I’ve had a box of products sitting, patiently waiting for me, since October when my parents brought them along for the ride when they drove from Newfoundland to Calgary. I opened the treats from Good On Ya eagerly and shared stories of the goodies on instagram but it wasn’t until just last week… three months later, that I opened the box to use the products. It had taken me a solid six months post baby’s arrival but I finally felt like I could take a little time for me… These products along with a recent Mother’s Village meet up where Jennifer of Sacred Nest discussed self care with the group got me thinking about my own self care practices… they’d become non-existent.
Self care… I didn’t have to think about it much before babe… all my time was my time all of the time… self care before babe was a slow shopping (twacking around stores)… it was loooong baths… sloooow time crafting… painting… sewing… knitting… basically whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, breakfast/brunch/lunch/supper out whenever and wherever. It was watching endless hours of funny tv shows or movies with my love. DIYing project on a whim. Every day I practiced self care.
I admit I resisted the notion that life would change so dramatically post baby, like I initially resisted maternity clothing (until the day I tried on my first pair of maternity jeans… hello comfort! ha!). Saying that our little one IS BUSY is an understatement. I think we have a real wild child on our hands folks… he’s army crawling and pushing up… he’s been pulling himself up on things… he’s just 7 months! I spend the majority of my time now chasing Finley around… and then helping him into naps… he’s never been the one to just fall into sleep when laid down in a “drowsy state” LOL…
After Jennifer’s talk I asked her to share a write up about self care that I would be able to share with you. Jennifer has this to say on the topic of self care:
Women and mothers take care of everyone else every day. We are in tune with the needs of others and we have a great ability to nurture. It is wonderful but can also be incredibly draining. Yet, we rarely nurture ourselves and continue to struggle making this a priority. For most of us, self-care is often made up of taking a shower, or engaging in basic hygiene care or maybe even a night out with girlfriends, pedi/mani sounds about right? All of these are wonderful options for self-care but unfortunately they are often just not good enough. You see, self care is not a once-a-month endeavour.
Finding time for yourself is HARD work! In fact, you will need to fight for this and make self-care time a priority. You deserve the same level of care that you spend most of your day ensuring that everyone else receives. It will take some planning to get this right and just like anything, it will take practice and repetition to incorporate into your every day as a habit. Set healthy boundaries with your loved ones so they know why it is so important for you and for them. After all, how can you achieve best standard of care for others if you don’t provide yourself with care to begin with?
Self care is something you do for YOU. It restores and recharges your body and soul. It is nurturing. It is a practice, a daily ritual of sorts. Its something that fills your bucket every day. The constant repetition of tiny little habits. When your bucket is empty, you have very little to give but when your bucket is full, it spills over to those around you. Self care is creating space around you, physically, emotionally, and mentally. When thinking of a self-care practice, it is important to think about what brings you joy. What nurtures your soul? A self-care practice can be anything from solitude, creative expression, cloud watching, reading, spending time in nature, quiet time, meditating, or journaling. Schedule it into your calendar so you ensure you block out a specific time for yourself. Over time, self care will just become a part of you, a habit. Of course, you will need to be flexible but it will act as a gentle reminder that you deserve a little mothering each day too!
This box of beautiful Good On Ya products from home (aka Newfoundland) and Jennifer’s talk, have helped me remember to not just maintain the basics but also to fill my bucket so that I’m in great shape to take care of the ones I love. If you can smell a hamster cage but you don’t have pet hamsters it’s time to get yourself into the shower… and then pick a thing that you love that fills your bucket… start with just one little thing and take a couple moments every day or every second day and do that thing for you…
Honestly for the first few months postpartum I barely felt like I could do the basic self maintenance – the baby needed holding (and I needed to hold him) and baby needed entertaining and help getting into his naps. I’m am aware that I was on extreme high alert the first three months post delivery after our nerve wracking pregnancy and nicu stay… We cosleep, and for the first 5 months Finley’s naps were on me… now they’re next to me after I nurse him to sleep. It wasn’t until just recently that I’ve felt okay leaving him while he’s napping… I turn on the Lollipop cam once he is asleep and I ooze myself off the bed… I’m not good at doing much while he naps yet… I’m still working on that… the first few times I sat outside of the room watching him on the iPad… but I’m learning. I’m typing this right now as Finely sleeps upstairs and I’m watching to see when he wakes up so that I can sprint up the stairs to him.
I admit, still now, most days I don’t even want to think of “wasting my time” to shower AND dry my hair… I’d rather be playing with babe, tidying up, working on a project BUT with the encouragement of my loved ones I’m beginning to fit in more self care time, even it is just a few little things here and there. Like Jennifer said “the constant repetition of tiny little habits”… so now self care looks like a swing by starbucks, when I’m out running errands, to make the winter driving a little warmer, if I’m home then it’s nice cups of chamomile tea throughout the day… I signed up for a weekly ukulele lessons at Cornerstone Music Cafe, and since starting lessons I practice and play songs and sing to Finely every morning when we first get up to play. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy being able to play and sing for Finely.
Self care is now a lovely Kelp Hydrating Mask while I’m getting ready to hop into the shower (multitask and wash that bad boy off in the shower)… and a few extra me minutes after the shower to moisturize with Bareneed Body Butter. I am working on maintaining the basics but I’m also working on being mindful to add in the tiny little habits to fill my bucket. Don’t get me wrong I’m no self care pro but I’m working on it…
Another self care practice I shared about in another post is gratitude journaling… sounds a little hippy dippy but the outcome for my mindset was incredible… friends even noticed that there was something different when I was taking the time to journal. That being said I’m working on fitting this quick little practice back into my day to help establish and keep a positive pattern of thinking… with just a quick little 5 minutes every morning. If you’re interested in checking out this lovely little journal (they even have one for your littles now) here’s a link to their website: Five Minute Journal
And now before I wrap this up I have a treat for you… the lovely Megan from Good On Ya has created a 20% off code for my readers! So treat yo self and checkout their products and pick a few to amp up your self care practice… to fill your bucket… when you’re checking out use code “featheringmynest” and the discount will be applied! Thank you Megan! I’ve been eyeing up their jade roller… off to shop!