Since becoming a mum, I’ve been pretty pants at treating myself. There always seems to be something else that is more important; my daughter needs something, my husband needs something, the house needs something. Whatever it is, nine times out of ten, I will prioritise that one thing above the one thing I had planned to do or buy for myself.
Not this weekend.
On Friday, I made a decision. As I drove home from work, I passed – on impulse – the junction I usually take on the motorway. Instead, I drove a few more miles so I could take a solo trip to the supermarket. Whilst there, I bought a few bits for supper, a huge mixture of bubble solution for my toddler, plus a brilliant red nail varnish and a bottle of Prosecco for myself. And I didn’t allow myself to feel a hint of guilt.
On Friday night, after putting my two year old to bed, I poured myself a glass of bubbles and settled down to paint my toenails and my fingernails. I didn’t even switch my computer on – the emails could wait.
I used to read around two to three books a month, often before going to bed. Now, I never read. I’m too tired or too busy to pick up a book, unless I have a few days off. Reading was such a huge part of who I was, that I’m embarrassed to say it’s a pleasure I rarely indulge in any more. I never treat myself. I rarely buy clothes for myself. In the supermarket, I browse the aisles, looking for the things I know my husband and daughter love. I come home and unpack them, excited to see their reactions. And then I wonder why it’s always me who gets the treats, me bothering to make things nice, me being the thoughtful one.
The thing is, it’s absolutely my own fault. If you’re happy to give and make things nice and look after people, they will be happy too. If you don’t put yourself first EVER, why should anyone else? If you don’t sometimes just throw your hands in the air and say, “I’M doing THIS right now, because it’s something I want to do” then how will anyone know? People are not mind readers, after all.
Yesterday, we went into town. I bought a pair of trainers, a pair of wellies and a pair of slippers for my growing child. And then I bought two tops, a pair of trousers and two pairs of shoes for myself. Wandering back to the car, I spied a specialist cheese shop, hidden along an alleyway next to one of those bridal boutique stores. “Wouldn’t it be nice to buy some posh cheese one time?” I mused to my husband. “Let’s get some now,” he said. “Go on, for tonight. You love cheese – when was the last time you had some nice cheese?”
So I did.
I went in to this posh cheese shop and spent a good ten minutes tasting little nuggets of cheese. I spent over a tenner on fancy cheese and crackers, excited by my haul and laughing with my husband at being “ridiculously indulgent”.
I ate some of my fancy pants cheese last night. And I wore my shoes today. And I looked at my nails while I drank a gin and tonic on a family trip to our local beer garden.
And I smiled.
Because sometimes, you know, you just have to treat yourself. And I don’t even feel guilty.