I’ve put myself on the back burner for a long time. I did it before I was a mother, and I certainly do it now that I am one. It just feels so much easier to take care of other people and other things instead of focusing inward, you know? It sounds noble, but it’s actually not. I think the noblest of thing is having the courage and wisdom to say, “Hey, I need to take care of myself, too!” and actually doing it.
That’s my issue—the follow through. In my big ole noggin (seriously, I can’t find hats that fit me), I know that I have to take care of myself to take care of the people I love. I know that taking care of myself is the best way to show my family and friends that I love them. I know that it’s actually selfish to not be selfish. I know all of this. But when it comes to putting it into action on a daily basis? Phew. I need some help. I make plans and lists and schedules, but when it comes to making the daily decision to take of myself, I seriously struggle.
It’s been particularly rough during this first year of motherhood. I think it’s only natural to be in a baby bubble when your kid is really young—and that’s the way it should be. But as Juniper gains more independence, I’m finding that I’m slowly emerging from the baby fog. I’m starting to feel normal again. I’m starting to feel like she doesn’t need me quite as exclusively as she did a few months back. And that freedom has opened up some time in my life to take care of me. What a crazy idea!
I’m actually really excited to start working on boosting my radiance. That’s the way I’m thinking of it—radiance. It’s not about overhauling my life, after all, I am happy and healthy! It’s about buffing away a little bit of dullness. It’s about so much more than eating better or working out more or drinking more water or giving myself some time to read a book every now and again. It’s about getting my glow back. It’s about polishing my wonderful self to a glorious shine. It’s about taking the little daily steps to make me feel like the best version of me.
There are a few places I’m really focusing on in my newfound self-care initiative. First up, I’m giving myself permission to not be everything to everyone all the time. Raise your hand if you suffer from Superwoman Syndrome. My hand is raised sky high! I want to be everything to everyone. I want to be the best mother. The best blogger. The best wife. The best daughter. The best sister. The best aunt. The best friend. The best human. The best pet parent. The best farmer. The best cook. The best housekeeper. The best whatever! And it’s totally and completely impossible. So I’m cutting myself some slack, and accepting that I’m not the best at some things, and that’s totally okay. And I’m giving myself permission to ask for and accept help where I need it.
I’m also trying hard to make sure I give myself pampering and grooming time. Which, when I type it out in black and white, sounds like I’m Captain Dirty McGee, but trust me, I have been showering! It’s more about taking the time to do the things that make me feel fresh, pretty, and put together—but have fallen to the wayside since becoming a mom. I’m talking about things like painting my nails, getting regular haircuts (from an actual stylist), and getting myself back into a skincare routine. I might even spring for a pedicure!
The last area I’m really focusing on is eating healthy. I talk a big game here, but I’ve honestly been struggling a lot with food lately. My sugar addiction is raging out of control. And I’m, in general, struggling with fitting the idea of healthy eating into my life. I’m still in better shape than I was back before I learned the joys of whole foods, but my diet hasn’t been as clean and green as I want it to be.
When I get busy, I stop putting good food high up on my priority list, and it means I end up eating dinners of tortilla chips and beer—which is fine every now and again, but not fine when it’s a frequent occurrence. The irony of all of this is that I’m usually busy doing other food-related things—working in the garden, canning, recipe developing, etc.—I’m so busy working with healthy, fresh food, I’m forgetting to enjoy it! Silly, right? So that’s my charge in the upcoming weeks and months—get back to my food roots. And I’m starting with simple, quick, seasonal recipes like this quinoa succotash. A few more meals like this one, and I’ll have my radiance back in no time. Yay!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup lima beans, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1⅔ cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add in the garlic and onion and cook until just fragrant, about five minutes.
- Add in the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes, then fluff with a fork, check for seasoning, and serve.
How do you boost your radiance?
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