Self care is one of those words normal people didn’t hear much about back in 1982 when my mom was in the trenches of mothering.
That’s not to say moms haven’t always needed it or that it wasn’t always a thing. It just means it took moms time to realize they deserved it and to publicly claim it without feeling guilty about it.
Some of us still aren’t there with the guilt thing *cough*me*cough*, but at least we are trying.
I recently celebrated my 40th birthday and if that isn’t a reason for a little sparkle and self care I don’t know what is.
In reality, there was very little sparkle involved and I’m still unpacking how I feel about that whole thing.
It’s not that I feel particularly old or anything, it’s just that I was one of those people who thought 40 was old when I was younger. At least, old enough to have your life all laid out and working like a well oiled machine.
In reality, I still feel like I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to be when I grow up while also feeling like it’s growing up crunch time.
And, while my mind still spends most of its day acting like it’s 25, my body spends most of its day betraying me by acting like it’s 67.
Everything from what to read to what to wear is a debate between the young, carefree part of my mind, the older, more mature part of my mind, and my body who, no matter freaking what, is steadfast in her 60 and over leaning tendencies.
It’s certainly an awkward life phase that I’ve not quite figured out how to navigate.
What I have determined is that, at 40 years old, there are a whole host of things you need in your life to make it run more smoothly. Things you can buy, things you can make, and things that are priceless. Some people call it self care, I like to call it sanity.
Here’s my list.
Self Care: 10 Things Every 40 Year Old Mom Needs in Her Life
A personal fan.
Legit, never been so hot in life. I keep one like this one in my bathroom for post shower cooling. And do not even start on me about “the change”. I know it’s out there and it’s coming for me and I swear, if I have to spend many more days with the heat of a thousand suns burning between my muscle tissue and my epidermis I will be exploring the truths of hormone replacement therapy because I. CAN. NOT. LIVE.
A REAL bra.
Because unless you’ve had work done, things will be slipping and sliding into places they don’t belong no matter how your post baby snapback was. I’m sure that a combined 4 years of breastfeeding three hungry babies helped land things at their current coordinates, but I feel like recently things have started to decline even more. It’s a sad state of affairs only slightly mitigated by meaningful underwire.
This Playtex bra seems to do the trick and it is one is my favorite. I have it in like three different colors.
Sure, you can still wear heels to work on days you’re going to be mostly sitting, after you commute to work in your socks and sneakers.
I’m kidding. I still rock heels because my calves still look amazing in them (thank you, Lord). But, I am way more discerning with what I buy these days. Those $14.99 Payless joints I rocked in college are not happening now and the Naturalizers I used to make fun of my mom for wearing are showing up in my closet more and more often.
Also, these Soft Comfort slides are probably my favorite daily wear shoes of all time…
A dermatologist on speed dial.
Because yoooooo, adult acne is no joke. Daily I chastise teenage me for being so cocky and careless with my young skin. I had like two pimples in all of high school and now, at 40, I legit look like I’m a before model for Proactive. It is sad. Fortunately, I’ve found that this cleanser really helps. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it -self care is important!
A good moisturizer.
And tons of other stuff. I went from using not much more than water on my face, to a cleanser, two morning creams, an acne treatment, a toner, and two night creams on a daily basis just to keep my face looking alive.
A handle on your finances.
I wish I could say mine were exactly where I want them to be. Honestly, they’re not even close and there are plenty of things that I worry about when it comes to my financial future. On the bright side, I know that they aren’t the worst and that I do have some plans for moving forward.
Gone are the days of soaking up the alcohol in your system with a pizza taco platter and still being able to fit into your work pants on Monday. There’s a whole other level of metabolism, and hormones, and bloating to think about now. Probably should’ve been working on this one way back in your 20’s, but it’s never too late for healthy habits.
A for real calendar.
Because memory can be seriously sketch. My phone calendar is entirely useless to me (I forget to look and when it notifies me I forget it did) so I use a paper calendar. This one is my fave: Bluesky Tabbed Planner. It’s big enough for my sloppy writing and my old eyes, and I can write details I would otherwise forget on the large spaces. Like, ‘call Jack’s mom -Jack is the small, obnoxious kid from Dude 3’s soccer team, with the red hair, mom is something like Sandy or Sally or something with an S, always has on white flip flops and the Yeti cup’.
A best friend.
I feel like during my early adult years, especially when heavily in the baby raising phase, I had “friends”, but they were the kind you make and hang out with because of your kids. They aren’t the kind I’d call and talk to on the phone ever, or the kind I’d consider putting on real pants and staying out past my bedtime with. They were the kind that changed as often as my mommy and me sessions and I was totally cool with that because, tbh, sleeping was more important than listening to Brenda complain about her husband not helping with the baby anyway. I’m fortunate to have had a bff since the 8th grade and, while I know I neglected her when I was the mom of 3 kids under 6, I’m so happy she stuck by me so we could enjoy the rest of our lives together!
A healthy dose of IDGAF.
Because, after 40 years on this planet, it’s probably the only thing you can do for your self care that is truly gonna keep you sane for another 40 and change.
Need some mature mother beauty tips to help you up your self care game? Check out this post: Beauty Tips for Older Chicks