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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Sassy Single Mom Serenity: The keyword here is "generous"

I do believe many of us have all good intentions to tend to ourselves. I also think that it's important to validate the small, self-caring things we do regularly -- for me, it is starting the morning hours with some kind of exercise, finally making an appointiment to see the dentist, choosing to stay in and be still some evenings and be surrounded by grrrlfriends other times, wearing lipstick even when I won't see another soul all day, having my groceries delivered instead of stressing about standing in lines behind the last check-writers in America. But I've also realized that it's just as important to recognize when we stop short of fully, completely be good to ourselves.

Whether you have a partner or don't, it's not likely someone will tell you every Wednesday evening that you really could use a super-long soak in the tub while watching a Bethenny marathon. Even the people who love you most, who are sure to get you a massage gift card for your birthday or bestow lattes just the way you like them at your desk or bring you a giant bouquet of flowers from their garden because you crossed their mind may not know how desperately you'd like to book a first-class ticket just once or that heaven sounds like two hours of babysitting so you can take Pilates. While we might have little bursts of wellness throughout our week, I think a lot of us get very good at not asking to be lavished, not of the people around us and especially not of ourselves.

I started noticing how often I stop short with myself when I poured the last drops of bubble bath in a very steamy tub a few weeks ago when the weather was still chilly and my day left me feeling weary. I had a flash of sadness to see the bottle empty.


I splurged a little when I bought this brand, spending a dollar or so more than I usually do on a much bigger tub of cheapy, goopy lavendar liquid from the drug store. I intended to treat it just like I do all of my little splurges, from my MAC foundation to my hand cream found in a tiny apothocary in Portland to mama-only dark chocolate. I use it sparingly, bit my little bit. And when it's nearly empty, I cut off the bottom of the tube or hack off the end of the plastic bottle to get every single drop. I've always thought of it as thrifty, wise, appreciative.

Then I read the label on this bubble bath.


Use generously, it advises, straightforwardly but also tenderly. Reading it that way, why would you not? I wouldn't because I would be frugal. This seems silly, though, when you consider that the whole point of bubbles in your tub is to relish the sensation, to immerse yourself in lightness and air, to relax. Why then, wouldn't I forget frugality, spare myself all the sparing, and just pour it in?

That's what I did. Following the directions, at least this time, really did make my bath time a little more heavenly. The bath wasn't phenomenally better, but the reminder that it is OK to be generous with myself can turn a small moment of self-care into a significant act of self-kindness.

I need that. We all do.

I didn't order the same brand of bubble bath once my supply was (oh, I love how literal this is) drained. But I also was sure not to skimp. That felt good, and I believe it will continue you to in the weeks ahead.

I do not need another task on my list nor another personal challenge. I have opened myself, however, to the opportunity to be more generous to myself in those ways that I cannot nor should not expect anyone else to encourage. An extra capful of bubble bath, five more minutes sitting in the sunshine, a bouquet bought by me for me, maybe even an extra trip to see the Not Boyfriend -- these acts of generosity can only make me feel stronger, more supported, more serene, happier, healthier, and those all completely obliterate any haggling over cost.


Share: What ways are you generous to yourself?



Note on the product featured here: I picked it out, paid for it, and devised my opinions of it all on my own. Swearsy.

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