Have you ever looked at your baby or children and felt so incredibly overwhelmed with love? So utterly consumed with affection and wonderment, you wonder how to contain it? Well, imagine if you loved yourself, even half as much. Imagine if that love was reflected inwards and you could appreciate how incredible you are. No longer putting yourself last, but saving a smidge of self-love, even for just a moment in your day.
With that in mind, this Valentines, why not send yourself a love note a personal sentiment that will be forever yours. Whether it’s a simple thank you to your body for creating your beautiful baby or children or maybe write a promise to yourself, to make more time for you.
For me, it’s not so much loving myself, but accepting the person I am today. The old carefree me has slipped away, to be replaced with a responsible parent, with needs above her own. Therefore this past week I’ve started to take mini moments of me time in the day and I believe it’s helping to make me a better Mum.
Whether it’s a bath during Georgie’s nap time, a cup of coffee in my front window, or flicking through a magazine and reignited my love of fashion. They may only last 10 minutes, but it was minutes I took out for me.
I love to fill our house with beautiful flowers and the scent of candles, creating a calm oasis, amongst the chaos of toys and baby stuff. It’s such a little thing that I can appreciate on the fringe of a hectic day today. Even putting away the boy’s toys into an array of baskets at the end of the evening, helps to add to me time, or time for my husband and me.
However you are spending your Valentine’s this year, take some additional time for you. With that in mind, here are my top 10 tips for putting yourself first, or maybe to add to your own letter to yourself.
1. Light those “waiting for a special occasion” candles. Those overly priced scented goodies that you are terrified to burn away. There is nothing more special than you, so get lighting them up. Alternatively, head to your local Homesense and treat yourself to some new candles, that won’t break the bank but will make your house smell heavenly.
2. Invest in some loungewear or super pretty pjs. Pre-baby I was all about the sexy lingerie and dressing up for my husband. Now post babies with a Mummy belly and 2 still a rather shiny c section scars, I feel anything but sexy in stockings and lace. However, dress me up in some silk pjs, or an off the shoulder knitted lounge suit, then I feel relaxed. Add a glass of wine, some candles, and a shoulder rub, and they may even come off later. Maybe…
3. Soak in the bath with an abundance of bubbles. Babies are finally asleep, your partner is cooking and you suddenly have 30 minutes to yourself. Stop tidying, stop cleaning and stop making lists, run yourself a bath. Grab a book, light some candles and soak the day away. Better still, take a tipple of choice into the bath with you.
4. Switch off the TV. Talk to your partner. Tell them your hopes and dreams. Talk about the children and how much you love them. Just pop those feet up and talk. No Netflix distractions. Tomorrow you will put yourself last again, tonight is an opportunity to take centre stage in your life.
5. Do whatever you want, it’s your night, but don’t let body confidence be an excuse to hold you back. The end, haha.
1. Treat yourself to something new that you love. It doesn’t have to be the cliched lace sexy dress, it needs to be something you feel incredible in. My incredible at the moment is a pretty t-dress or oversized shirt dress. There is no point squeezing into something you feel your partner will love, you need to feel sexy from within.
2. Put time out in the diary to pamper. My husband puts in the diary every week his gym time, haircuts and errands and they have become the norm. So this Valentine’s I’m booking in 2 hours of me time. I’m going to soak in the bath, do my hair and make-up and dress up in something that hides my bumps but enhances my curves. Thinking about it, adding 3 hours to the diary now.
3. Throw away the ill-fitting support wear. Unless they feel like a second skin and you find them comfortable, then go for it. But if they feel like they are cutting you in half, then you are doing your body a disservice. We all want to look our best from the outside, but it shines through when you don’t feel it. If you take the extra time to find the perfect outfit to suit your shape, you don’t need belly smothering pants. I promise.
4. Add a red lip. This is my current go-to tip for feeling good about myself. My daily Mum uniform consists of oversized knitwear over my jeans or running leggings. It’s a look that works for my current maternity leave lifestyle, but I’ve found adding a red lip and a touch of scent, elevates look. Let’s be honest, we won’t all have the time to get ready this Valentines or Valentines weekend. But you can always find time for a touch of rouge.
5. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you look beautiful. Compliment yourself on your hair, your dress, your fabulous sense of humour or your ability to pull yourself together after a hard day. Don’t rely on your partner to compliment you. Don’t let their absent-mindedness ruin your night before you leave. You know you look great, you feel great. Dress for you, nobody else.
So there are my top tips for making you time this Valentine’s. I would love to hear from you what you are up to this Valentine’s and what you would write in your love letter to yourself? Want to know what mine says?
“You have created two beautiful babies that are a reflection on who you are as a person. Be proud”. x
Images by Marta Drozdziel