Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Seven Steps to a Mama Spa

You  must have dreamed many times about going to a spa?  I know I have.  Many years ago I was in Maui, Hawaii with my family.  My mom treated us gals to a day spa like nothing I have ever experienced. Steam pools, thick plush robes, slippers, massages, wine, appetizers and at one point a full towel immersed in steaming hot water placed over my entire body.  Oh, if only I could have snuck my Instamatic in and taken pictures.  I have none thus I can only relive with the memory.

Fast forward many years later and three more kids, all boys added and I beg myself to make it into a day spa.  Time does not allow, and often the cost & time  out-way my desire for something different.  That is the extreme practical side of me.

This past week I was heading into what I call my "Mama Spa". I had this fleeting thought of why I do have balance in my life. A question I get asked often, especially with not only having a big family, but with my work.  Two words. "Mama Spa".  I make this time for myself.  It goes a little like this....  I make the public announcement, lock the bathroom door, assure my family they can live without me. I also, as I almost always must do, reminded everyone that I would not be having conversations through the door.  It's "Mama Spa" time.

My bathroom, surprisingly is not an overly designer bathroom.  I may be a designer, but much like the peddler's kids have no shoes, this mama does not have the dream bathroom yet.  However I am able to embrace a few things to make this "Mama Spa" time happen.

1. Invest in plush white towels.

There is nothing so comforting as that tactile experience of soft, cozy and bright white towels.  The rest of the house might be disorganized, a bit messy, but these white towels do something.  Let's say a cleansing of your heart, soul, and mind. White, the color of purity and tranquility.  All happening in your less than designer bathroom.  Ready at the end of your "Mama Spa" to wrap you up in.

2. Ignore Your Reality
This is what I must ignore when stepping into my "Mama Spa".  I don't bother to clean it up. I know that would only mean more work in drying each piece off, and then having it ready for the pilot-jedi that follows.  Just ignore it.  Let it go. Part of a "Mama Spa" is doing just that. Letting go of the cares and the woes around your tub and outside your bathroom door.  It's your time.

3.  Light or "turn on" a handful of candles.
Who does that?  Turns on a candle. That is so un-Mama Spa-ish. Not in this  house.  By the time I try and find the flicker to light real candles I get sucked into the needs of my family.  I then have little piro's wanting to follow me around to see what I am going light up.  Nope I have these fancy Vanilla smelling, flip a switch type candles.  Before turning on my steamy hot bath I light these up.  Turning the rest of my lights off in the bathroom.

4. Assemble the treatments for your "Mama Spa"
I want you to notice the orange tagged items.  At the time I was shopping for groceries, I came across these items on sale.  Things I don't really use daily, but do like to include in the "Mama Spa" selection.  You see, once you dip into your bath, the warmth and release turns your brain to mush. No real decisions can be made including what products to use. Be sure to include an assortment of products.  There is no shame in discounted items.

5. Enjoy for as long your water remains hot and then add some more.
I am able to slip my toes onto the hot handle and add more water.  There is absolutely no movement in this "Mama Spa".  I am relaxing, regrouping, thinking, and releasing the weight of the world.  This is how I add balance to a very busy life.  I may not make it out my front door, but creating this "Mama Spa" is worth it.  Do I still have knocks on the other side of the door? Yes, I just ignore them.  Are my children suffering a great loss?  Yes, because I am an amazing mom and for some reason what I have going on in here has to be fun, right?

6.  Cozy into something lovely, even if for a moment.
I love blue and I love sparkle.  I have both ready to greet me once dried off.  Taking that moment from complete relaxation, completely drama free and stepping into something pretty.  Once I had to run and grab the door in this lovely robe and necklace.  I am sure my daughter's friends wondered what I was up too.  The boys will come and look at me and tell me how pretty I look.  I am sure my skin is beat red from the heat of the tub, but it's that time away, even if a removed room in my house that makes for the perfect "Mama Spa."

7. I don't drink wine.
I may have a glass of wine before, or one after, but I don't drink & "Mama Spa" at the same time. I love my bath hot, very very hot. That combination with wine is not good.  Not to mention when my older sister was 6 years old we had a tea party with real glass.  To this day she has a four inch scar on her bum.  Between hot steamy water and that image, I stay away from drinking while indulging in my "Mama Spa".

I think we often feel like we have been robbed of some of the finer things in life, like a spa day.  We work hard as women. I work hard.  We need to have balance and a time to plan and regroup.  Hundreds of decisions have been made at this "Mama Spa."  Most important is that I am honoring myself and my need for a break.  There are many ways to add balance and have that break.  I hear most often, "I wish I had time to go to a spa."  Or this one, "I still have that spa gift certificate from last year that I need to use. "  A girlfriend shared that one with me last week. I told her to just re-gift it.  But not to me, I have my own spa right upstairs off the back wing of my home.   Now no more dreaming about going to the spa.  You can create your own space and time right in your home.  Call it your "Mama Spa".

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