Thursday, August 6, 2015

Put Yourself Higher on the List

**I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of REACH® and One2One Network. **

"It's been two years," I said immediately avoiding eye contact and laughing a little too loudly.  "I've been really busy, you know and um, I mean I brush my teeth all the time and I promise I floss, I do. I really do."

The woman I was confessing all of my dental sins was a very kind hygienist who was holding a paper bib up, patiently waiting for me to finish talking before putting it around my neck.  I'm sure she's heard worse. I mean right?

Not only am I possibly one of the most annoying dental patients in history, I am (once again) the thing I keep fighting against and denying that I am....a cliche.  I am the guilt-ridden mom who has lost her way on the fitness/nutrition journey and almost always puts herself last cliche.  

My doctor, dentist and hair appointments are at the end of a very busy, kid-centered to-do list.  And I'm starting to feel the effects of it all. I've gained weight, fallen off the no-soda wagon in a huge way, set a record of the number of days between highlights and failed to schedule my mammogram for over a year. Even my kids are noticing my lack of self-care. When my pre-schooler drew a picture of me for Mother's Day this year he included my "black roots" in my "yellow hair."

Wade's version of me, dark roots and all.

It's amazing how fast it all happens. How easy it is to put yourself last on a list, become a cliche and find yourself apologizing in a dentist office chair.

"No need to say you are sorry," the hygienist told me.  "It happens. The most important thing is you are here now. It's never too late to put yourself a little higher on the list."  Then she put the paper bib on me and started cleaning my teeth.

That ultra-patient, brilliant hygienist is right. It's not too late. 

Sometimes I get overwhelmed and intimidated by all the Pinterest posts and hashtags about "self care" and getting healthier.  I feel like I need to train for a 1/2 marathon, buy all kinds of wraps, make homemade kale smoothies for every meal, read a classic novel, and soak in a bubble bath in order to call it "self care."  Which all makes me feel like a failure at "self care" and I go and eat shredded cheese out of the bag, drink diet coke and fall asleep watching The Real Housewives (without brushing my teeth!).  It's a vicious cycle.

But you know what else is on Pinterest? Optimistic quotes about picking yourself up when you mess up again and again.  So, loaded with inspirational quotes and the brilliant hygienist's kind words, I am making some changes and putting myself a little higher on the list.

Just like all the romantic comedies when the main character pulls herself together after a break-up, I am figuring it out. I am discovering that even small changes can make a big difference. Going to the dentist and making my mammogram appointment.  Waking up early and going for a jog.
Up with the sunrise to jog a few miles. I love feeling accomplished before 7 a.m.

Going to bed earlier. Laying off the shredded cheese. Letting go of the guilt for not getting it right all the time.  Letting go of feeling like a failure because I am not training for a 1/2 marathon. Embracing the fact that I enjoy The Real Housewives.  Putting my phone down during the day and not worrying because I am not responding to the thread on Facebook.  Going for a walk after dinner with my dogs. Laughing more. 

I am finding more ways to simplify taking care of myself and my health, like reading a chapter of my book while the kids are at practice. And finding products that make all this self care a little easier, for example the REACH® Complete Care™.  

REACH® Complete Care™ says their products keep proper oral care all within REACH by "streamlining and solving a busy mom's daily routine to ensure they maintain healthy smiles year-round." I love that. 
For more information about REACH® Complete Care™ click here-

The REACH® Complete Care™ Mouth Rinse also comes equipped with a toothbrush holder, which ensures the head of the toothbrush stays clear of any countertop bacteria. My rinse/toothbrush holder is set to the side to indicate to my large family that it is mine, all mine. I not only love the efficient design, I love that I have something of my own in this house.  The mouth rinse makes my teeth and my whole mouth feel cleaner and better. It is called an "8-in-1 rinse" which means it kills bad breath germs, helps prevent gingivitis, reduces plaque, fights tartar build-up, freshens breath and cleans your mouth. I seriously can't wait to tell my brilliant hygienist "friend" about this product.

It's the little things. It's brushing teeth and having my own space. It is not apologizing for any of it--not taking the time to take care of myself or the fact that I forgot to do it in the first place--but yet being accountable. 
I've got my back.

Self care, complete care, radical self care, having your own back...whatever you call it do it.  Put yourself higher on the list.

I received a REACH® product for free in order to facilitate this post, but all opinions are my own. 


  1. Sigh. I know that feeling. Good for you for taking some steps to make yourself a priority <3

  2. I am dying at the drawing. So adorable. Kids see US, right? It's kind of sobering when you realize that you're putting yourself last. I know the feeling. I get very cranky about it once in a while.

    One time I went to the dentist and the hygienist asked how often I flossed. "Um, this morning, before I came." She said, "Well, I appreciate your honesty!"