Jessica Ashley facebook twitter babble voices pinterest is a single mama in the city, super-savvy editor, writer, video host and shameless shoe whore.
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Making my life (just a bit) easier

We have a lot going on, but who doesn't right? Sometimes, I am hesitant to write too much about my own stresses, my own scoffing at seeking "balance" and all the little details of my existence that have you snoring and me evolving into the ranty lady who's cubicle you actively avoid and who's emails somehow "get lost in cyberspace." So for today, I am taking a break (go ahead, collectively sigh with relief) to tell you about a few of the things that are helping dissipate the stress and keep me centered on juggling rather than balancing. This is one mama-to-another, daily sort of stuff, nothing earth-shattering or a-ha inducing. But I swear, in days that go from manageable to wackadoodle in a matter of minutes, here's some of the goodness that's contributing to my deep exhales:

Dinners, prepared and ready to bake without
adding to my to-do list and still producing dinners that I swear Lil E
thanked me for making. I kid you not. He's actually told me three
different times, "Mommy, thank you for making such a tasty dinner." The
angels did not descend in a holy appearance above the dining room table
but dinners on those nights were actually good and relaxed, which made
the nights I made other meals more pleasurable. Sigh.

Lotions and potions just for me.
I believe in women, especially
mamas, being good to ourselves and turning self-care into special
rituals that remind us that we deserve tenderness, that we can be
touched without having soy butter sticking to us, and that it is OK to
spend a little money on our own goodness. On my last trip to Whole
Foods, I decided to stop the self-deprivation spoken through my empty
medicine cabinet. Instead of choosing between a sumptuous eye cream or
heavenly-smelling moisturizer, I just bought all of the products I
really wanted myself. I'm all about organics in my beauty regimen these
days and right now, I adore Better Botanicals, Kiss My Face and Alba
products. This isn't a commercial, it is just what I am loving on my
skin and in my hair. I bought six great items -- Dandelion Moisturizer, Rose & Tulsi Toning Mist, Apricot Eye CreamLavender & Chamomile Big Body Shampoo and Conditioner,
and almond oil to smooth over the rest of my body.  No more stealing
Lil E's shampoo or using handsoap to wash off my make-up (I know,
ewww). Each of these products smell delicious and it feels luxurious to
take the time and effort to take care of myself with them each morning
and evening. Ahhh.

AM Yoga to start off my day. I
dug this tape out of a drawer and decided this weekend to try it out.
Of course, I've done the fifteen-minute routine with Lil E next to me.
And of course, Lil E is holding on to his Clifford the Big Red Dog, his
babydoll Tiger, a big plastic bat and his pacifier. Even still, he does
the tape with me, Namastes and all, and it has been a much better,
calmly energizing way to start the day than Dragon Tales or running to
the coffee pot. Up next: PM Yoga to wind down my day...and my brain.

Help the rest of us mamas out with what you know: What are the small sighs of relief and self-care that are helping you handle big changes or crazy schedules in your life?

« What can be saved? | Main | Project: Life Change. Of course. That is, change of course. »

Reader Comments (2)

my stress releivers....taking 5 minutes in the morning to style my hair with my FAVORITE Bead Head product and put on a few dashes of make up. At the end of the day it is taking time to work out, to leave the house for one hour and not feel guilty about leaving. I come home sweaty, stinky and delirously happy.
October 22, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter2Jmama
Whenever things get overwhelming, I always try to remember how hard we worked to create our twins. They were a high-tech science experiment. I also remember how many times I cried myself to sleep when the pregnancy test came back negative. It does help keep things in perspective a bit.
October 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterShari Schmidt

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