For most of us, having a baby signals a huge shift in focus. We aren't checking our vitals everyday anymore, the lazier of us quit our prenatals cold turkey, no one cares if we're uncomfortable, and I've never heard of a postpartum massage. But (again, for most of us,) that's more than okay! If I could be transported back to the first few weeks of my kiddos' lives, I'd be in heaven. Those memories are my happiest happy place besides my everyday life as I'm currently living it.
Sometimes I scoop my 3-year-old up in my arms just to stare at her and hold her like I did our first night at home. Those big blue eyes have represented the most prevalent distraction from stress since just then. It didn't matter that I was still fat even after there wasn't a baby in me. It didn't matter that my relationship was emotionally destructive or that I was spending my first night home from the hospital on the couch. It didn't matter that I was exhausted, healing, and in pain. It didn't matter, because that 7.1lb babe took up the space of my entire world, and she was perfect. I'm still kinda waiting for her to not be perfect.
It feels like it was literally a week ago that I brought my little boy home from his 6 day stint in the NICU for being "technically" premature. Once again, the minute the third trimester ended, and he was being ripped from my arms for precautionary measures, I didn't matter. And whatthehellever, I didn't want to matter. I didn't even wait for them to remove the catheter from my surgery. My pee bag and I went straight to my boy. Straight to his little bedside filled with wires and tubes where I was allowed to lean my face in, but not lift him. The smell of his head will always and forever be the most calming and simultaneously overwhelming scent to me. I am obsessed with him. I'll creepily sniff the hair that meets his neck behind his ear at his wedding some day and his wife (or husband, don't want to assume) will make sure they move to another country (but actually, his husband would love me).
For a long time, I had it wrong. I thought "I don't matter and that's okay, because LOOK how much these perfect little people matter". I resented the phrase:
'take care of you, mama'.
Like, I'm sorry, have you seen how many people need me to take care of them first? I'm alive. It's fine.
But I was sour. I was grumpy and probably smelled bad. I was insignificant to myself. When it became just the three of us, though, I realized how deeply I needed to spend some time with me. After pushing friends away, dropping weight like a cat with leukemia (my mom's cat died of leukemia, I have no other similes), and having a breakdown or 10, I had one of those cheesy epiphanies. One that has actually, honestly, reshaped my perception of myself and the love I deserve. Not only from others, but from me. Actually, especially from me.
I stumbled across the phrase "you can't be better to them until you're better to you" within some mommy blog article post on my Facebook timeline at the right time. I was like "I need to matter to me? Since when?" And then I started putting time aside for that.
Shortly after, I met Tanya and Stephanie, the creators of Rose + Candy, and learned their philosophy: new mothers deserve to be reminded that they are also women, and that they still matter. Lawwwd if I could go back to those first few weeks of my kids' lives and take this box with me... The fourth trimester is such a real period that should be paid attention to. You should be reminded that you still matter. Because if you're like me, you'll seriously forget if someone doesn't tell you. Please don't wait until your kids are going on 3 and 2 to wake up and realize that you are more than a machine.
My little tiffany blue package arrived for me about 2 weeks ago, filled to the brim with over 20 items specifically for the new mom (also would highly recommend for the full time working mom or exhausted SAHM, part time of both, with whatever age-range of spawn) who could use some pickmeups during those first few weeks when you're otherwise all-consumed by your new person.
I'm obsessive compulsive so I split and reorganized the box into two categories:
1) for feeling clean even when you're disgusting
2) for feeling pretty because you freakin' own motherhood
In category 1, my favorite things are:
- organic facial cleansing tissues
- dry shampoo *hallelujah hands emoji*
- on the go teeth-brushing substitute wipes (also works great for wine lips)
- coconut oil
- organic deodorant
- little caffeinated chocolate bars (I got an Americano, Mocha, and Matcha and ate them all as soon as I was done taking these photos, then finally fell asleep 18 hours later)
I keep all of this and the super cute little Rose + Candy bag in my car for on the go because I never realize how bad it is until I catch a glimpse in the rearview mirror.
In category 2, my favorite things are:
- gold bar earrings
- gold infinity necklace (as a reminder of a mother's infinite love, omg)
- the mama bear T-shirt
- the coolest lip tint ever that's see-through with gold flakes and a flower inside of it*
- floral hair clip
- the gold fleck scarf
* the name of the product is in German, can't spell it or pronounce it, move along.
There is so much in here, and it's such a great value. I think this is the perfect gift to send someone who's expecting or freshly postpartum, and I have a few pregnant friends right now who (surprise!) are all getting this in the coming months; however, I would also totally buy this for myself. We grab some of these things every time we go to the store (dry shampoo addicts, holla at me), but what we don't get is the care-package experience, the thoughtful gifts put into this to ensure you feel important and taken care of, and we don't think to select jewelry and accessories for ourselves when we're headed straight for the baby isles on a rare trip out of the house. Target just doesn't provide this service. And if they ever did, there's a large chance it wouldn't be operated by other mothers.
I wanted to share this box and all of Rose + Candy's products with you because it has deeply touched my life and I believe that moms everywhere need a boost, a reminder, and a little box of goodies for themselves to be excited about in the midst of their major focal shift.
Stephanie and Tanya have allowed me to share a special promo with you: let them know you learned about Rose + Candy through my blog or social and you will get a bonus gift with your order! Considering all that's included in the standard package, I'm already jealous of the additional prize. I hope you love it!
You can find them at roseandcandy.com
The Fourth Trimester Box is for sale HERE.