Self-care. I hear about it all the time. As a mom it is difficult to find time for me. I am always putting off buying myself anything in order to afford something the kids need. I have truly wanted to join the hot yoga gym for nearly a year, but $49 a month is just not in the financial cards for us at this point due to school athletics, growth spurts, and special-needs stuff like noise reduction headphones that keep getting broken during autistic meltdowns.

I finally broke down and bought myself 2 multi-packs of cotton underwear and still felt so guilty about it that I postponed paying the water bill so that I could buy everyone in the family his or her own multi-pack of underwear. (Yeah, I’m a Muslim, but that Catholic guilt just doesn’t ever leave you. It may be in my DNA.)

Intellectually, I know that if I don’t take care of me that I will be of no use to take care of the family. But how do you put that into practice realistically? This is north Texas and the humidity is crazy all the time. I want to walk the track by our house but the only time I could do this is early, early morning hours. Currently, my husband won’t let me do this alone as there is a guy on the loose in our neighborhood who has been trying to drag girls off from behind. I think it’s sweet that my husband is concerned that the would-be rapist might mistake me, his nearly 46 year old 100 lbs overweight wife, for a 15 year old girl. But you know, SAFETY FIRST!

This summer has been extremely long. With all five of the kids home and only one of them working part-time, I’m ready to scream. I love them all dearly…and still want an apartment of my own that I can escape to (where NO ONE knows the address and there are no phones.) I have been putting off the self-care thing for so long that I have finally decided to look my life in the eye and say: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

So, here are the five things I want to do to take care of me this week:

1. Say NO to something. (Check – sort of)

I am a parent volunteer and member of the PTSA at my kids high school. I usually
say yes to volunteer work and accommodate. Today when asked to stuff envelopes with
the newsletter to parents of 9th graders, I said with conviction, “No….but I will
drop off my senior and my freshman to do it for two hours.” (Why not? It’s their

2. Get my face threaded.

I have ignored having my mustache threaded off for nearly 3 months and y’all, I need
to get this off my face or just wax the old handle-bar and buy me a Harley.

3. Sew.

Wearing hijab is fine with me. Wearing hijab in the United States is EXPENSIVE and
challenging to say the least. It’s hard to find pretty plus-sized clothes as it is.
Add to the mix religious requirements about hemlines and necklines and tightness,
and the need for veiling is multiplied because I’m pulling my hair out. I do not
like to wear the long abayas (over-dress) because I trip over them and fall…a lot.
I’ve fallen in streets, up stairs, and once knocked the wind out of myself when I
stepped on the hem of my abaya while stepping up on a curb and fell face forward,
landing on top of my big old overstuffed purse that hit me right in the solar
plexus….in front of a sidewalk coffee shop…..downtown. Anyway, I found a pattern
by Simplicity for a full-length maxi abaya AND short dress (read TUNIC!) My mom and
bought fabric and cut and pinned and cut some more. I just NEED to get the
confidence that I need to park my ass in front of my sewing machine and put this
beast together like a BOSS!

4. Get a hair cut.

I found an amazing hairdresser on the other side of the city who KNOWS how to give a
dry hair cut (ABSOLUTELY necessary for those of us with natural curls) AND it’s at
one of those $15 a cut salons. She is so sweet and she even accommodated me and cut
my hair in the breakroom because the salon was full of men and I couldn’t/wouldn’t
remove my hijab in front of them. She is a rock star. I really, really, really need
cut and want to go back to her soonest. If I can’t see her this week I will at least
make an appointment to see her next week.

5. Work out.

So we don’t have the money for me to join a gym and I can’t go walking before it
gets scorching hot out. That is no excuse. We have a weight bench on the back porch
and there is nothing stopping me from using it. No, it’s not the yoga that I want to
learn. But it’s exercise and that is what I need regardless of the style. It will
probably give me back some of the energy I have been missing and help me to sleep at
night which will then help me to lose this weight. (Yeah, getting enough rest IS key
in the exercise/eat healthy equation!)

So now to put all this into practice and it’s Wednesday already. I guess since number one is checked off, I’ve got one down and four to go. Self-care will be a priority if I will make it one.

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