Before I became a mom I stayed pretty on top of my self-care. I regularly got massages and mani/pedis. I spent lots of time with my girlfriend and family and I was pretty active (sometimes involuntarily since I lived in NYC and you have to walk everywhere). But I’ll be the first to admit that since having my son almost 3 years ago, I haven’t been paying as much attention to myself as I should. My biweekly at-home spa nights disappeared… at first, it was hard to even get a shower in! And you can forget about massages and mani/pedis.
I’m proud to say, however, that I’ve been taking charge of this aspect of my life in the past few weeks though. Part of it is because my second pregnancy has been way harder on me, not necessarily on my body, but most definitely on my mental health and my emotions. I just HAVE to take some time for myself or I find myself bursting out in tears and feeling so overwhelmed I don’t know what to do. So, I’ve gotten back into my mani/pedi routine every two weeks, I went for a prenatal massage yesterday, I’ve been giving myself facials at home, and most importantly, I’ve started therapy.
At points in our lives, there are feelings that pop up that can’t just be handled by chatting with your girlfriends over a few glasses (or bottles, let’s be honest) of wine or by talking with your partner. I haven’t really been a regular with therapy, I went a couple of times when I was much younger to deal with some family trauma but after that, I didn’t think I “needed” to see one. Now I realize how silly I was and that therapy is probably something that everyone should wholeheartedly participate in whenever they feel like they are dealing with larger than life emotions or problems. I’ve only been to a few sessions and I know I have a long way to go, but it’s already helped me verbalize some emotions and issues I couldn’t quite get a grasp on when they were just rattling around in my head.
Now, I know that therapy is taboo in a lot of Latin families and I’m here to squash that entire notion. Going to therapy is not some “gringo” wish and it doesn’t mean you’re crazy or weak. It means you’re smart enough and strong enough to recognize when you need help and to seek it out.
I’m not where I need to be fully in my self-care regimen, I still need to carve out “me-time” where I just get to do something once a week that revolves around nothing else but what I want to do at that moment in time. I’m guilty of that same thing so many of us moms do, whenever I get free time, I fill it with errands or tasks around the house instead of ever just sitting back and taking advantage of that time to take a bath or read a book. Sure, you don’t want your house to look like a bomb went off, but at the same time, it’s more important that YOU don’t go off, right?
So this is a call to all the mommies out there to harness that full moon energy and channel it into yourself and loving yourself enough to take care of all of you, whether its your skin, your nails, your body or your mental health, because we can’t be our best selves with our children unless we’re feeling good.