It doesn’t take long after becoming a mom to realize that you have to be intentional about making time for yourself or it just doesn’t happen. That’s what Kim, the usual 9-5 Working Mom, and Bunny, the usual Work from Home Mom, discussed during lunch (with an 8-week-old, a 6-month-old, and a dog) while Kim was on maternity leave. Kim and Bunny share how they find not only things to do for self-care but also time to do it…TOGETHER!
Self Care Item 1: Beauty
Well Into Life Massage from Carey Phillips. Nothing makes me feel more beautiful than an energy work massage from Carey or Brittany at Well Into Life. Brittany did a postnatal massage for me 5 days after I had Vyctoria where I nursed throughout the session. It was incredible. Carey has worked on me as Vyctoria has gotten a little older in order to bring that post baby energy back into my life!
Something I found out with my first child was that I have to put on a little makeup and real clothes every day. Usually, that means a less than 5 minute routine of concealer, powder, highlighter, and mascara finished off with the tinted lip balm I keep in the diaper bag. During Bunny & Kim’s Day Out, we decided to have a little fun and get a complimentary makeover at Sephora in Short Pump. I highly recommend it! Tell Heather that Kim and Bunny sent you.
Self Care Item 2: Food
Buffalo Cauliflower from California Pizza Kitchen. I’m a vegetarian, but this appetizer reminds me of the times I did eat spicy chicken wings. Just in time for football season! Wesley and Ashley Brown at the Short Pump location always take care of us!
The Mediterranean Salad Trio Bowl with Lamb Kafta from Zoe’s Kitchen. I had this salad for the first time shortly before my son was born, and WOW! It is so fresh and so filling that I was actually craving it while I was in the hospital!
Self Care Item 3: Fitness
ACAC in Short Pump offers mommy and me stroller classes on special days during the month. They have childcare with an indoor climbing gym that keeps my oldest very happy and exhausted post work out which is great for me! My favorite class is Chip’s Cycle and Strength at 5:30 am on Friday mornings! Daddy helps watch the baby while I get my sweat on! #postbabybodpride
Can sleep count as fitness? I started using the “Bedtime” alarm on my iPhone a few months ago which has been awesome at making me more intentional about prioritizing sleep. You set what time you need to wake up, how many hours of sleep you need, and even how soon before bedtime you want to be reminded (see this guide for how to set it up). That last feature is my favorite. I get a reminder an hour before bedtime that I need to “go to bed by 9:45 to get 8 hours of sleep.” Seeing that notice really helps me prioritize that remaining hour. Do I fold laundry, watch another episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, take a shower, or (sometimes!) go ahead and go to bed? Even though having a newborn means sleep is unpredictable, and at times non-existent, getting sleep where you can is essential.
Self Care Item 4: Love Life
CineBistro is my favorite date night for a quick post-baby date night. We can watch a movie and eat dinner resulting in a timeline that is friendly for sitter and budget rather than having to decide between dinner or movie. The seats are super comfortable as well. You just have to be careful not to catch a nap instead of a movie!
My husband and I love going to The Continental Westhampton for date night. It’s a slightly retro diner on Grove that has delicious food and cocktails in a laid-back atmosphere. I highly recommend the dirty fries (topped with cheese, bacon, chives, and served with ranch dressing). They aren’t healthy, but they are delicious!
Self Care Item 5: Wild Card
My last post baby tip is Niki Epps Photography. She has done a few photo shoots for my family and she’s great with the babies, has so many cute props, creates an incredible country vintage flair to her shoots, gives you sneak preview shots almost immediately, and is a newer mom herself so she totally gets it. I actually find the shoots like a mini vacay for me because Vyctoria loves her so I don’t need to hover.
Being intentional doesn’t necessarily mean planning something out weeks in advance, it means doing something deliberately. So, be spontaneous! If an opportunity unexpectedly comes along where you can practice self-care, take it. When you have an infant, they can sleep and eat just about anywhere. Even then, I found it hard to break out of my Type A “Must Plan All The Things” personality. So when Bunny responded to my “We should do lunch soon!” text with “How about in an hour?,” I threw on a non-spit-up-on shirt, put the baby in the carrier, grabbed a bottle, and headed out the door. I smiled the whole rest of the day.
Because we made this commitment to lunch together and then walk around the mall, we had each other to watch the babies while we took fleeting moments of individual self-care. (potty break without a baby? Yes, please!) Find a friend and get started!
Kim, Charlie, Bunny, Vyctoria, and Guinness