If you've ever read a baby book, you'll know there's invariably a section, chapter, or paragraph emphasizing the importance of maternal self-care. The books are right, but they usually forget the fact that self-care can be a tall order when you're a new parent focused on aiding a helpless, tiny human. Babies can't even burp on their own, and mine needed helped pooping. I mean, who doesn't know how to burp and poop?! Lazy-ass babies, that's who. I asked moms to share the first thing they did for themselves after giving birth. What I discovered is what I'd kind of known all along: generally, new mom self-care is rarely (if ever) particularly luxurious and falls more under the category of "simple pleasure" than "rest and relaxation."
Aside from a shower (for the first time in four days after giving birth which, sure, is gross but pretty damn common) and putting on makeup before leaving the hospital (I have no idea why this was important to me at the time, but it really, really was), my first act of self care came when my son was about three weeks old. My husband was on paternity leave, my little one went down for a nap, and I strolled down to the nail salon a couple blocks away to get a manicure and a pedicure. Being able to just sit back and let someone take care of me, after three weeks that basically just felt like one very long, never-ending day, was amazing. Bonus? Pretty hands and feet!
How did other moms take care of themselves after popping out a human? Again, and as usual when it comes to parenthood in general, it's mostly about the simple pleasures, like the following: