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Realistic Pampering Suggestions For No BS Moms

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As a mom of two boys, I am haggard and exhausted 99.5% of the time. I mean, bags under my eyes the size of carry-ons and at least one stain on every shirt I own (if it only has one stain, that means it’s one of my fancy shirts!) So I really appreciate the articles about how important it is for moms to pamper themselves, but I find myself reading the suggestions these articles give and thinking to myself, “are you kidding? I will never do any of this stuff. Sounds like more work to me!” But because I care so much about my fellow mamas out there, I decided to change 3 common pampering suggestions up a little into realistic everyday mommy pampering moments. Here they are:

Common Suggestion: Wake up half an hour before anyone else, take a long shower and go for a walk outside in the fresh air.

WHAT?!? After tucking and retucking my 3 year old in several times throughout the night and sleep training my 7 month old (it’s ok Dylan, go back to sleep. Relax and go back to sleep, mommy’s here. Dylan, go back to f@*#ing sleep!!!) you want me to pamper myself by losing another 30 minutes of sleep? In the words of George Costanza: NI – Not interested.

Here’s my realistic spin:

When you hear your kids crying or screaming “mommy mommy!” stay super still, keep your breathing steady (super important, change in breathing is a dead giveaway that you are awake) and wait for daddy to get up and do the kid duties. That’s it! Don’t feel guilty. All you did was pamper yourself and you deserve it.

Common Suggestion: Toss out old undies and buy new sexy ones.

Ummm, I hang out with a baby all day, cleaning the house, doing laundry, changing poopy diapers, yada yada yada. I don’t leave the house most of the time so I don’t care what clothes I wear, let alone what my undies look like. If I do venture out of the house into the great outdoors (you know, to exciting places like the grocery store and baby gym class) I need comfort, not sexy. Let’s be honest, you can’t pick a wedge with a baby in one arm and 3 bags of groceries in the other. And let’s be honest about one more thing, your husband isn’t coming home from work to a nice romantic evening, he’s coming home to a chaotic household full of dirty kids, hungry dogs and a stressed out wife drinking wine from the bottle with a twisty straw. So he’s not seeing your undies anyway!

Here’s my realistic spin:

Go into your underwear drawer, dig way in the back to the undies you might be slightly embarrassed about (you know, the baggy tie dye ones with the disintegrating elastic) and throw those suckers on! So loose, so comfy, so perfect! That’s true pampering and girl, you deserve it! (If you are saying to yourself that you don’t have a pair like that, stop lying. We all have a pair like that.)

Common Suggestion: Take one bite of decadent chocolate and take time to savor it.

I’m sorry, what did you say? One bite? And do what with it? The last time I savored something decadent was on my honeymoon before I had this incredible idea to add life-sucking vampires, I mean beautiful children, to my world (moment of silence for my stolen youth). Couple things problematic with this. Let’s first address the main issue: one bite. One GD bite. If I can stick to just one king size candy bar, I’m calling it a success. Next issue, there’s nothing decadent on my grocery list anymore, and here’s why: any food that goes into my mouth, I have to share with my 3 year old. And that kid can smell and see chocolate from a mile away. Don’t waste your time trying to hide it, it won’t work. Kid can’t find his bright red light up shoes that are sitting right next to him, but he’ll find the tiniest piece of chocolate in my bag, eat half of it, and smear the other half in his hair on the way out the door.

Here’s my realistic spin:

Sneak a king size kit kit bar into your grocery cart (you can do this while your kid is running wild down the aisle knocking over canned goods). After you’ve strapped your kid into the car seat, while you are putting the groceries in the trunk, take an extra 30 seconds to just take that whole thing down. If someone sees you, you can hold your head high knowing that you are promoting self-care with some much needed pampering. You are truly an inspiration!

In all honesty, being a mom (or dad) is hard work! Children are a blessing, but man are they a pain most of the time (yes you actually are allowed to admit your children are crazy animals). Whatever you can do to take a quick break, do it! Whether that’s hiding under the bed with a handful of Oreos, or actually leaving the house to get a massage, throw that Mom Guilt aside and enjoy every second of it! One more helpful tip: a bottle, I mean glass, of wine never hurts.

Kelly is a Marriage and Family Therapist and currently a stay-at-home mom to two boys. She is an avid DIYer and loves to bake when she has the chance. Which is literally never.