourself without blame, guilt or regret because you are important and you matter.

 

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What I Learned From My Day Away

From wordsonimages.com

Image from WordsonImages.com

Having a day off of making dinner, cleaning the house, driving to baseball, doing laundry and the regular household routine, gave me time to think. It gave me a moment to reflect on things in my life and things I have been missing. Here are some things I learned about myself.

  1. If it were up to me I would watch no TV. On a typical night my husband will flip on whatever the newest as how is and I will dutifully sit beside him and watch. However, it never really occupied to me that I could care less we what we watched. It was the act of sitting beside him that I enjoyed. I discover that I had no desire to turn on the TV when I was by myself.tv-remote-1480367
  2. I missed having time to getting ready in the morning. Doing my hair and putting on make up. Most mornings, I barely make it through a shower before the kids are at the door asking for something or needing some help of some sort. I love them and I love to help them, but this has always left me rushing to get myself ready and neglecting myself in the process. This process leaves my hair only partially dried, thrown into a bun and the makeup left on the counter unused. In addition I am usually scrambling to get clothes on before I have to get in the car and battle traffic. Not a great way to start the day. Unprepared and rushed.
  3. I forgot to eat. For years food has been my comfort. My reward. My friend. While I was away I did things I enjoyed and I didn’t want to stop to eat. Matter of fact, it wasn’t even an idea in my head until my stomach growled. Doing something for myself made me feel energized and full of life. Instead of bored, underappreciated and seeking comfort.
  4. I need quiet time. It was nice to have a moment where I was alone with my thoughts. When I was younger this would occur when I would go for long walks alone. Before I had children and a household to manage. I would think through things that bothered me. Reflect and process the my feelings. I didn’t even know I was missing this time until this weekend.
  5. I need to live my life for me in addition to others. I realized how I feel is just as important as how my family feels. I need to love myself in addition to loving them. Not constantly sacrificing my wants and needs for something they are not even asking me to do. I also have to realize that by trying to do it all I am handicapping my children. How will they ever grow up into self sufficient people if I continue to do everything for them. They will come to expect everyone to do everything for them and never experience the pride in accomplishing things for themselves. Likewise, I need to pull back. I need to stop trying to do it all and remember I don’t want to be the person who is always tired, frustrated and yelling. I don’t want to be someone who has unrealistic expectations that they are trying to achieved. I need to remember that it is ok to do something for myself every now and them. I am worth that.
So as you can see I learned much more than cake decorating this weekend. But this is a lesson we can all benefit from. So I challenge you to take a moment to take stock of your daily routine and examine where you can find some time for yourself. Even if it is just a moment to sit and think. We all need a moment to ourselves. Be sure to find yours.
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