Saturday, March 19, 2011

taking time for yourself

If there is one thing that I learned after my first pregnancy, it is that it is so important to carve out some time to take care of yourself. I know, all the baby books say it, and in the weeks after Luna came I kept thinking how stupid those authors were, how they obviously never had babies because they didn't know how time-consuming this whole parenting thing is.

Well, yes, it is time-consuming. But nobody says that it has to be all-consuming. You still need to take care of yourself, and right after baby you need it more than ever. Before baby I felt glowing and beautiful (at least with my first pregnancy). After giving birth to Luna, I felt fat and tubby, super tired and drained, flat and dull. My hair was falling out and greasy. I dreaded leaving the house and looking in the mirror. This is not a good way to feel when you are already crazy with breast-feeding hormones that make you cry at any little thing.

With this post-pregnancy time, I am trying to make a better effort to take care of myself. I make it a priority to take a shower every day (even if it means jumping in at 6 am, or maneuvering Dakota and the swing into the bathroom). I try not to spend all day in pajamas. I try to keep up a little bit of my body care routine each day- even if it means taking my toenail polish off today, filing my nails tomorrow, and putting polish on the day after that.

Once a week I have been using a fabulous body scrub that I found in Aromatherapy and Massage for Mother and Baby. It takes about 5-10 minutes to apply and rinse, but it is soooo worth it- my whole body feels invigorated (and super soft!) afterwards.

Ground almonds 
Sweet almond, jojoba or olive oil
Rosemary, lavender, or geranium essential oil (optional)

  • Grind almonds in food processor. Combine equal parts almond and oatmeal in an airtight jar (use about a cup of each).
  • Put about 1/4 cup of the dry mix into a bowl. Add 1-2 drops of essential oil and 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix. Add more oil if needed to get to wet, pasty consistency.
  • After showering or bathing, towel off almost completely. Starting at feet, massage small handfuls of the scrub upwards in a circular motion.
  • After applying to whole body, rinse thoroughly using a soft cotton washcloth to help rinse off excess scrub and oil.
Warning: it is a messy scrub! Little pieces of oatmeal and almond will get all over the tub. Luckily, they rinse away with little effort.

Even though I have been up most of the night with sick baby and nursing baby, I found a little time during nap time today to apply this scrub, which helped to clean a lot of my crabbiness away. Totally worth it. And it helps to have a loving mate who is cooking lunch while I write this!

Mommy relaxing.

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