Have you bought new underwear this year?

Have you bought new underwear this year?

Have you bought new underwear this year?

When was the last time you bought new underwear? Not Dora underwear for the two-year-old or boxers for your husband, but new underwear for you.

I know that’s a pretty bold question to ask, but bear with me for a minute.

In some ways, this question has become an archetype for self care, an example of how women in general and moms specifically tend to put themselves last. And we’re going to talk about that in a minute. But first, let’s focus on the question itself:

When was the last time you bought new underwear for yourself? To take it further, when was the last time you bought new underwear that you actually like—underwear that you enjoy putting on, that makes you feel beautiful or spunky or sexy?

Maybe the type of underwear you wear shouldn’t affect your self-confidence or the way you approach life, but for most of us it does, even if it’s subconsciously and even if it’s just a little bit. And that doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton on underwear, but there’s something to be said for having options that are fun or give you confidence rather than ratty, stretched out pairs that make you feel…well, ratty and stretched out.

Maybe you’re waiting to buy new underwear because it feels like the frugal thing to do. Maybe you’re waiting until you lose weight. Maybe you just can’t stand the thought of spending the time or money to think about and purchase new underwear that no one’s even going to see (which may be a whole ‘nother conversation).

If any of those maybes apply to you, here’s my challenge: Unless your budget is so tight that you really can’t afford anything other than food and your monthly bills, set aside a few dollars this month and buy yourself some new underwear. You can get a pack of Hanes at Walmart for $6 or 5 pairs at Victoria’s Secret for $25, with a million options in between.

And while you’re at it…buy yourself a new bra or two too!

***

With that out of the way, the bigger question this leads us to is this:

When was the last time you did something just for you?

I’m not talking about some entitlement mindset where you whine and complain that you haven’t had any time to yourself just because “me time” has become a buzz word, because frankly I think “me time” is overrated and often looks like wasting time rather than intentional rest. No, I’m talking about setting aside time to read books that make you think, pursue something creative, or take a moment to just be without really doing anything.

And you know what? The hard truth is that most of us can easily carve out 30 or 60 minutes a day for those things. We can turn off our phones and shut Facebook in favor of a good book, institute an afternoon quiet time for our kids to give us time to rest, use the morning or evening hours to learn something or create something rather than watching TV.

But—in one of those great paradigms of life—it takes a little work to make time and space for the things that feed our souls, and we have to decide that those things—that we ourselves—are worth the effort. We have to force ourselves to close the laptop when we’re too exhausted to think because it draws us in as a place to zone out even though a bubble bath would be a hundred times more relaxing than the latest celebrity gossip. We have to spend two weeks training our kids to stay in their rooms at quiet time just for the chance at an actual quiet time at some point in the future. We have to be willing to try something new, even if it means we might not be great at it.

So your second challenge is this: Find an hour for yourself this week. Wake up early, put on a movie for the kids, turn off the TV in the evenings. Use that hour to do something for you. Not something temporary that will just leave you feeling more exhausted and discontent—Facebook and Pinterest, I’m looking at you—but something that’s truly an investment in yourself. Read a book. Do a craft just for the pleasure of it without worrying about the end result. Pick up your instrument.

And stop feeling guilty about it.

**originally published in January 2015

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Knickers are in good shape and I just bought a new round of nursing bras, spending a little more this time for some pretty ones.
    For me, I painted my craft room/office this week and am in the process of bring everything back in. It means going though everything and purging and organizing and I love it.
    A few years ago my resolution was to sew more. I put up a baby gate so I could leave the machine up and it worked. So now my resolutions are to keep sewing.

  2. On a somewhat related side note, today is National Bubble Bath Day. Hopefully my 2 year old will go to bed easily tonight to allow me time to celebrate. 🙂

  3. Really good, Mandi! The little things, like undies, can make a big difference. And soul care is crucial. When I get to hating life and resenting the world, I know I’ve neglected it. When my kids were little, quiet/naptime was sacred and non-negotiable whether they were 2 or 12. Training took some time but was pretty easy . . . they had the option of reading books quietly on their bed or napping. If they weren’t quiet, they lost the option of reading. Given those choices, they learned to look forward to quiet time 😉 It was lifesaving as a homeschool momma of 6, and I was always amazed at how refreshed I felt after that time!

  4. This post is awesome in 4.5 million ways. 🙂 I’m doing something for myself my taking part in the reading challenge from Modern Mrs. Darcy – thank you! 🙂

  5. So well written, Mandi! I’ve added something to my shopping list…and am off to read now. Thanks for the reminder to not feel guilty. That’s the hardest part for me, but I’m working at it! 🙂

  6. You made me giggle. Seven new pair arrived in the mail yesterday. It was the very reasons you discuss that spurred the purchase.

  7. This is so good! When I’m done nursing within a few months I am planning on getting new bras and I’m glad to do something good for myself.

  8. I did just recently, and it was high time. 😉 Not only that, but my husband bought me a new flute for Christmas, and I’ve been playing almost daily! I think this is going to be a good year. 🙂

  9. There is nothing better than buying a new bra or two when you’ve finished nursing. My fourth should be weaning soon (I hope) and I’m already looking forward to shopping by myself!

  10. I HATE bra shopping but appreciate the new perspective! (I stopped wearing underwear years ago and haven’t had a urinary tract infection since!)

  11. Oh my. I laughed so hard, Mandi. Mine are…ratty and stretched and my husband has been telling me just this week that I needed to spend some money on that for myself. But of course I’ve been putting it off, partly because we don’t have a lot of money and I feel like it’s a luxury. But, my theme for this year is to be more intentional about self-care. I’m still figuring out what that means for me but I think my first step is to go purchase some of my basic needs! Great post!

  12. New underwear and socks in the Christmas stockings for all at our house. It is the one non-negotiable item that everyone says must ALWAYS be in their stocking. LOL! This year while shopping, a woman behind us in the checkout line asked us if we would consider getting her some for Christmas:) She said she would love some new unders, and a cart filled with socks and unders for seven children tends to be an attention-getter at the store. My three oldest daughters ages 15-23 told their father that he HAD to get me new bras for Christmas. Basically a “get mama some bras and don’t come back without them” sort of deal:) He was highly amused by their insistence. Made me think that perhaps I should buy them a tad more often so the need isn’t quite so obvious. Hmmmm. Thank you for the confirmation.

  13. You know I was thinking about this the other day…. buying myself new underwear that I really like and carving out a little time to do something for me with out feeling guilty. In fact this has been an ongoing discussion with my husband and I. I had (have) an opportunity to go on an art retreat right after my 50th birthday but was feeling guilty about the cost. (it is not inexpensive by any means!) My husband pointed out 1.) I only turn 50 once, 2.) he deploys for 6 months next year 3.)he thinks i need to do it for myself…. immerse myself in art and surround myself with creatives in order to grow myself. Yes he is a wise man and I am so blessed to be married to him. At first i was feeling guilty about the cost but came to realize he really wants me to attend as he knows how much i will enjoy it and how much I need it.

  14. Well, the underwear is going to have to wait at least a few weeks (gotta finish massage school, then get a job, then cover basics that are waiting), but I do need to work at carving out time to feed my spirit. Thx for the reminder, and the tips — I think I just needed to hear it phrased a different way. 🙂

  15. This post was so much more loaded for me than you could have imagined. My late-husband used to buy me underwear. I wouldn’t think to spend the money on it myself and suddenly a package would come in the mail or something would show up, snuck under my pillow. Its been 16 months and I need some new ones. Six months ago I confessed to a friend that the thought of buying any made me sad. Thanks for the encouragement to do it just because it will make me feel pretty and I should find a way to spend the money on myself.

  16. I hope to! My husband lost his job in ’09. I got Triple Negative Breast Cancer in 2010. After TNBC/Chemo/Surgeries/ Radiation. My last surgery in December 2014. Without income for this long.. I haven’t. You know something new does a whole lot` of good. So those that can afford it. Please buy yourself something even if you only see it. You do deserve it. Best wishes to you! Happy New Year

  17. For me, it’s taking time to read and to write every day that makes me feel cared for. I’m thankful.

  18. I have the underwear, really lovely things, but don’t wear it! I wear basic, slightly ratty stuff every day. Tomorrow I shall dump the ratty stuff and break out the pretty! `Just get the freakin’ manicure’ is my motto for the year. It goes back to a long layover in an airport recently where inexpensive manicures were available. I text my daughter excited that was an option to fill in some time. However, I eventually convinced myself I didn’t really have time, it was a waste of money … and didn’t do it. Later I was so sad and wondered why I find it so hard to do something nice/fun for myself. I know if my daughter was there she would have had it done in a flash. She is one of the most generous and loving people you would ever meet. And she extends that kindness to herself. I know she finds it confusing when I talk myself out of doing nice things for myself. I really am going to work on that this year. It’s funny when you decide to take a new path how things, like this post, pop up and reinforce the idea. Thank you.

  19. My husband is the best at this! At age 40 he took up playing the bass guitar and is very intentional about carving out time to practice here at home. Everyday for a half hour or 45 minutes … five years later and he is now the go-to “bass-man” in our large church, asked to play in several bands and even recorded with a colleague. He’s so inspiring! (and disciplined). Intentional time makes all the difference!

    PS – I indulge in undies way too often!

  20. You just sparked an idea for mine and hubby’s next date 😉

  21. As a matter of fact I have, both undies and bras. It was time. I only buy Cotten undies, and as much Cotten in bras as possible.

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