I firmly believe that every parent should take time to treat themselves well. It's become part of my mantra to new parents. “Reserve time for yourself, prioritize your needs!” Parents are always on-the-go and doing things for other people, but it's critical that you allow yourself time to recharge.
I take full advantage of recharging time over Mother's Day and my birthday. The few times of year when society encourages me to indulge in something just for myself…I don't want flowers, chocolate or flashy things. What every mom really wants is something that will make her life easier and more efficient. Something to help center her so she can tend to others better. Because honestly, once we have kids, our whole wiring changes. Even the time spent on ourselves isn't truly about us; it's about making us more capable of handling those daily tasks that come our way. This is how I justify spending money on me. It's ultimately for the whole family!
A big change for me after I had kids was making time for regular massages. I remember my mom going for massages when I was a kid. We didn't have a lot of money so it seemed weird each time we'd pull up to the spa, but she explained it in a way that made perfect sense. “I can't take good care of you if I don't take good care of myself.”
In today's world of efficiency and indulgence, it's easier than ever to squeeze in a little “me time” on a budget. Nate took me to a Massage Envy Spa when I was pregnant with Some Boy, and I was immediately hooked. They're conveniently located, often near grocery stores or other errand locations. They offer simple scheduling for busy people as well as low-cost services, package deals and even subscriptions. Need an excuse for a massage or a facial every few weeks? My favorite subscription deal from them offers monthly massage credits to members, and they roll over if you don't use them right away. But there's really no need to tell the significant other about that last part. You can be like, “Honey, I HAVE to go get a massage – I already paid for it!”
I've had a lot of other moms oooh and aaah when I mention that I get a massage every single month, but to me it's a matter of weighing value and developing good habits. It's a healthy alternative to a lot of options that aren't that appealing to me: I don't have cable (no binge TV-watching), I don't do girls night out (no binge drinking) and I don't generally spend money on high-priced salon services (no binge hair-dying). This is my little indulgence that goes a long way.
How do you recharge?