I have always seen myself as girly. I’ve been a lover of high heels and clothes for as far back as I can remember. I loved experimenting with makeup and hairstyles. I was in Beauty Pageants as a kid, it was only natural I was a diva.
Once I had kids, the urge to take care of myself vanished. My life was fully dedicated to being a wife and mom, because society tells you that you’re supposed to. You “aren’t a ‘good mom’ if you don’t completely devote yourself to your family”, as many people will try to tell you. “You have to put yourself and your personal time on the back burner” is another one of my favorites.
After our accident that killed Ethan, I ONLY focused on Kyle and Ben. I started not wearing makeup, living in yoga pants, and coloring my own hair. “I just lost my child. I have to focus on My husband and my other son”, I would tell myself. Made myself believe that I shouldn’t spend time on myself because I needed to devote ALL of my time to Kyle and Ben. I was slowly losing who I was, I knew it, but I didn’t want to admit it.
One day, Kyle was getting ready for work, while I was making the bed. He abruptly turned to me and said “You have really let yourself go.” At the time, I wanted to choke him for saying that to me. He was my husband and he was supposed to love me for who I was, think I am beautiful in khaki shorts and a god awful columbia polo shirt with zero makeup on, and my hair full of cheerios and dry shampoo. But really, that isn’t real life. At the end of the day, neglecting your own needs is the most unattractive thing that you can do. I am massively grateful that he said what he said to me. He noticed that I was depressed and just getting deeper. He had the courage to tell me what I needed to hear in the exact moment that I needed to hear it in.
Starting the next day, I woke up, put makeup on my face and put on pants that actually had a button. I noticed that I was more productive and happy. More importantly, I learned that I could make it through the day a little easier. The next day, I did the same thing, then the following day, and the one after that. By the end of the week, I looked back and saw each day got easier to get through, I was a happier person and treated everyone nicer, and my husband was more loving to me.
I found that I loved experimenting with makeup and clothes. I even started to lose weight and got healthy. I went from a size 18 to a size 4. My confidence got higher, which improved my moods and the way I saw myself. I woke up each day and put my outfit together and my makeup on, during the day I was more productive. I was even vacuuming the house in fancy heels, just because.
I tell Kyle how appreciative I am that he had the courage to say what he said to me. It gave me my life back after such a tragic accident. Today, my makeup is a tool to give me confidence to face the world each day.
Ladies, take it from me, don’t lose who you are after becoming a wife or a mom. Self care is important and deserved. If you aren’t right each day, how can you expect to be right to others? You can’t. It’s like a house, you have to have a solid foundation and if you don’t, that house is going to crumble. It may not at first, but slowly the foundation starts cracking, then the cracks get larger and larger until they are so big, the house comes falling down (Britney Spears, circa 2008).
YOU are the foundation to yourself and its why self care is vital to your well being. I am not saying let your hobbies take over, because balance, but you have to do something that is just for YOU each day. For me, that is getting up a little early and putting my full face of makeup on. For you, that could simply mean taking 10 minutes before you start your day to meditate. You could also take 20 minutes to hide in the closet and eat a candy bar by yourself. Whatever makes you the best person you can be.