I bought a tin of Marcona almonds, which are fried in olive
oil and sprinkled with salt, priced at $8 for four ounces of nuts. That same week, I treated myself to a manicure and overpriced pressed
I regret nothing.
These are minor indulgences, which remind me
of my former life, back before I became a mom. More importantly,
I've chosen to keep them as part of my life now, toddler and all.
When I held my daughter for the first time, I
wanted so desperately to be a good mother—the kind she deserved—and I
took that to mean that I had to devote my life to my baby to the
exclusion of my own care. To do otherwise would be selfish, and good
moms weren't selfish.
I came around to the idea that being a good mom wasn't about doing everything yourself, and that it's OK to reach out for help.
I tended to each newborn cry and relished each baby giggle. Even as my sense of self started to fade away, I firmly believed I
was doing my motherly duty. My pajama-clad, oily-haired, baby-wearing
haze lasted nearly a year. Toward the end, I was physically and
This sounds like something out of a Lauren Weisberger novel, but I was
saved by a woman at the Chanel makeup counter. I had a special
occasion coming up, and I realized I needed foundation. I told the
girl it had been so long since I'd worn makeup, because I'd just had a baby (really, a 10-month-old).
She pulled out her brushes and patted a sparkly shadow on my eyelids,
swept blush on the apples of my cheeks and swished some color onto my lips.
I looked at myself in the mirror and instantly perked up.
I was also depriving my child from the benefit of a mother with a full life of her own.
There was a lot more than makeup missing from my life. Slowly, I started getting out of the house more. I'd
kiss my baby and husband goodbye, grab a book and head to a nearby
coffee shop for one or two chapters. I came around to the idea that
being a good mom wasn't about doing everything yourself, and that
it's OK to reach out for help. This evolved into something more meaningful than manicures. I ended up dipping my toe back into an
industry from my pre-mom life and started a freelance consulting
practice from my home.
I also started writing again, which felt like coming to a feast after a long fast.
cannot serve from an empty vessel."
read this quote by Eleanor Brownn the other day and it perfectly sums
up why moms need to be vigilant about their own self-care. I'd
drained my vessel, but I wasn't only depriving myself. I was also
depriving my child from the benefit of a mother with a full life of
are many ways to care for ourselves. Some might find happiness in a
pedicure, a fresh haircut or a nap. Others might need time to go on a hike,
meditate or pray. Self-care
isn't selfish—it's a vital replenishing that allows you to continue
giving to your family.