Happy feet = happy pregnancy

Ok, so it's safe to say it's been a while since my last post. These past few weeks, I feel like I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death that was my first trimester...and finally resurfaced on the other side. Second trimester, it's so nice to meet you!

Just like clockwork, the sickness is starting to wane, as are some of the other rather unpleasant early symptoms of pregnancy. I have even caught a (fleeting) glimpse of my energy level starting to return. It's a little comforting to know that so far, I'm having a textbook pregnancy.

This whole process has been filled with one challenge right after the other. There is nothing quite like pregnancy to completely shatter one's need for control. I feel like that faithful caveat of mine to control my life is being ripped from the core of my being. Not to mention all of the physiological changes my body is going through that I have no control over, some changes too dramatic to mention here. It's easy to feel like a science experiment, especially when everyone around me is constantly examining my growing tummy. My body is being put through the ringer, and as I'm finding my shopping list growing along with my body with new bras, maternity clothes, a portable makeup mirror because I can't any longer lean over the counter like I used to, etc., there's another caveat that's crept up: guilt.

What is it about us women who think that everyone around us deserves our attention except ourselves? It's tempting to fall into the trap of thinking that silly indulgences are unnecessary and put everyone else first all the time, only to be left exhausted. But I'm realizing that in order to be a better wife and mom, and to leave this pregnancy experience with positive memories, I have to take care of myself more than I'm used to.

I can't comfortably tie my shoes anymore, a dilemma that comes just in time for sandal season. Of course, not reaching my feet means my toenails have been neglected as well. So this morning, I broke down and went to get a spa pedicure. And let me just say, it was pure bliss! Not only are my toenails debuting a fresh new shade of bubble gum pink, but I feel rejuvenated and a new sense of calm. I feel more like a human again. Such a treat!

Motherhood is all about giving and sacrifice. If I can be just half the mom that my own mom was, I will be self-sacrificing and completely focused on investing in this new life. But pregnancy—well ladies, I think that really needs to be our turn for some TLC. So when your complexion is less than sunny, think about investing in a facial. When aches and pains are keeping you up at night, book yourself a prenatal massage. When you can't reach your toes, enjoy a pedicure. And what about the unpleasant water retention and decreased skin tone? How about a prenatal body wrap? Even if your budget is tight (and let's face it, with a new baby on the way, we're all on a budget!), find ways to pamper yourself. Even if it's something as simple as a nice long bubble bath or homespun spa treatment with your girlfriends.

Do what you can to make this time enjoyable for you, because you may want to do it again (I've still got possibly two more rounds of this down the road!). Because pretty soon it won't be just about you anymore. And because in order to have the energy to invest in others, you must first take care of yourself.

And now it's your turn: Ladies, what is your favorite way to pamper yourself?