Remember when you used to have a life….before the kids came along, and you could do whatever you pleased? When getting your roots done, your eyebrows threaded or legs waxed was considered basic maintenance and not luxury ‘time out’ from noisy, belligerent/beautiful brats? These days I have to meticulously plan and book all of these necessary appointments well in advance (and yes, they are necessary as nobody wants to have a moustache or a caterpillar monobrow – it’s not a good look). But I also consider these appointments a bit of a treat these days as they enable me to escape the madhouse and focus on myself, albeit for pruning purposes. As I’m being plucked and prodded I feel immensely thankful that I have an hour to myself to indulge on ME.
Some women feel terribly guilty about indulging on themselves. Fortunately for me, I don’t suffer from any such affliction. I even make a point of having monthly massages to destress and get rid of all of those toxins (that’s what I tell the Old Git anyway when he rolls his eyes at me as I’m heading out of the door). Happy wife, happy life. Happy mummy, happy home. Mums experience daily levels of stress that often go through the roof, be it when your kids repeatedly ignore you, have hissy fits in the supermarket or reject all meals and demand Cheerios instead. Sometimes I feel as if my eyeballs will pop out of my head out of sheer fury or that I will implode with frustration. Having a relaxing massage or getting my eyebrows beautifully threaded is a welcome, exotic escape from this and provides me with much needed respite. I don’t care if you are a brain surgeon or a CEO of a multi-million dollar company, kids can stress you out like no other, as well as emotionally and physically drain you.
There is of course the small matter of living within your means. Nobody is suggesting you splash out on a luxury spa weekend every month (although it sounds delightful) or have a hair and beauty consultation with a celebrity stylist. As implausible as it sounds, pampering doesn’t have to be lavish or overpriced. It just has to focus on you.
So whether it’s an evening spent at the gym, a touch up at the local hairdressers, or a quick mani/pedi, all these things are valid ways to spend your time, not just because they help you keep fit or look good, but primarily because they give you a breath of fresh air and make you feel good. How brilliant is it to be able to read Hello Magazine whilst drinking tea at the hairdressers and not have to worry about Ludoo having a potty accident? How wonderful is it to be able to get my threading done whilst listening to relaxing music and have no child whinging about using the iPad or wiping their snotty nose on my top? Glorious. It’s a brief reminder of my life B.K. (Before Kids) and a way of affirming my own identity as Shazia Khan the woman, not Shazia Khan the mum. Most of the time I tend to the needs of my kids, but for that one hour of pruning, I tend to myself.