Taking Care of Yourself… Once You’re A Mother



Remember being a single, childless young woman with nothing better to do than spend time obsessing over your appearance and emotional well-being? Good times, good times. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and remember what it was like to pamper yourself then, compared to now…



Then: A week in Cabo with the girls. You stayed in a fancy resort or condo, and hit the beach by day and the bars by night. You returned home with souvenirs, a sunburn, flattering photos that you posted on MySpace and risqué stories you all swore you’d never, ever tell.

Now: Two hours with the hubby at a chain Mexican restaurant while your parents babysit the kids. The craziest thing you do is get a little tipsy after a couple of margaritas and stop off at 7-Eleven for cigarettes, paying $10 a pack. Which is the crazy part: TEN WHOLE DOLLARS spent on a whim!



Then: Countless hours spent combing the racks for upwardly mobile career separates, trendy casual clothes and the perfect little black dress.

Now: While you’re at Target picking up diapers, you happen to pass the women’s clothing section. You throw some random shit into the cart and hope it fits.


Salon visit

Then: Every six to eight weeks, you would spend at least two hours getting foil highlights, a Brazilian blowout, and/or a trendy cut. You were handed a glass of wine or a bottomless cup of coffee, and sometimes even splurged on the foot massage.

Now: You hide the only sharp pair of scissors in the house in a box of maxi pads, and trim your own bangs during nap time. For special occasions, you splurge on boxed color.



Then: Every other Saturday, you joined your bestie at the nail salon for a fill on your acrylics and some super cute nail art on your big toes.

Now: When your husband pushes the goddam stroller for once.


Spa day

Then: You’d join a couple of girlfriends for a day of massages, facials and fruit-infused waters. You may have even splurged on one of those weekend joints where you detoxed, practiced yoga and explored your inner self.

Now: After your toddler refuses to take his nap, you strap him into his car seat, put Sirius radio on the Spa channel and drive around until he passes out. Then you nab a parking spot down by the river where you read magazines in peace until he wakes up 30 seconds later. No yoga, but you do get a head rush smoking some stale cigs you found in the glove compartment, left over from your “vacation” last year. Oh, and you chug a Vitamin water on the drive home. That’s healthy, right?


Spoiling by your significant other

Then: Your boyfriend treated you to a spa day with your friends, then took you out to a fancy restaurant, then back home for a night of va-va-voom sex, just the way you liked it.

Now: That one time your husband actually let you drink four beers out of the six-pack, and let you pass out in peace.


Killer workout

Then: An hour of cycle class AND the half hour abs workout.

Now: Day two of the Three Day Potty Training method.



Then: Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone … no matter which one you selected, it was done in a quiet room with dim lights, soothing music, and was oh-so-relaxing.

Now: When your toddler throws a tantrum, you skillfully drape him over your shoulder so his angry little fists pummel that hard-to-reach spot between your shoulder blades. “Yes, Mommy’s sorry you have to leave the playground, Sweetie, but could you aim a little to the left?” Sooooo satisfying!



Then: Your parents overindulged you. Or they denied you affection. Or much worse. Regardless, your skilled therapist would help you work through your issues and you’d emerge a stronger, better person.

Now: There’s no money for therapy, so instead you block from your newsfeed Facebook friends who need to STFU.

Amazing family vacation in Italy? *block*

Baby is only 4 months old and you’ve already lost all the weight? *block*

Beautiful new home and brand new, not-IKEA living room furniture being delivered tomorrow? *block*

Husband promoted to CEO? *block*

Same husband bought you a brand new Lexus for your birthday? *BLOCK BLOCK BLOCK*


There now. Don’t you feel pampered? A few deep, cleansing breaths and you’ll feel like your old self again. And if not, there’s always wine and secret chocolate stashes. And sisterhood.


The Scary Mommy Community is built on support. If your comment doesn't add to the conversation in a positive or constructive way, please rethink submitting it. Basically? Don't be a dick, please.

  1. 1

    Jen @ MamaLionStrong says

    YES! I’ve tried to warn expecting-for-the-first-time friends… But the little stars in their eyes make it almost painful to burst the bubble. And they don’t get it no matter what. Because they won’t miss all those things when they have the most perfect child to fulfill them, right? Ah, life…. ;)

    Show Replies
  2. 3

    Debbie says

    Very good detail Heather. Single life can be glamours. And then it is time to grow up and share life with hubby and those kids, you always wanted.

    When life as a mother gets hard you always have to put the humor in as you have done Heather and think about the poor ladies that would just like to have a baby.

    Thanks for the funnies this morning. It is always good to start your day off with laughter.
    have a good day,

    Show Replies
  3. 7

    Momma O says

    Scarily accurate! I just wish that I pampered a little more than I did, pre kids. My favorite was, when I got my paycheck every 2 weeks I would buy another pair of shoes. It was sublime. Now I throw on whatever footwear is by the back door. It is not good that I can wear my 9 year old son’s sneakers.
    Thanks for the morning laugh. It was needed!

    Show Replies
  4. 10

    Michele C. says

    Oh how very, very true. I actually went for a real salon haircut on Friday during work hours just so I could enjoy the hour of peace and pampering. And then had to work late to make up for it. HA. But so worth it!!

    Show Replies
  5. 11

    VanillaZambrana says

    I was JUST thinking about this concept, of what used to be “fun” and relaxing, and what it means now. My grandmother is ill and my mother is staying with her to help her out. I told my mom to call if she needed anything because I would gladly drive the hour and a half to visit. She told me she didn’t want to bother me and I answered “I would LOVE to, what are you crazy??” Because it was a legit excuse to leave my kids with my husband and go hang out with my mom and grandma, who are awesome. Even though she’s not able to care for herself right now, I would rather care for her reverted-to-two-year-old self than my own actual two year old son. For just a few hours. And that idea was INCREDIBLE.

    Show Replies
  6. 15

    Amanda says

    I haven’t had a great massage since before I gave birth, but that’s mostly because the best massage therapist in the world decided to get her nursing degree. I’ve tried but to no avail. And I really missed out on making my pre-parenting life glamorous! I’ve been working on convincing my boys to go to college somewhere amazing so I’ll get to visit.

    Show Replies
  7. 17

    Christine says

    LOL, it’s all pretty much true! Except that pre-children I was never one much for spas, mani/pedi every other week, massages or getting my hair highlighted. I was more about shopping, going out to bars with my friends and vacations! The Target one cracked me up because that’s what I do!

    Show Replies
  8. 24

    Kathy says

    And why can’t you do all of those things you did before kids after kids? I do. I get a hair cut, so does my son, I go clothes shopping with my children, I travel everwhere with my children etc. Its fun taking them out. Maybe I just raised my children right. Children that know better then to throw a fit in the store or the restaurant. I’m just tired of reading stuff like this and stuff like its normal to feel like a failure as a mom. We all feel that way….uhhh no we don’t. If you feel like a failure you probably ARE a failure. I’m a good mom. Cloth diaper, home made snacks, arts and crafts, outings, make my own baby clothes you name it I do it. It’s easy.

    Show Replies
    • 26

      Sabrina says


      If you’re “so tired of reading stuff like this”, then don’t. I’ll tell you what I’m tired of… so-called perfect “judgy”mommies who post negative comments like that on this site, that’s intended to help parents blow off steam, and proclaim to be better than the woman they are blasting. Women like YOU are the reason that some moms feel like shitty moms, when they aren’t. Here’s the way I look at it, if you have to comment about what a good mommy you are, whilst insulting another, you’re probably trying to convince yourself of that more than anyone else.

      I’m so glad that you and your brood are so picture perfect in every way. Unfortunately, 99.999999999% of the population isn’t perfect. Mainly because the in the real world, parents on this site are actually raising human babies, not robots.

      Show Replies
    • 28

      Jen says

      Do you drug your kids? Are you a robot? Is this comment a spam? Do you even have kids? Having PMS? Depressed maybe? Oh, I know! YOU’RE LYING! 😊😂

      Show Replies
          • 31

            Kathy says

            Whoops hit reply before I was done….anyway I’ve never had people jealous of me before. Cool. Jen I’m not lying would you like pictures of eveything I said I do? Because I have . I have 2 kids (3 and 7 months )and I’m being treated for PPD. And not everything I do turns out perfect in fact in NEVER turns out perfect…things get burnt,(seriously I can’t cook. I try) I sew the arm holes up, or once I almost lost my son a bus thank God somebody told him I wasn’t on the bus yet. I never did/do mani/pedis and I don’t go clubbing. My interests lie elsewhere. So don’t blame women like me who actually try to be “super mommy” for making you feel bad. I try and fail most of the time, but at least I TRY.

            Show Replies
          • 32

            Kathy says

            And before anybody comments or asks I am a stay-at-home mom. My husband is in the army so we move a lot and we can’t afford preschool and/or daycare so I really am just stuck at home. I can’t get a job unless the kids are in daycare, we can’t afford daycare unless I have a job. Its a catch-22.

            Show Replies
          • 33

            Jen says

            Who said we didn’t try?
            We try everyday that’s why we can relate to this post. Are you even reading?
            And I am not jealous because you’re a super mom because I’m happy and secured just the way I am and my family accept me for not being the super mom. :)

            Show Replies
          • 34

            Sabrina says

            No one’s “blaming” you, Kathy. You’re the one that came on here posting about how perfect you were as a mom. The fact that you actually attempt at being “Super Mommy” again, speaks more to you than anyone else. It’s not a competition, Kathy, and frankly, your implication that the other moms aren’t “trying” because they actually feel feelings outside of pure joy every now and again is insulting. Actually, it’s the day that moms stop feeling something that I would start worrying.

            And, the fact that you are a military wife is worse to me. I’m an Army brat. While living on base I saw a community of parents offering a support network to each other. Any mom who had that arrogant attitude soon found herself without that community of parents helping each other out. Unfortunately, my mother wasn’t able to try to be “Super Mom”. During my fathers second tour of Desert Storm/Desert Sheild and his tour in Korea, she took on a second job. She felt horrible about not being able to spend that time with us playing or helping with homework. How dare you imply that she wasn’t “trying” or that she was a “shitty” mom because she felt that way. She was trying to keep our heads above water because, as you must know, the military pays shit. She taught me how to cook. She taught us how to take care of ourselves and I’m now a productive member of society without a co-dependency problem. I’d say she did pretty good, and she certainly wasn’t “super mom”. She was just “mom” doing the best she could under the circumstances.

            You seem to get off on the anonymity that the internet provides, Kathy. Here, you can strut your “Super Mom” stuff without fear of real confrontation because you know that attitude would never fly in real life. That, or your just bored (no socks to sew today?) so you come here to stir the pot. Well, I assure you, it won’t fly here for long. I’m still relatively new here but I joined this site to be a part of community of parents as and know I’ll need the support one day, and get a good laugh occasionally (which I thought this post provided in abundance) and I take it very personally when women treat each other women badly.

            Either hop on board the community train and develop a sense of humor or take your cape and fly away.

            Show Replies
          • 35

            Kathy says

            I hardly ever feel “pure joy” with parenting. It’s the whole “fake it till you make it” thing. In fact my baby just turned 7 months old and I’m just now taking an interest in her. My poor son I’ve just let him watch TV all day until recently. So don’t talk to me about feelings. The reason I’m no longer nursing is you can’t take Paxil and nurse. It’s upsetting and I feel like a failure because of it and by my logic that I stated earlier I am a failure and I except that and move on. Maybe I’ve just been around the wrong kinds of moms. The kind that would rather go out and party then spend time with their children. The kind that spends all day on the computer (the little one is asleep and my son is playing is his room). I don’t know, but I do know that a lot moms that read this stuff and thinks it’s funny are also the same moms that sit on their butts and do nothing and then whine and complain because the house is a mess or the kids are running wild or whatever.

            I used to have a community of support, but since moving to DC I have lost that. People here just look out for themselves and if you’re not part of the group you have no hope of getting in. Nobody cares here. I don’t understand how you don’t think your mom was “super mom” when to me she sounds like it. She sounds like my husband’s mom (single and in the army) and she raised her kids to take care of themselves cook, clean, you name it she taught them. Maybe you and I have different ideas of what it is to be “super mom.” You do your mom a discredit saying she wasn’t a “super mom” when she clearly was. Your mom sounds like she did a great job raising someone who stands up for what they believe in. My parents worked my dad weird hours and my mom just all the time and neither of them taught me any of that. My parents totally dropped the ball when it came to raising children, but your mom sounds great.

            Would you like me to become less anonymous? I can give you the link to my photo site and you can see ALL my pictures of me and my family (well not my husband he’s never home haha). See how we live our lives.

            I don’t sew in socks. I have weird thing against socks, they just sit in the laundry basket. I didn’t come here to stir the pot. I posted my opinion. It’s not my fault you took it and made a big deal out of it. I have not treated anybody badly.

            I do have a sense of humor, and I usually find similar articles funny. This one just rubbed me the wrong way.

            Show Replies

Load More Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>