Taking Care

One of my friends recently posted this on Facebook:

"Are you too busy to take care of yourself?

That's kinda like saying you're too busy driving to stop for gas. Makes no sense."

Before I had children I used to think I was busy. I worked long days, went to the gym, got my hair coloured and coiffed, eyebrows shaped, legs waxed and had regular facials. I also shopped, cooked, cleaned and did laundry. On the weekends I worked most Saturdays, then went to the beach, went bushwalking or cycling with my partner and in the evenings ate out at fashionable pubs.

Like I say, I thought I was busy. 

Fast forward 20 years, add 2 teenage children with autism and a full time job being a part time special needs entrepreneur in a difficult economic climate, then you know busy.  
Having two people who need to be supported through every aspect of self care and personal grooming means there are days when you barely have time to shower. 

And yet, to some people's chagrin I don't believe that "letting myself go" makes me more worthy.

Dashing around all day looking after your kids in the clothes you stood up in that morning, with hair that has been dragged through a hedge backwards does not make you a better parent. Because if you catch a look at yourself in the mirror you're not going to like the person you see. 
So begins the sneaky hate spiral where you find yourself trudging around the supermarket with a six pack of donuts in your trolley while you search for a bigger size of nappies for your special needs kid.

Please ditch the "comfy" trackpants, put on jeans or a nice dress, brush your hair and smile in the mirror as you put on lipstick and you will feel better about yourself. 

Self worth and self esteem can also affect the way others see you and treat you. 
So dressing up and feeling the equal of everyone in the room can give you the confidence to negotiate firmly to get what your kid really needs.

Ergo: taking care of yourself can make everything in life go better and give your kids a better life! 

Another important step in feeling good is meeting up with friends! Going for a walk, a coffee or a glass of wine or 2 with real friends is so important. Not the ones who just want to moan and dump all their troubles on you, but the ones who will listen, comfort, advise, and encourage you. Make time for these friends who "radiate" good energy and leave you feeling inspired.

Of course, these friends are probably as busy as you are. And with school holidays looming you are both about to get even busier with round the clock demands of kids who don't really like being off school. The lack of structure leads to boredom, anxiety and an increase in stress all round. You really need to make the time now to meet up and get recharged ready for July...

Anna Schu Nail Lounge and Beauty Salon, Wicklow

And the great news is, from now until the end of June you and your 'special' friend can enjoy a Mini Mani + Classic Pedicure at the gorgeous Anna Shu Nail Lounge and Beauty Salon for the exclusive price of €56 

That's only €28 each for a full hour of luxury pampering and invigorating* conversation!

So how does it work? Well, never fear, my good friend Fiona; who blogs about Clive the Autism Assistance Dog and I have taken the trouble to review the offer for you! (in the name of research)

Fiona is one of those friends you can pick up with at any time and it's like you just saw each other last week. She also picks up after Clive and and her special son Murray so she needed a bit of hand pampering too!

First you need to email the wonderful Special Needs Parents Association 
on:  info@specialneedsparents.ie to request your exclusive voucher.

The offer is for one special needs parent plus one friend, but your friend can be anyone, parent or not: just make sure they are worth it. (pick a really good one and they may even treat you!)

The offer is available from Monday to Wednesday and you need to book in together on (01) 2828422
and it takes just over an hour.

When you arrive you will be escorted to the nail bar for your "Mini Manicure" and offered a cup of herbal tea .

This is the perfect maintenance manicure for busy hands: Starts with a nail soak, cuticle work, nail shape and buff, followed by massage and optional paint to finish. It actually makes your nails stronger and less likely to snag so it is beautiful and practical. 

These are my friend Fiona's hands. Mine looked like old lady hands because I never wear gloves so I made Fiona pose.

Next up is the foot spa: 

This is accompanied by more tea and chat as we lean back into our massage chairs and really relax. Magazines are supplied along with the massage controls but Fiona and I were too busy solving the problems of the world to be reading about Kim Kardashian.

My feet were soaked, scrubbed...

(Yes I am due a leg wax)


Nails and cuticles are expertly trimmed and shaped. This is my favourite bit as I can never get my toenails right. It is also good for you!

Cuticles treated.

Then your pretty piggies are painted.. (This is just a first coat) 

When it's all done you are forced to sit still and continue to enjoy the massage chair until your nails are quite dry. They put a final gloss on them before helping you to put on your flip flops without smudging.

For someone who spends so much time prompting other people to put on, take off and put away their shoes, this is really sweet. I feel like Cinderella.

(That glow around my nails is the oil which eventually soaks in)




Purty huh?

Of course the fun doesn't have to end there. Fiona and I went on to lunch at the Avoca cafe where we continued plot world domination over coffee and goats cheese bruschetta.

And at 3.30pm my kids came home to a happy and relaxed Mama with soft hands and beautiful feet.
Please, set aside some time for you as a matter of priority as July is only 5 weeks away and you do not want to run out of "gas" before September when our darlings go back to school.

Taking Care of You is not selfish. It is an essential part of maintaining good mental health which makes you a better parent, wife and advocate for your kids. 

My heartfelt thanks to Anna of Anna Shu Salons for supporting this initiative on behalf of Special Needs Parents Ireland. I hope it inspires other businesses around the world to join and promote a "Care of the Self" campaign.

Because we Special Parents, We're Worth it!


Jodi said…
Wise advice Lisa! It took me awhile to not feel guilty about going for a jog a few times a week and getting my hair done every few months... But I feel so much calmer, happier and inspired when I exercise and have "me time". Balance is so important!
MMIP said…
Thats nice place: But some times its very hard to spare time for such treatment.
Well said! I totally believe that I need to take care of me too, or I would not be able to keep going :)
Anonymous said…
Whishing I could do that. Would really love to as you said the time. I totally agree with you. I am so going to try.
I agree with you 100%. I figure that it is always possible to make a plan if you really want to take time for yourself. Great pedi.. and the price was also pretty good.
Jean said…
Well said! I have to constantly remind myself to ditch the sackcloth and ashes, and it's always worth the effort XXX

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