Categories
Family

The Importance of Self Care and How to Pamper Yourself

How important is self care? Let’s take a look at where we are first. 2020 has been a hell of a year for a lot of us. Election year, which is concluding this week. A pandemic. And cries for social justice. It has felt like the longest of years. And it is almost over. In 2, hopefully short, months we will all ring in the New Year. I, for one, will be going with the meme that had floated around, and will be screaming JUMANJI! into the void. Because you just never know. But until then, for today, I can do a little something for me.

I’m sure we have all been hearing to take care of ourselves. To practice a little self-care. We are all struggling mentally, in some form or another. And taking a moment in our day to focus on doing something for ourselves, to look at all the cute baby animal pictures or binge a few episodes of a favorite show, is a great way to give our brains a chance to pause all the negativity and stress.

To my fellow moms, I know this is a hard one. We are all about the kids and the partners. But this is important. Remember those flight safety talks? Put the oxygen mask on yourself first. You’re no good to anyone if you pass out. Plus, it shows good habits to those tiny humans we are trying to raise into adulthood. These are skills they will also need, so show them.

What is Self Care Exactly?

It can be literally anything that brings you joy and zero negativity. It can be whatever lets you turn off the to do lists and the planning and worrying and the whatever else you have draining your mental energy. It can last for just a short 10 minutes to a couple hours to all day, if that’s what you need. Just make sure it is safe for you and safe for those around you. If you have kiddos, make sure they are taken care of while you take care of yourself.

But Lucie, I need ideas!

No worries, I got you! Below are some of my go-to self care treats. Some are completely free. Some have a price tag. Some only require a few minutes of your time. Some can be stretched out to fill an entire day. It’s all up to you.

Try a Bath

I love a hot bath, with bubbles and a candle and some soft music or a book. The time it takes to set it up, however, can be a little bit of a pain. Getting the right temperature water and finding the time for it can sometimes be tricky. But once it happens, it is magic!

Read Something

Another love of mine is books! I have them everywhere. And I love re-reading my favorites. There is comfort in opening the pages and meeting a familiar character in a familiar story. No surprises. Just a journey you already know that has been blurred by time.

Watch Something

This can be movies or shows. As with books, there is comfort in the familiarity of something you’ve seen before. There is no shortage of new things to watch, and sometimes I do. But usually, I will fall into the characters and storylines I know. And thanks to all of the streaming networks, I can turn back to shows I grew up with or haven’t watched since they aired originally 10 or 15 years ago.

Play a Game

Console, app, card, or otherwise, go play a game. Single player games are great for turning off that brain. Depending on how much has been in my head, I may play some fairly mindless ones. Or, if I need to distract myself, I’ll pull out something that requires some puzzling or a just little more concentration. They are also great for family nights. Everyone needs a break from life at some point, even kids. Why not practice some self-care together?

Go Shopping

Whether you’re buying or not, sometimes it is nice to just wander a store and look at all the pretty things. My favorite places are book stores, of course. But also Target. They have everything. And thanks to my oldest daughter, I have also been slowly falling in love with Ulta Beauty. The nail polishes, the lotions, the potions… There is only a small portion of the store I wander through, but it is enough to make my heart lighter.

Get a Massage

Once upon a time, when Lovey and I first started dating, he wanted to pursue massage therapy. Which meant hours of practical experience he had to knock out for classes. That was when I got hooked. I enjoyed them before but it wasn’t until he started the schooling and practicing on me that I really got into all of the benefits. Sadly, he kind of ruined me for the relaxing froo-froo (as he calls it) massages. But that’s okay. The ones that fix problem areas and relieve painful spots are amazing too. Maybe even more so.

Get Your Hair Done

I love having my hair brushed. I could sit and just let someone brush and braid my hair for a solid couple of hours, if someone was so inclined. Also, a fresh hair cut or simple trim can do wonders for boosting my mood. Same with getting a new color. I tend to stick to at home stuff for the quick fix, but have gone to the salon and spent a blissful day in peace and quiet having it professionally colored.

Manis & Pedis

I love having my nails painted. Not always by someone else, as I get fidgety. I prefer taking the time in the evenings or during Munchkin’s naptime to paint them myself. And then for the rest of the time until they chip off, I have something pretty to look at.

Go Outside

Sometimes just a change of scenery can help lift my mood and calm my mind. A walk around the block, a visit to the local nature center for an easy hike, or simply sitting on the back porch with a book and a cup of coffee. The fresh air is good for you. The sun is good for you. Get those sunshine-y vitamins in and embrace the outside.

Take a Nap

Naps are underrated. I think we should embrace them! Sometimes the best thing to do is rest. Did you have a fitful night’s sleep? Did you overdo it during the week? Or are you so mentally drained you have no more energy for even the little things? Take a nap. It doesn’t have to be hours long. Just 20-30 minutes of laying down in the quiet and letting your mind and body rest is so nice. Sure, sometimes I over do it and wake up more groggy than refreshed, but nine times out of ten, I feel so much better. And I’m ready to take on some tasks that I previously just couldn’t.

That’s it! My go to options for a little self care. I’ve had to learn it’s okay to take that time. And I’m passing that to you. It’s more than okay, it’s important. Hopefully something here spoke to you. Try it out, see if you don’t feel a little better, a little lighter. And don’t forget to drink some water. And breathe.

How do you practice self care? Share your tips in the comments below.

Categories
Family Polyamory

We’re Dating Again and the Kids are Alright

“Girls, your dad and I are dating again.”

“Yay!”

“And we are also going to be dating other people.”

“Ummm…”

That’s about how it went when we told our girls (Sass and Crumbs) that we were going to be Polyamorous.

Questions popped up of course. Some just logistics (Will we get to meet them? Where will we be if you’re both on dates?) Some plain old curiosity. And some – the big ones – were all about reassurance. Do you still love each other? Will you still stay together?

Pretty sure the divorce played more into those questions than our new dating arrangements.

All we could do was show them that this was going to be a positive experience for all of us. We were open and honest about everything. No surprises. Everything was right there on the table before anything happened.

We kept our normal routines. And made new ones when (finally) we were all under the same roof once more. We talked about dating, about new people we were talking to. We answered more questions. Kids seem to always have an endless supply of them, no matter the topic.

Dating Again

The biggest test was when I started going on actual dates. Lovey had dated a few times already. He was living in another city (we were long distance for a little bit there) so it wasn’t as in their face. Not to mention, they were (and still are) Momma’s Girls. And now there was, potentially, a new man coming into their lives taking up more of my time and attention. And was Dad really okay with this? Yes, of course he was. We had talked about it for so long by then that it was no longer a question for us. But, understandably, it was for them.

Even with all of the talking Lovey and I had done, it was still a little weird to start. I had maintained for a while that I wasn’t really interested in dating anyone. Which slowly evolved to not interested in dating men, to maybe just the right man. Enter Boyfriend. Lovey met him after our first date. And they hit it off, as I knew they would. (And let me tell you, nothing will point out your “type” faster than polyamory!)

Boyfriend & Bats

The girls insisted on meeting him right away. So, with Lovey’s blessing, Boyfriend came to pick me up for our first date, and we all walked around the block to the sitter’s. They were mostly quiet, as is their nature around new people. They asked a few questions, made a few comments. But mostly just observed. Boyfriend, to his credit, let them lead.

Lovey had had a few dates with different women over all this time. And then he met Bats. And they fit right into our life as if they had always been. They stepped in with Munchkin, helping to wrangle or cuddle depending on the mood. They reached out to Sass and Crumbs, offering friendship and a safe space.

The Kids are Alright

The girls’, for the most part, have simply accepted it all with grace and minimal complaining. Any mention of dates or any displays of affection has been met with the obligatory eye rolls and resounding sighs of “ugh, grown ups dating.” And for that, we are so grateful.

We were open from the get go with them. There were no dumb or off limits questions. They could meet our partners when they were ready. If they were uncomfortable, they said so. We listened. To concerns, to questions, to whatever they were thinking and feeling about it all.

And now… It is their normal. Munchkin has never known any different. We are a polyamorous family. And that’s just the way we like it.

Did you have to “come out” to your kids? How did they handle it? How did you? Share below! And don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on new posts!

Categories
Family

How to Make Holiday Movie Nights Easier

Every year, my family and I love to watch holiday movies. Our two biggest movie watching holidays? Halloween and Christmas, of course. But our biggest struggle is that we always end up watching the same 5 movies. And then we say “Next year we’re watching (insert new holiday movie)!” But it never gets written down. So the holiday comes around again, and it gets overlooked. Twelve months is a long time to remember something!

Another struggle, albeit smaller than getting away from the same ones over and over, is deciding who gets to pick the holiday movie that night. I don’t know about you, but picking a movie when it’s just me and Lovey, or me and Boyfriend is hard enough. And then you add in kids? And what if Boyfriend and Bats are there too? All those people add up to a lot of different opinions.

Stop the Holiday Movie Madness!

So how did we fix this? How did we ensure we would get to watch all the movies on our imaginary list? And how did we ensure that the same person wasn’t always picking?

I present to you our highly sophisticated solution! (insert dramatic music here) Holiday Movie Sticks!

Okay, so it’s not actually highly sophisticated. It’s about as simple as you can get. And for a not-super-crafty person (that’s me, folx!), it was perfect! It’s cheap – you can find everything at your local dollar store, except maybe the tape depending on your how much of a craft section your local store has. But even then… you have options! It’s simple – I mean seriously simple. Keep reading, you’ll see. And it’s useful. It counts as a holiday decoration and helps you and yours get through all of those holiday movies you’ve been itching to watch!

Rated G? Or Rated R?

Of course, Halloween presented its own minor complication. There are kids to consider, and it is a holiday that embraces the spooky and gorey and down right terrifying when it comes to its themed movies. The easiest fix is to create two sets of Holiday Movie Sticks. One for family friendly movies, like Casper or The Addams Family. And one for scary movies, like It or Friday the 13th. Movies in the first set are appropriate for all ages. Movies in the second set are mostly for the grownups and the older kids who have an adult’s permission.

Mom note: If you have little ones at home, you can easily tackle this project during naptime. Or, if they are old enough, let them help you! My toddler loves helping me with little tasks. Ask them to hand you the tape, or put the finished sticks in their respective container. You know your kids and yourself best. So do whatever works for you.

Alright, on to it!

You will need

  • popsicle sticks (thick or thin, your preference. I recommend thicker if your handwriting is not naturally small)
  • Container (really anything you can put the sticks in and set out during the holiday, but then put away with the other decorations. Get creative!)
  • Washi tape or other decorative tape (check your local craft store, or craft section, and go nuts! Make sure it is something you can write on with a marker (so stay away from dark colors and slick surfaces). You also want to make sure that it matches the width of your chosen popsicle sticks.
  • Scissors (if the tape you choose isn’t tearable, or if you just want clean ends)
  • Sharpie (any color!)
  • List of your favorite holiday movies

Step 1

Curate your list of movies. Look over your own collection of movies for ideas. Likewise, any google or pinterest search will net you a ton of options. You can also poll your facebook friends and family for their favorite must watch movies during the holiday.

Tip: Don’t limit yourself to movies you own! A lot of movies can be found on streaming services, at Redbox, or even at your local library!

Step 2

Gather up your supplies. Turn on some background theme music. Or one of those movies from your list you’ve seen too many times to count but you still love it. Let’s face it, I’m sure we all have at least one of those.

Step 3

Count out the number of popsicle sticks you will need. One for each movie on your list. I like to include a few extra to leave blank. Sometimes new ones will come out or there will be one you hadn’t thought of before, so it’s nice to have an extra stick to add the movie to that is already prepped.

Step 4

Time for your tape! You want to cover about 3/4 of the stick with your tape, leaving just enough at the end empty so you can distinguish between the watched and not watched when they are all in the container you’ve chosen. I simply started on one side and folded my tape over the end to cover the other side. Easy peasey!

You could skip the tape cover, if you really wanted to. But I do not recommend it. The main reason is because sharpie on wooden popsicle sticks tends to bleed. And then the words get all blurry, which could leave you all staring at the stick you pulled and not being able to tell if it’s The Addams Family or something else. Plus, depending on the tape you chose, it could make them all the more themed.

Step 5

Once all your sticks are covered, it’s time to write down those movies! Grab your list and start marking them off. One movie per stick. It’s up to you if you feel like writing the movie on both sides of the stick or not. (I recommend keeping it simple and just sticking to one side.)

And that’s it! Drop your finished sticks into their container, untaped end up. When movie night comes around, just reach in and pick a stick. Don’t forget to drop it back in upside down so you don’t pick it again next time. And if that particular movie is not available when you pull it, then you can set it aside and watch it whenever it does become available.

Happy movie watching!

Need some help creating your own list of movies? Subscribe below and I’ll send you my own lists for Christmas and Halloween.

What are some of your favorite holiday movies that you have to watch every year? Will this help your family decide what to watch this year? I’d love to see pictures of yours, so please drop them below or share on our facebook page!

Categories
Family Polyamory

Practicing Polyamory Our Way: A Conversation with Lovey

In an effort to better introduce you all to my world, I thought it would be fun to interview my people about polyamory. Because we all came into this a little differently. And we certainly all approach it differently. I also thought it would be great for you guys to hear their voices in this. So here is the first in this mini series! I hope you enjoy it!

What drew you to polyamory?

The idea of being able to embrace all the different aspects of who I wanted to be.

What was the biggest deterrent?

I didn’t know how I was going to handle jealousy and the sharing and lack of ownership… all of that.

What did you struggle with?

I’d say my biggest struggle was with compersion. When you and Boyfriend first started dating I had to figure out how to just be happy and not worry about if I was going to lose something or whatever.

How often does jealousy come up?

After the first couple months, it really hasn’t been an issue for me.

Is he not the cutest? At this point you may be thinking, yeah right. Jealousy isn’t an issue? But I can honestly attest to the fact that it really isn’t. Even prior to our foray into polyamory. He is unique to other guys in that way. Part of why I love him so!

How do you handle or work through those jealous feelings?

I tried my best not to overthink things, and the more you went out and came back the more that everything was okay, it just helped reassure and quiet all of those voices. Meeting Boyfriend and having that meeting go good super helped.

What makes each of your partners special?

My main partner, my person, we have history, we understand each other, we’re comfortable together. I don’t know, there’s just so much to that answer. Bats is new. It’s exciting. They are very attentive. It’s a very different relationship. And we, our friendship has really grown and like the things we talk about. And I really enjoy both the conversation with both of my partners. The conversations are like similar but they”re still different. And it’s nice.

What is the most rewarding thing about polyamory?

The most rewarding thing has been being able to go out on dates and not have like any sexual pressure. I don’t feel like I have to go out and I’m not chasing women or chasing sex or like attention or acceptance. Being able to date without a lot of that pressure, it’s been nice. Being able to explore different things, go out, do tennis or hiking or playing pool or whatever. It is having that time when my person isn’t up to it, you know that’s nice. We don’t have to worry about jealousy. The conversation has been beautiful because… Its definitely been a strange experience learning how to live openly and honestly. But its been pretty rewarding.

What is the most common question/reaction you get about practicing polyamory?

A lot of it has to do with the dynamics. Like how the sex works, and jealousy, and how we figure that stuff out, do that stuff without everybody fighting or getting possessive. It’s hard for them to wrap their head around or something.

Yes! Everyone always assumes there are crazy orgies happening all the time! Which is actually very far being true, in most polyamorous relationships. Another popular assumption is that we are all greedy and yet also possessed with this ridiculous amount of jealousy. So much so that it has become a running joke for those practicing polyamory.

How did you and Bats meet?

I met them on one of the poly groups and she did an intro post and I said hi. I did an intro post, they said hi. I asked her if I could private message, she said yes, so we talked back and forth. I asked her if we could get together and she kind of brushed me off, said she wasn’t ready to meet yet and wanted to get to know me, and then just nothing ever happened with it. And then a month or two months after that we actually matched on a dating site and I asked so when do I get to take you out? And she said oh, I didn’t know you were interested. Oh really? Cause I asked you out like 2 months ago.

And that’s how we started talking.

What is one thing that has surprised you about polyamory?

How okay this feels. It was weird at first talking about dating somebody else or talking about hey that chick looks cute. Or I talk to somebody and they seem interested. It’s weird. Yeah, it’s just very against the norm. We were very mono. We were brainwashed into thinking monogamy was the only way.

How do you wish TV/the media/movies would better represent polyamorous people and polyamorous relationships?

I kind of wish there was more… less toxic monogamy traits. And it’d be nice to see more poly in the media, different groups, differing… different combinations. You know, it doesn’t always have to be a guy and two girls. Or whatever. There’s definitely a lot of different ways to poly. So I’d like to see more of that. But really I’ll settle for less toxic monogamy.

Are you open about practicing polyamory? And how did that go?

To everybody except my parents.

When we went poly I was actually in the middle of a job change. So when I started my new job I just started as poly. They asked and I was like yeah we’re open. And that’s kind of been my story ever since to everybody. To new friends. To old friends.

What has polyamory taught you about love?

Poly has taught me that love doesn’t have to have, doesn’t have to live in a cage. I mean, boundaries… personal boundaries are healthy for love, for your love, for all of that stuff. But love doesn’t have to die, or completely dissolve, or change just because the relationship with someone changes. And it doesn’t disappear after you’ve loved one person. It’s taught me that I don’t have to be possessive. That if the love is really there I don’t have to fight for it, I don’t have to beg for it, I… it’s there you know. So it’s given me a deeper understanding of what true love really is.

What do you think is important in keeping a polyamorous relationship healthy?

Lots and lots of over communication. And enthusiastic consent on things. You gotta pay attention and learn your partner. Pay attention to your partner. You gotta do more. You gotta step up your game. Like this is not easy, it’s not all about the sex, it just doesn’t come natural. You really gotta work at it. You know, you gotta step up your game and be more of an active player in the relationship.

What do you think about our dynamic?

I kinda like our dynamic. It’s a little more go with the flow. You don’t like change which is really weird because we’re kind of letting our relationship evolve as we go, and I know we both want kitchen table and we’d like to add someone to the group but I don’t know. we’re kind of letting that evolve as we go. I like our dynamic. It works for me. And anytime we come across hiccups we talk about it and figure out ways around. The compromise has been really good. I like it.

How do you keep from over venting/sharing about 1 partner to another?

I don’t really vent about you to really anybody except for S. S is my vent to person. So like whenever we’re… I don’t know… mad at each other or I’m frustrated I go to my vent to person. I don’t complain about you to Bats. If we’re having issues or we’re upset I might tell them but I try to keep the specifics out of it. Me and Bats don’t really talk about my and your relationship. Our conversations tend to be about our relationship and stuff. When there’s things that are going on then they might hear the cliff’s notes version but that’s about as far as I really go.

Were the kids a part of the decision to start dating? How did they affect that?

They were totally a factor in the decision and stuff. First thoughts were you know well how does this affect them. How can it negatively affect them. What kind of message does this send to them about relationships and stuff. Part of the reason we decided to go poly was because we wanted a healthy relationship. Certainly one that was much healthier than we had when we were monogamous and married and all of that. So you know we wanted to… I wanted the chance to show them what a healthy relationship could be, a happy relationship could be. And poly it gave us that chance.

Don’t miss out on the rest of this mini-series! Stay in touch by subscribing below!

Categories
Family General Info

Meet Some of My Favorite People In the World

Lovey

My Nesting Partner, my person, my once-husband. And the father of my children. We have been together ~15 years (minus the Dark Years that saw us divorced and living in different cities. Thank God we got that sorted out!) He is the one that pushes me to be better and calls me out on my sh*t. He is the one I trust above and beyond everyone else. My Ride or Die.

Boyfriend

My Boyfriend of 3 years. He is the thing I didn’t know I needed in my life. With him, my more playful and geeky side is able to come out more. He is also the one to indulge in my Scary Movie Obsession. We clicked from Day 1, so much so that it was a little spooky. It was just like that old cliché: It was as if we had known each other forever.

Bats

My Metamour. Lovey’s partner. Prefers They/Them pronouns. They have been in my life for ~10 months now. And it’s like they always have been. Even if we didn’t share a partner, we would be great friends. They are the one that keeps me creative. And they are quite possibly my best support when it comes to my other relationships.

Sassy

My mini me. Our first born. And as sassy as the day is long, if you couldn’t tell by her nickname. She is the child with the absolute biggest heart! And a sharp mind that can be just as lethal as it is life-giving. She has a strong sense of what is right when it comes to treating other humans as humans, and treating this planet and all of its creatures with love and respect.

Crumbs

Lovey’s mini me. Our second born. Sometimes I swear she is part mouse because she is so quiet. Just like her sister, she has a big heart and a sharp mind. She is our deep thinker, our sensitive soul, our artist. She knows who she is and is 100% comfortable with it. And has no qualms about letting others know it.

Munchkin

Our youngest. My Baby. He is a wild child who loves Moana and Elsa and Elmo. He adores his sisters and his kitties. Loves food. Loves his Daddy. And loves his Momma.

The Fur-Babies

What house is complete without some furry family members? (And, no, I am not talking about *those* furries, Hahaha.) Our resident fur-babies are all feline. Bats’ pup visits on occasion, but until we are all living the dream under one roof, it is just short visits. The cats, I’m sure appreciate this greatly.

Our matriarch is Grandmama Kitty. Our patriarch, though much younger than Grandmama Kitty, is Boo. Sadly, he crossed the Rainbow Bridge this year. Our little void is Baby Fuzz. We also “foster” Baby Fuzz’s mom, Momma Kitty and her brother, Stripes. Their human is a close friend who currently can’t have his babies with him. So they get a long stay-cation with us!