{The mama life} Here’s a Guide to Better Skincare

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Giving and caring so much for others makes mamas forget that they have to first take care of themselves. When was the last time you pampered yourself with some spa time or a night out with the girlfriends? Chipped fingernails, frizzy lifeless hair and dried out skin shouldn’t be your daily pesky Good Morning! Even with little time and no budget you should be able to afford the beauty care which you deserve. Here are some no-fooling tips to look flawless and with the slightest effort.

No more bad hair days

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Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

It is astonishing how mamas manage to hocus-pocus tasty snacks with basically nothing left in the fridge. They tend to forget though that some very basic beauty care ingredients are right in front of their noses. If your hair is too oily, apply on dry hair a mixture of ¼ cup vinegar and grated peel of one lemon. Allow it to set for some 15 minutes and rinse with plenty of water. This hair mask will remove any buildup from hair products and excess oil from your scalp, balance hair´s natural pH levels and even cure dandruff.

In case your hair is frizzy and ruptured go for this moisturising mask. Mix together 1 whole ripe avocado (or banana), 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp olive oil. Apply it on dry hair starting from the hair ends. Let it set for about half an hour and then rinse in the shower.

For extremely damaged hair, try this creamy leave-in conditioner. 2 tsp slightly melted coconut oil, 4 tsp aloe vera gel, and 1 tsp avocado oil mix well together and apply on hair.

To achieve a popular sun-kissed wavy effect, you can also opt for clip in hair extensions.

The second baby face

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Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Mamas are always there to remind us to put on sunscreen, wash our face and leave that pimples be. But when it comes to looking after their own skin, they are a lot more neglectful. This is especially true of new moms who barely get a shuteye. Still, try to follow a basic skincare routine. Always remove your makeup and clean your face the moment you’re behind the house door. To avoid dark pigmentation spots, wear a sunscreen or stick to an SPF moisturiser. And we can’t stress enough the importance of being moderate. Before going to bed apply a retinol serum on the problematic areas only and leave the rest of your skin to breathe and rejuvenate during sleep. Our skin can endure only so many products. It is best if these are light concoctions made of organic ingredients. For this reason, and to effectively beat tiredness and waning youth, go for natural and nutritious products. You’ll never go back to your old skin care routine.

Warrior pose

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Photo by Dmitry Kotov on Unsplash

Just like with using only selected quality products which will repair rather than leave more damage, you should also care more for your whole body and well being. So, no smoking, moderate drinking, and if possible, avoid eating fast food on the go. Most of these are coping mechanisms for the times we are fighting stress and anxiety. Include daily workouts in your routine and remember to stay hydrated. There are many apps to help you stay on track with this. Register for a yoga and meditation class. This way you’ll relax, tone your body and meet new friends.

Where is your lunch box?

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Your body cannot function properly without a healthy and balanced diet. This is what kids hear on a daily basis, but parents forget to take proper care of their own well being. How often did you hear yourself say, I’ll eat later or what’s left, Don’t worry about me, I’ll get something outside. Even if your family is devoted wholeheartedly to a healthy lifestyle, sometimes you just don’t have the time.

One excellent cheat sheet is to cook a couple of days ahead. Make some yummy quinoa salad with vegetables or dried fruits and nuts. It’s packed with protein, fibres and vitamins. Check store-bought food for too much added sugar. Keep your plate jazzy and colourful.

Day in day out, try to kick out one bad habit and embrace positive change.

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{The Nest Opinion} Asking questions about surrogacy and secondary infertility

Today one of our gorgeous Nesters discusses the complex topic of surrogacy, secondary infertility and the damage that can be done when asking women questions about their family plans..  line4 A few months ago, some friends and I had a conversation about having children, and situations in which women have babies by themselves. We discussed circumstances where the right man has not arrived on the scene, but that primal urge to raise a child had become an uncontrollable force. When you couple that with the booming beat of the biological clock and the heady cocktail of hormones reminding you monthly that it’s your ‘birth right’ and you can see the writing on the wall. Having been blessed with a wonderful husband and children myself, my naive curiosity about how women go about this has become quite an interest area for me. When I started looking into it deeper I became aware of entire sperm donor communities that are much like dating sites! Basically, they allow you to connect with willing parties for donation, from a variety of situations (including childless couples), in a safe transparent way.Mutter und Kind During this conversation with my friends the discussion moved to surrogacy and in what circumstances we might consider ourselves able to do that. For me, I just can’t imagine giving up that little bundle – no matter how much I’ve watched friends suffer. Not long after this conversation Lauren Sams ‘She’s having her baby’ flashed up in my iBook store – the purchase was made instantly. It’s written with a strong voice and a quirky sense of humour, but with utter respect for the struggles faced. Without ruining the narrative, a woman (Georgie) agrees to be a surrogate for her childhood friend and her husband who have tried for many years to have a child without success and experience a number of miscarriages along the way. The reason Georgie agrees to be a surrogate is that she is strong in her affirmations of not wanting her own children. So ensues a story that I thoroughly enjoyed for its truth and emotion.lauren sams shes having a baby The problem I have since reading this book is that now I have been left with a restless mind and far more questions. For instance, the main character Georgie raises the idea about why it is that women ‘of a certain age’ (ie in their 30s) are constantly questioned about their marital status (or lack of), and their position on having children. And further to that – why their statement of “I never want to have children” is constantly met with laughter and the placating “you’ll change your mind once you meet the right person”. I’d have to call myself guilty on all counts, my only defence being I’m caught up in my own happy bubble and just want everyone in it. But in all honesty, why do I consider women living differently to me are naturally unhappy? The flip side of that coin is, as a married woman with children, I’m constantly asked about when I am having my next child. People don’t realise that this simple statement can bring a whole new world of pain. As a part of the narrative in Sams’ novel, she touches on the idea of secondary infertility – that is, a woman has been successfully able to bear her own children, but for unexplainable reasons is unable to sustain subsequent pregnancies. While I feel grateful this wasn’t our situation, we do have very close friends that have endured losses in this way. The amazing thing about it is that the primal urge to have children has not diminished in any way for them and they continue to be the strongest most inspiring people we are lucky to have in our lives. But I wonder too, how many of us have innocently questioned women in these situations (without knowing it) about the status of their next child? Is that something YOU are guilty of as well?

The afflicted girl sits in bed and sees result of the test for pregnancy

Maybe this time?

In my opinion the questions or feelings that go along with surrogacy, secondary infertility and child rearing in general are complex and overwhelming. I don’t think the answers are simple, nor that they are necessarily possible. So, in the end I can only offer the following advice. Be kind to your fellow woman – just stop putting the pressure on ourselves and each other. A child, no matter how they are in your life, is precious. They are all little miracles! line4 ABOUT THE WRITER:  Viv is a fiercely independent woman who