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Self-care is not ‘pampering’

It is not selfish to refill your own cup, so that you can pour into others.

Self-care is not ‘pampering’

“It is not selfish to refill your own cup, so that you can pour into others. It’s not just a luxury. It is essential.”


—Hannah Mayo


As a mother of two who just launched a self-care subscription box company, it’s my job to think about self-care and pampering. A lot. And while pampering yourself can certainly be considered “self-care,” there’s so much more to it than just painting your nails while wearing a face mask in a quiet bathroom. (That does sound lovely, though...)

When I’m talking to other small-business owners about my box, they inevitably say the same thing: “Oh, I have a friend who does body butters! I’ll get her in touch with you.”

I greatly appreciate every suggestion for a possible vendor, but I also gently remind people that while I enjoy a good body butter or body scrub, that’s not all self-care is about.

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When I say “self-care,” people tend to think “pampering.”

Massages, long baths, pedicures, manicures… all of those fall under the category of pampering.

But while all pampering falls under self-care, not all self-care is pampering.

Sometimes self-care is simply setting boundaries.

Self-care is learning to say “No” when you really mean “No.”

Self-care is learning to not overextend yourself.

Self-care is talking about yourself with kind words.

Self-care is being your own best advocate.

Self-care is knowing when you’ve had enough and leaving the room.

Self-care is saying yes to the brownie because it’s just a damn brownie and eating it shouldn’t feel shameful.

Self-care is making your body sweat in a way that’s fun to you.

Self-care is creating time for your hobbies and creative activities.

Self-care is ending draining relationships.

Self-care is, simply, discovering what you need and then doing what you can to make it happen.

I think it’s safe to say that every mama wants, needs and deserves pampering. But while you might not be able to hook yourself up with a warm bubble bath every single day, you can (and should!) practice self-care 24/7.

To enjoy $5 off on the Bloom Beautifully Box, first-time subscribers can use promo code MYFIRSTBOX.

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Some of the recommendations feel impractical—especially for working parents.

In 2015 a teacher at an elementary school in Wisconsin posted a 'bedtimes by age' chart to Facebook, and parents are still commenting on this post nearly four years later.

The teacher who posted the chart, Stacy Karlsen, didn't create it, she just found it, she told Fox 6 back in 2015. She thought the parents of the 200 or so kids at Wilson Elementary would find the chart as helpful as she did, but the post's viral reach went far beyond her intended audience.

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