Another Self Reflection Moment!

It has been almost 3 MONTHS since I sat down and threw my thoughts on paper (not actual paper, but you get the idea…). This whole new baby that makes 3 kids + trying to sell a house is NOT easy. I am struggling with organizing my time and my day, but I should get points for trying. This topic has been on my mind for a while and I am working through some personal things with it, so I figured why not put it all out there – be SUPER vulnerable – and see what you all think!

I have always compared myself to other people, finding flaws in me and pointing out the good in them. What I realized is that does nothing positive for me at all. All it does is continue to make me feel bad about myself. Last weekend, my husband went to Arizona for a Fraternity Leadership School and I gave him the hardest time for leaving. I was stuck here in California with no family and my three kids (I promise I love them, but doing it on my own is HARD!)…I had this crazy idea to drive the kids and myself 15 hours to our family reunion in Utah…did I mention I’d be doing it ALL BY MYSELF?!?!?…just to get out of being alone for the weekend….crazy talk right? Well let me reassure you that the trip most definitely did not happen. And the weekend actually was not all that bad…who knew! ha

The thing about this trip that I wanted to take was that Brian felt very strongly that I should not go. I, of course, jumped immediately to some fault he was suggesting I had (not the best driver, could not handle it, would want to turn around after a few hours, etc.) and not the actual reason he was against it – he did not want anything to happen to me and the kids. Our car has been slightly wonky lately and he did not want to put our lives in the somewhat un-trusty hands of that car. I only realized this conclusion after he had left and I sent a rant worthy text to him about the situation. It was then that I realized I had, yet again, looked at my own faults rather than searching for my strengths. He was not trying to bring me down even more – he was wanting to protect me.

All of this brings me back to what I continue to refer to in multiple posts, that I am still struggling to appreciate myself and what I am worth. I feel like I can trace this back to middle school (although it most likely has gone on longer than that!), but I for sure can pinpoint different situations in middle school that continue to feed this negative self-image and viewing others’ lives as WAY better than mine. I received a strong “kick in the butt” from my wonderful husband yet again. The text message he sent in response to my somewhat snarky rant said many things, but one important piece stuck with me. He said “If we are not happy, we only have ourselves to blame”. He is so right. I am the one to blame for my unhappiness. I am the one that can change my thoughts. I am the one that has to change how I feel about myself. I am the one who can make our house a home. I am the one who has to force myself to remove focus on others and put a little focus on myself. I am the first to say I need a break and the first to say no when given the opportunity.

I believe strongly in the statement there is no such thing as a coincidence. My mom is such a positive influence in my life and she continually reminds me of this thought. She says that God has a plan for all of us and these “coincidences” are His way of letting us know He is there and that all things will work out.

If Brian had not gone on to Leadership School, I would not have sent the mean text, which would result in Brian not having to send his reply. If all of this did not happen, I would have never heard the words that I so desperately needed to hear. I am terrible at putting myself first and seeing myself in a positive light. This text made me realize that I am doing myself and those around me a disservice. The more miserable/jealous/incompetent/etc I see myself, the more that projects onto others.

The more I write these thoughts down, the more I hope they stick. So here is my somewhat apology for continuing to repeat these themes throughout some of these posts. I need them repeatedly throughout my life so that I can take them to heart. My hope is that the more I express my frustrations, the more likely I am to work out these personal issues and get past it. I am surrounded by wonderful people in my life who continually remind me of my worth. My mother continues to remind me that I am who I am supposed to be. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter and a daughter of God. I am special. My husband loves me unconditionally – even with the constant self-put downs and nagging. Out of all the people he could have chose, he chose me! My children need me to be the best mommy I can be – and the example that I set for them about self-image and worth needs to be positive. There are so many other people who influence my thoughts and I thank you for being one of them!

If you have made it this far then I thank you! This is a deep down and personal issue that only I can change. Bare with me while I work through this, as it is all an attempt to better myself – for myself – but also for those around me. Here goes another attempt at resetting my internal thoughts and forcing myself to point out the positives! We are always a work in progress – and as long as we are progressing, then that is enough. We are enough.

~xo~

 

Self-Care: Pamper Yourself

This post is long overdue but is coming at the perfect time!

You all know I have been working on increasing my daily self-care and establishing healthy and new routines that will in turn make me a better wife, mother, person. I’ve hit some bumps along the way, most recently with a bout of sickness and sinus gunk that pretty much has put me out of commission. This week is the first week I am feeling almost back to my normal self, so it’s back to the self-care regimen.

The reason I say this post is coming at the perfect time is because Brian and I are taking a weekend getaway, just the two of us (yay!) to Carmel. His mom and sister were flying out to spend some time with us (and by us I mean the kids), and they suggested we go somewhere, take a trip, enjoy the weekend. Little hesitation was spent making the decision! Although, I did go through a small ounce of mom-guilt, being that excited to have a weekend with the hubs, kid free. But I have told myself to stop those thoughts! We deserve it.

These past few months have been stressful with Brian studying for a licensing test and being more stressed at work. We are both looking forward to a weekend away with time to do whatever we want. There really is no schedule (gasp! or spreadsheet, HA) with an itinerary, we are literally driving down and figuring out what we want to do. I have done a little preparation, and found this amazing looking spa called Refuge that I want to check out. With hot and cold pools, a sauna and the option of a massage…it looks like heaven. And a relaxing few hours is much needed for these two tired parents…but now back to self-care!

This post is all about Pampering Yourself and finding what works for you! Some pampering can be as little getting your nails painted (or doing them yourself), taking a bubble bath, a new haircut, buying a new lotion smell or lighting a candle that helps you relax. Seriously, it could be anything to make yourself feel better.

I am a bath girl, with water piping hot. I have found this amazing company that is all about pampering! It’s called Perfectly Posh and my friend from college, Amanda is a consultant (check out her site here). I have purchased lotions, lip balm, bar soap, face masks and my latest addiction is their bath salts.

posh

They go perfectly with my ultra hot water, the smells are fantastic AND you get to mix and match what you like. With over 30 choices of fragrances, you can find what works best for you! Seriously love these little packets of joy!

My other favorite way to pamper myself and little pick me up is to do my nails. I thoroughly enjoy getting them done, and would rather someone else do all that work, but who has the $$ to do that as often as we like, right?? I have found this gel nail kit that works wonders! The most frustrating thing when painting nails is in a few days they chip…all that work for nothing. With this kit, it looks just like the pros did them and they stay on for two weeks. The kit I use is called Sensationail. You can get the kit along with a variety of colors on their site, at Target, or Walmart or on Amazon. Wait until there is a sale though! The starter kit can be a bit pricey, but way cheaper than shelling out $60 for a mani/pedi every few weeks.

Massages are another one of my fave ways to relax (hence my hope and longing that Refuge will make it on the to do list this weekend!), but they are uber pricey. The hubs is always a good alternative, but that usually lasts about 3 solid minutes before his concentration is back on the TV! Not quite the same as paying someone to rub your muscles for an hour, but again, not a bad alternative.

The last pick me up that always works for pampering is my sense of smell. I can get so worked up and distracted by daily tasks, but stopping and putting on some lotion allows me to slow down and take some breaths. Perfectly Posh has a variety of smells and I also love the Aromatherapy line from Bath and Body Works, especially the stress relief one containing Eucalyptus Oils! My other love for smells comes from Scentsy. I have 2 warmers that are usually always on at my house! I just purchased the Autumn Sunset from my girl Liz, and it is my fall favorite! I put a few drops of lavendar oil in the warmer and that combination is heavenly! Seriously, you should try it!

Anywho…just wanted to jot down a quick post about self-care and different ways to pamper yourself. From relaxing bubble baths to lighting a candle. Find what works for you and DO IT! Your loved ones will thank you for taking time out for yourself.

Stay tuned for more ideas!

~XO~

The Importance of You

You cannot control all life events that come your way, but you can control how you react and respond to them. You can control how you take care of yourself to ensure that you respond the way you want, rather than react the way you regret.

Self-Care plain and simple is the daily activities we do to look after ourselves, the process of looking after one’s self.  And it is the hardest thing for some of us to do, myself included.

I, by nature, am a giver. My chameleon self likes to please others, in turn disregarding my own needs and desires. I put others first, often times resulting in personal frustration for not getting done what I want to get done. Frustration with others lack of initiative and grace. Frustration with others not caring about other people, as much as I would like or do. All of this results in me having TERRIBLE self-care routines and often times being a crabby, grumpy mommy and wife.

In the next few weeks I will post 4 different pieces of a self-care series, in the hopes of accomplishing two different things. Changing my daily routines and habits to help me put myself first, which then in turn will help my family. Giving you a few ideas on how to improve or add to your self-care routines.

The first thing I have to get rid of is the mom guilt. It is not a selfish thing to want some peace and quiet, some “me time”, some pampering “just because”. It is absolutely necessary. Our brains are wired to put our needs first, it’s primal. Once our basic needs are met, then we are able to provide assistance to others. Anyone remembering Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Physiological (air, water, food, shelter, clothing). Safety (personal safety, financial security, health and well-being). These are the first 2 sections of Maslow’s pyramid. If our own basic needs are not met, we CANNOT care for another efficiently.

When I did parent training with inner-city families, I often used the airplane metaphor to relate the importance of self-care. Most have been on a plane. Those who have flown with kiddos knows that the flight attendant walks the aisles before take-off, and when he or she gets to your row, they ALWAYS tell you “place the mask on you first, then your child”. ALWAYS! That’s because, if you try and put the mask on your kiddo first, you may run out of oxygen and what good are you, the parent, if you’re passed out? Always place it on yourself first, then your child. Always take care of yourself first, then take care of your child.

This is by far the most important piece of advice I can give, either professionally or personally. Every component of therapy begins with a self assessment. Often times, parents note that they are too stressed, too busy, too XYZ to complete the tasks that the therapist is asking. When it comes down to it, they are busy and that busy-ness leads to a lack of self-care time, which leads to reacting rather than responding to their children’s behaviors.

When parents (myself included) take the time to read a book, exercise, have friend time, do some retail therapy, they find themselves in a better place. Their mood is increased, and they are able to RESPOND to their child’s behaviors. They are able to validate and empathize with their child. They are able to teach their child the correct behavior.

This series will include tips on how to pamper yourself, distract yourself, focus and practice mindfulness, and get rid of the mom/dad guilt. It is important to do so. It is important to get our needs met, too. Our children need us to be 100% present and focused. They need to see our positive examples. Stay tuned for some fun and practical ways to get self-care in your daily life.

I would love to incorporate some of your favorite and most effective ways of doing self-care! Comment below with what you do for yourself.

Stay tuned!!

~xo~