During a recent Netflix n’ chill (alone with popcorn) session, I listened to comedian Tom Segura do a spiel about how as parents, we don’t have time to ourselves anymore, but we do have moments. He explained that the days of sleeping till noon, having lunch, and vegging out for the rest of the day are over, but we get moments here and there. A sip of hot coffee, for example. Then it’s over.
I also read something about how parents don’t get days off. Even if you carve out time for yourself, you don’t turn off the mental elevator music of thoughts about your kids.
You don’t because you can’t. And that’s okay. Society is probably better off with parents, especially of young ones, stuck with an ear worm of thoughts of their children’s well-being. It goes with the territory.
Combining these two notions – that we get only moments to ourselves, and absolutely never a complete mental break – can feel like a huge bummer.
With this in mind, I recently decided to work on my relationship with myself. And by this, I mean I bought myself some nice sh*t.
I treated myself to some things I wanted, because I decided that I needed to feel a little bit worshipped. I know my kids worship me in their own loud, demanding, grabbing-at-my-pant leg way. And I love that. But I wanted to feel worshipped in a gentle, peaceful way.
So, I worshipped my own damn self in the following three ways:
1) Fresh Flowers – All Day, Every Day
To be fair, my husband bought me these.
But only after I told him that it was one of my new year’s resolutions to keep fresh flowers in the house. Like the queen that I want to be. He was (understandably) concerned about the financial implications of this aspiration. I told him I did not care from where the flowers are procured – the grocery store, our yard (weather permitting), the side of the highway – I just wanted them in the house regularly.
We settled on Costco flowers, because for the price of two lattes every few weeks, my dream could become a reality.
In an adorable twist of fate, my husband and toddler went to Costco on January 2, and bought the first of the 2018 Household Flowers. Since he was there for this, my little guy now sees it as a new tradition wherein he buys flowers for his mummy.
When we sit down at the dining room table, he says things that make my heart soar, like:
“You still like the flowers I bought for you, Mummy?”
“When those flowers are done, I’m gonna buy you new ones.”
In my dreams, he buys me flowers for the rest of his life, and then when I die, he puts flowers on my grave every day like Joe DiMaggio for Marilyn Monroe. Is that creepy? Probably not to anyone who has ever used the #momofboys hashtag. You gals see me.
Sidenote: a bouquet of alstroemerias from Costco lasts three weeks if you take care of it(ish). That is $0.57 per day. And I’m worth it.
2) Be (slightly) Less of a Hobo
I tend to wear stretchy pants and not a lot of make-up. I have many tricks to make my hair look “done,” when in fact it is a greasy pile of garbage with a few strategically placed bobby pins.
And, as the pièce de résistance in my glamorous life, I carry my make-up around in my car… in a plastic bag.
I like make-up, but I’m pretty bad at putting it on, so I keep it basic. A little concealer, a little mascara, the end. Also, since producing small children that are always around me, I rarely have both of my hands free.
So, I’ve taken to applying make-up in the car. Not while I’m driving, obv. Only while someone else is driving, or while I’m sitting in the car before leaving home, or just after arriving at a destination. That foggy, scratched-up pull-down visor mirror is my vanity, and I its princess.
The first time I decided to try putting my make-up on in the car, I threw all my stuff into a ziploc freezer bag. And there it stayed – for 18 months. ziploc bags, it turns out, are not like wine – they do not get better with age. Especially if left in the car to freeze every night. Yikes.
After getting a taste of the good life with my fresh flowers, I found the make-up ziploc situation was making me sad. So I spent five minutes on Etsy and found this make-up bag, which incorporates a few of my favourite things:
- It is practical – the inside material is waterproof and can be wiped down
- It is cute AF
- It is (locally) made by a boss babe
- It features the noble octopus (my fav animal)
- It is not a ziploc bag
This is a small change, but it reminds me daily (or, however often I decide to put on make-up), that I deserve nice things and that I’m special, just like our 8-legged friends.
Extreme Make-Over: Bed Edition
This next one was, admittedly, a splurge.
We have one set of sheets for our bed. We wash them (occasionally). They are not nice, but they are fine. And we haven’t had a cover on our duvet since 2011, when our neurotic dog decided to chew the snaps off our existing (crappy) duvet cover. I went to buy a new duvet cover, saw that they cost A MILLION DOLLARS, and was like, “eff this noise,” and we went coverless for seven years.
All of this is set upon a king sized bed that we impulse-purchased while hungover in 2010. We have a headboard that I ordered in the middle of the night 24-hours after giving birth to my second child, because my back was hurting while leaning up against the wall as I nursed. This is how I live my life.
No regrets on the bed or the headboard, but the sheet situation left lots to be desired.
Enter insidious Facebook ads.
Anyone else notice that as soon as they think or dream about purchasing something, a Facebook ad for that product shows up? It’s a thing.
I saw an ad for a set of ~french linen~ sheets that are made such that the top sheet snaps to the duvet cover, so that you “never have to make your bed again.” This appealed to my desire for new, soft sheets, and my intense hatred for making our bed. All the arm flapping, the walking around the bed, ugh. It was a first world problem that I was eager to be rid of.
These sheets don’t come cheap, but recalling the price for just a duvet cover, I rationalized that it was something we could swing if we used some Christmas money (holler, Grandma!). My husband was decidedly less enthused, but agreed that our existing sheets were a potential biohazard, and that it wouldn’t be so bad to not scratch ourselves on the seams and tags of our crappy duvet every night.
And that is how we came to own these bad boys. And how I came to pose this disturbing question to my Insta-buds.
I hit a little bump in the road on my journey to love these splurgy sheets on the first morning, when I stood up, grabbed the duvet, and went to flap it once like the little birdies do in Cinderella to make the bed perfectly with one smooth motion. To my horror, on the other side of the bed, the top sheet did not rise up with the duvet.
I yelled out, “These stupid snaps don’t work! They came apart in the middle of the night!”
To which my husband responded, “Nah, I just didn’t do them up. I wanted to be able to have just the sheet on my feet.”
I explained that the main reason I wanted these sheets was for the snaps and he replied, “So, basically you spent hundreds of dollars on a few snaps?”
He’s not wrong.
But the snaps are not the point. Or, not the entire point. The fancy sheets feel good, they solve the problem of us having disgusting sheets and no duvet cover, and with the Christmas money thrown into the mix, they were just expensive enough to be affordable and also feel like a splurge.
Anyway, now that everyone in the bed is informed about the new ~system~, we are sleeping well and making the bed with a flick of two wrists. Are the sheets + duvet cover + snaps worth several hundred dollars? Probably not. Is the whole set-up worth somewhat more (but not a whole lot more) than a basic duvet cover? To me, absolutely.
3) Home is Where the Massages Take Place
I tend to think that when something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
That ends now, because Mama Mobile Massage exists and it seemed too good to be true, and was, in fact, even better than I’d expected.
MMM was founded by Sarah Rennick, another local boss babe, as a way to reach out to the pre and post-natal clients she came to know and love through her work at massage clinics. A Registered Massage Therapist, Sarah sought to create a service to more easily meet the massage therapy needs of busy moms (and dads).
Here’s the deal: she comes to your house and gives you a massage. She has the gizmos to make massage therapy work for clients who are pregnant (even the blessed preggo-pillow with the big hole in it that lets you lie on your stomach after months of not being able to do so), and cushions to caress and support engorged post-natal breasts.
She lugs all of this stuff into your home. You don’t have to leave the house.
Among the many things I love about not leaving the house for a massage are:
- Just not leaving the house. That’s it. That is wonderful in and of itself
- Not having to carve out a special time. Few RMT’s (that I know of) offer late evening appointments. My little guy nurses before bed, so I am not able to leave the house until 7pm, and that puts me out of the running for even the later appointments at clinics.
- Not having to use any weekend time, because apparently now I am a full-time weekend birthday party attendee (along with my son)
- Not having to find/pay for parking
- Wearing my pyjamas, in my own living room, before and after the massage
- Being massaged in front of a fireplace
- Walking away from the massage table and directly into my bed (holler, new sheets!)
As far as the massage itself, I was not disappointed.
Sarah came to our house at 7:15pm. She greeted my dogs, set up her table quickly and effortlessly, put on some lovely music (instrumental covers of pop songs), and was ready to rock.
My husband and I had booked “Mama and Papa massages” (cutest). We fought in front of Sarah about who would go first (awkward, sorry, Sarah). I ended up going first.
I was, for maybe the first time in my life(?) relatively low-maintenance as far as Sarah’s clients go (my words, not hers). I didn’t need special pillows. But I desperately needed a massage. I’ve suffered from shoulder pain since I was a teenager, and Sarah helped relieve a lot of the pain that had been building up lately.
She also recommended some stretches (that I probably won’t do) to help decrease my shoulder pain, and suggested I use a heat pack once a day. This, I am definitely doing because it involves warmth and watching tv.
As an RMT, her service will be covered in part by my health insurance, which is a huge bonus for me. In addition to the huge bonus of, say it with me now, “NOT — LEAVING — THE — HOUSE!”
Long Live the Queen
If as parents we get only sporadic moments to ourselves, I’m going to try to keep using these moments on things that make me feel good. And never on making the bed.
These were small changes that made me feel cared for and a little bit worshipped. I have noticed that I am nicer to others when I am nicer to myself, so I am going to keep trying to carve out moments to treat myself like the queen that my kids already think I am.
Make-up bag: SewOriginals Crafts
Sheets: Primary Goods
Massage: Mama Mobile Massage Therapy
[Endnote: These might read like sponsored product reviews. They are not because I F*CKING WISH! I paid full price for all this stuff and the opinions are my own.]