Chicago mom steps out of her comfort zone

I suffer from I-can-do-it-all-osis and unable-to-say-no-itis. I like being busy and having stuff to do, but I also have a house, a husband and four children. So like many other women that try to juggle their passions and their family, self care tends to fall to the bottom of the to-do list. I can write about it a million times (I think I probably have!) and yet every few months I find that I have spent days in the same yoga pants not knowing when I showered last and unable to remember the last time I went five whole minutes without someone touching me or asking me for something.

When you to get to be of a certain age or stage of life you learn that you need to move beyond the aisles of the drugstore and your own bathroom for the pampering and necessary beauty routines. As a mom this can make self-care seem even more of an indulgent luxury. It takes not only a few hours away from my family and the needs of the kids, it also takes a good chunk of money out of the family budget. I generally put it off until I am ready to chop off all my hair myself … so I usually make it twice a year!

Here is the thing. It may just be hair, or nails, or a weekend shopping with girlfriends, but it’s so much more than that act. It so much more than saying to your partner and family that you are important and need time.

It’s about identity.

It’s about remembering that you are a person, whole, complete and human all on your own.

You are more than a mom, wife, employee, entrepreneur, friend, cook, volunteer, etc. etc. etc.

So, as I sat in my stylist chair and confirmed that we would do side swept bangs this time and the normal highlights, I took a risk and did something different. I asked her to put in some peek-a-boo highlights in the back, in purple. A few bits of color that I could hide if I needed to but that would be something fun without being drastic.

My husband hated it. He asked if I was having a midlife crisis (before you attack him he has come around to it). I’ve spent some time thinking about that question and no, I don’t think it’s a crisis but rather a realization. I may be a soccer mom of four that spends more time in my minivan than anywhere “cool” but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be me. It doesn’t mean that I have to conform to whatever definition I have in my head of what I *should* look like. It also doesn’t mean that I can’t be fun.

I was in a stylist chair again this morning getting makeup done for a photo shoot. She asked me if I had ever had false eyelashes and if I wanted them because they would look really great in photos. I hemmed and hawed for a minute. I mean, I’m just a middle aged mom and it was nine in the morning. But, I went for it. Why not, right? When she was done I hardly recognized myself. It was a confidence boost for the day lifting my head and spirits.

A splash of color, a bit of makeup and I was reminded that I’m more than “mom.” That under all the responsibilities, I’m still there. Still tired, but still there.

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