Every year on Mother's Day, I remember my grandmother very fondly. Although she died a few years ago, she’s still present because she was a very important part of my life.
Today I share a little bit of our history together and how she gave me the best advice from a very young age. A piece of advice that now as a mom of three children I value as the best treasure she could ever give me:
"If you do not take care of yourself, nobody else will".
Over the years I’ve learned to put her advice into practice without guilt and without explanations, but it was not always the case, because as a mother, and even as a young adult, I often felt responsible for so many things, that sometimes it was very easy to leave myself aside.
Because yes, I know I am 43 years old, but in a very weird, parallel world, in my mind I’m still the same age I was when I first got to the U.S.- 26 years old. The only difference is that now those 26 years come with a husband, three kids and four wrinkles on my forehead that I still can’t figure out where they came from.
My story with my grandmother begins in Mexico City in a Matriarchy. Two very strong, independent and wonderful women raised me, my mom and my maternal grandmother. Women who broke the mold of the typical stereotype of the Mexican wife. They were successful entrepreneurs, always fulfilled, always complete, and always strong; or at least, they never showed me their darkest hours.
When I was 20 years old, I worked for a multinational company, while I was studying a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the same time. I remember coming home one night, exhausted, to hear what my grandmother would repeat to me every single day, “If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else will. What did you eat today?” She asked, “Oh grandma, I have lots of homework to do and lots of pending stuff from the office to finish, so, I don’t even remember, that’s not important”, and she would say, “always remember that the most important thing is you”.
Six years later, and with hypoglycemia in my medical history due to bad nutrition, I still couldn’t quite understand what my grandmother used to repeat to me every single day, “if you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else will”
In 2002, my high school sweetheart and I decided it was time to get married and we took a job offer in the U.S, in Dallas, Texas. I remember vividly that at my wedding reception in Mexico City, I was in my beautiful wedding gown, saying goodbye to family and friends because I was seconds away to start an incredible adventure, when my grandmother approached me and gave the best hug I’ve ever received and said to me, “now more than ever you need to remember, put yourself first, if you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else will.”
Those words vanished through the years because first, I had to be successful in a new job in a language and a country that was not mine. First, I had to make sure that my husband was happy and that I was fulfilling all his expectations of my duties as a wife. First, I had to keep my house pretty and clean. First, even though I hadn’t slept or eaten properly, what mattered was that my kids were all dressed and ready for school with a very healthy and nutritious breakfast in their bellies. First, was everything else, but me.
I was 38 years old and I had accomplished every single thing that I should according to my “Life’s Manual.” Finish school, get a bachelor’s degree, be successful in the corporate world, get married, have kids... but as I turned the pages of my life's manual, I noticed they were empty, just blank pages which made me ask the question, what's next for me?
It was up to me to fill those pages with whatever I wanted.
Then, without even realizing it, my grandmother’s words came back louder and stronger than ever. I have to put myself first, without feeling guilty or selfish. “If I don’t take care of myself, nobody else will.” I finally understood that of all the different advice my grandmother could’ve given me, she chose just one and repeated it to me over and over until her last days.
And with that on my mind, I was on a mission to fill those pages, and that’s how I found out that taking photographs and writing stories around them was what I really wanted to do. So, I decided to create my blog as a way to share my work and passion.
When I launched Yo Mariana I gave it all my effort and dedication and that sense of fulfillment started to create a ripple effect of happiness and well-being that immediately flooded to my kids and to my husband in a very natural and organic way.
By taking care of myself and putting myself first, ironically, I was becoming a better woman, a better wife and a better mom.
Grandma, you were so wise!
Now, more than ever, I’m going to give priority and importance to me and to my health. Once I really understand the importance of doing just that, I will be capable of spreading that same message to my children for years to come.
That is why today I wanted to share with all of you this wise advice from my grandmother so that you never forget the importance of taking care of yourself and from time to time check how you are in all aspects of your life.
I’d love to know what you guys love to do when you give time to yourselves. Personally, I love to just sit and read a good novel or enjoy a moment alone taking care of my skin trying all kinds of masks, oils, and face creams.
One of my favorite stores in town to go find those unique and wonderful skin care products is Naked Natural. Naked Natural is a wellness store in Rice Village that offers an immense variety of skin care products and classes to learn how to use them and to find which ones are best for you.
This Mother’s Day, Naked Natural wants to pamper us! That’s why they are offering us a 10% discount on a mask bar class booked online with code 10OFF and a 10% discount on any in-store purchases if you mention Yo Mariana in the month of May.
Also, I've partnered with Naked Natural to giveaway my five favorite products to one lucky winner! Go to my Instagram account to participate, and just follow the instructions.
Thanks Naked Natural for making it easy to take care of ourselves! Because if we don't, nobody else will.