"Keep your heels, head, and standards high." Cocoa Chanel
Before becoming a wife and mom, I was a woman first. A woman who had dreams and aspirations all inspired by what she saw, heard, felt, and smelled. A woman who was so in tune with her surroundings and could feel everything. I had a list of ways to relax that didn't include smelly socks, football practice, and toilet seats that are always found standing at attention. After getting married and giving birth to my sons, I fell in love with my new life and suddenly became engulfed with changing diapers, cooking hot meals, reading children's books, and being a supportive wife. I loved it but I lost myself and forgot to take some time out just for me. I was so dedicated to those two roles that I completely forgot that before I was a wife and a mom, I was a woman.
I enjoyed being a woman and doing things to supercharge the superwoman abilities we all have. However, I stopped doing the things that helped me stay relaxed and focused as we all sometimes do.
Some things just make us feel so much better and remind us that being a woman is awesome. And when we cease to make those things a priority, we slowly lose who we are and become who we never thought we would ever be. Right? I know I'm not the only woman who feels this way.
I was a woman who loved occasional hair salon visits and pampering myself with manicures and pedicures. I was a woman who loved heels and wearing clothes that accentuated my body without revealing what clothes were meant to cover. I didn’t even spend much money and I was also great at managing my time. I have always been a social butterfly but I embraced balance. I was a woman who enjoyed writing in my journal and completing crossword puzzles during my quiet time. I loved dancing, singing, and listening to music while cleaning up. You know? Simple stuff.
When I had my babies, I felt guilty for wanting to spend anything on myself and there was no such thing as alone time. Diapers, formula, daycare, and clothes were huge expenses. The things that didn’t cost money took time. After juggling babies all day and then switching to engaging in adult conversations with my husband, I was almost always nodding off around 8 pm. I was so tired. So I was throwing my hair in a bun every day, making failed attempts to file my nails, and ignoring my poor feet. They were horrible!
I settled for flats so I could run after my toddler if needed. Every article of clothing was a size bigger because they were comfortable. My music selection was limited to kiddie songs about being friends and going to the potty. I would dance to the songs while driving. It was quite comical. I was also dancing and making hand gestures while watching shows on Nick Jr. I didn't even shop for lotions and body sprays anymore. Why? If baby lotion was good for them, it was good for me plus it was one less lotion we had to buy.
I needed to raise the bar for myself. I needed to raise my standards and my expectations of myself. I had to do better.
Eventually, I started to find ways to reinvest in myself while still managing to be practical with money and responsible with my time. My salon visits for a shampoo and style, along with manicures and pedicures, consisted of a visit to the local cosmetology school. The prices were amazing. While under the hairdryer, I started knocking out crossword puzzles or writing in my journal again. I graduated from flats to comfortable wedged heels. Occasionally during date nights, I would break out the heels and engage my husband in the decision of which ones to wear. There's just something about the right pair of heels on a date night.
I started shopping for clothes that made me feel feminine instead of those that make me look like a hot air balloon. I paid attention to the shape of my body and bought clothes that complimented it. I started working out to increase my energy and shed some unwanted pounds. The kids and I would dance as we cleaned up. We didn't get much cleaning done though. How can you get anything done when you're dancing the whole time? I don't know but somehow we managed to do it. We would have so much fun! I even started buying what my grandmother called “smell goods” again, y'all. Lotions, bath and body oils, body sprays, and perfumes were back on my list of things to buy just for me. It was great to smell like a woman again and not like a baby.
I’m not saying that serving my family as a wife and mom was ever dreadful. I still enjoyed it! I loved encouraging my husband to be the best leader he could be in our family, business, and community. He’s my best friend and we have tons of fun together. I loved being a mom too. I still read books with my babies and washed those smelly socks. Even today, I love that they still want me to be around and they believe I can make everything okay with hugs and kisses.
Now, I still sacrifice some things that I WANT to buy for me because what they NEED is more important. However, I understand that I cannot give my all to my family and have absolutely nothing left for me. I love them so much but I love me too and that's how it's supposed to be. Besides, they reap the benefits of me feeling great, being confident, and showing myself some love.
I am worth the investment and so are you.
How do you plan to invest in yourself today?