#MySkyeBody Conversations - Abigail Marie
Our next #MySkyeBody Conversations interviewee takes the phrase “loving the skin you’re in” to new heights! As a professional nurse in the field of dermatology, Abigail Ochese balances profession with passion, marrying the two to create a hectic, yet dynamic schedule and lifestyle. Whether it’s performing skin saving procedures at her dermatology office or sharing her most revered life and parenting tips through her website thechicmamas.com and YouTube Channel of the same name, Abigail has created her own equilibrium in the joyous pandemonium that is her world. Below she shares how she does it all, and gives us some expert advice about the world of beauty.
SKYE: Where does your confidence come from and what advice can you give someone who is trying to put their best self forward?
Abigail: It took me a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin. It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I looked at myself and thought, “WOW, your body, your mind and your soul just created this darling human. You are a badass!” I started viewing my body in a different way after that. I looked at my muscular legs that I used to hate and for once saw them as strong. I looked at my new purple stretch marks on each breast, and remembered the amazing bond of being able to breastfeed my daughter. Finally I looked in the mirror and gave myself a break. I reminded myself that I am loved, not by everyone else… but I love this girl I am looking at right here, I love her imperfections, I love her strength and her kindness.
If you are struggling to believe in yourself, you must first understand that you are the only one that can fix that. I still work on myself every single day. I started doing a love letter to myself and a gratitude checklist that I found through Danika Brysha’s Virtual Brunch Series. You basically write yourself a letter apologizing to your younger self for negative thoughts and behavior. If you commit that as an adult, you will role model self love for those next generations, and that was my biggest motivation. Showing my children what it looks like to love yourself, and that it is okay to be perfectly imperfect.
Start small and try looking at yourself in the mirror every day for 30 days. Each morning you will tell yourself 3 affirmations of self love!
SKYE: If we had the chance to peek at your schedule, what would an average day look like?
Abigail: Complete and utter chaos! I like to call it blissful chaos. Two days a week I am seeing my patients in office as I currently still hold my nursing license and specialize in dermatology. The rest of the week I am with my kids, blogging and running the household. I must say it's not very glamorous, and my days are filled with school drop offs, changing diapers, etc. Once a week I schedule a shoot and create content for my followers which is my favorite part!
SKYE: You are a mom to a 5 year old girl and one year old twin boys. How much importance do you think should be placed on self-care and what do you for your own personal regiment?
Abigail: I’ve only realized in the last few years that self care is so important. I am by nature a people pleaser, and also a nurturer in my nursing profession. It is really hard for me to put myself first at times. What I realized over the years is that I am a much better wife, mother, and peer when I take care of myself. I make time to work out, get my nails done, or even hide in the pantry to eat a cookie!
Anita Top, Angelina Bottom in Apricot & Amun Kimono in Sipura
SKYE: What is your definition of beauty?
Abigail: Someone or something that projects light and love to everything around them.
SKYE: How do you think social media has affected the public attitude towards beauty?
Abigail: In my opinion, social media can be very damaging towards users’ psyches and definitions of beauty. Social media is just not reality! I mean who is happy 24/7, “wakes up like this” (whatever that actually means) and never has a bad day??
I always try to keep it real with my followers, and use my platform as a way to share our everyday struggles. Like the fact that I took my daughter to her first day of school on the wrong day… It’s real life and we are all just trying to keep it together.
A small percent of influencers have started to show the rawness of real life, from body positivity to postpartum depression… more taboo subjects are being discussed and shown. Yet we still have a lot of work to do in this space. Little kids are losing their minds when they don’t get enough “likes” on photos, young girls think beauty means only blonde hair, blue eyes, stick skinny with big boobs and that their life needs to look perfect just like these tiny little squares. We need to do better for these next generations to come… do away with the likes, promote inclusivity, and let’s show our kids that loving themselves is the most important aspect of their being.
SKYE: According to your website, you initially moved to LA to become an oncology nurse. What prompted your decision to shift to dermatology and what is the one thing about skin you think everyone should know?
Abigail: I was in Oncology and Stem Cell Transplants for over 9 years. I loved it with every ounce of my being and still miss it to this day. It came down to seeing my children. At an inpatient facility and the skill level of my unit there was no real “off time”. I would come home hours late and miss seeing my daughter for that entire day, and I would emotionally take my patients home with me. To be honest I started to feel numb to loss or people dying and looked forward to codes blues (yes I know, very twisted...they call it dark nursing humor so that we can cope with odd circumstances of the job). When my husband got a job in Canada, we would be going back and forth between two cities, and the reality was, if I was at work all day a nanny is raising my child. So I made the decision to find another field that gave me the flexibility to see my kids.
I have always loved skin care and I am a self proclaimed product junkie! I trained myself, shadowed my boss for months and now it is a true passion. I constantly am educating myself on new treatments, protocols, and products… I love it! It is really hard to name one thing that everyone should know about skin, but you need to take care of it! You are never too young to start a good skin care routine in which you wash your face twice a day ( you would be surprised at how many people don’t) and sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen… you will thank me later I promise!
Celeste Top, Tie Side Med Bottom in Black & Amun Kimono in Sipura
SKYE: As a professional in the field of dermatology, what products or procedures would you recommend women to incorporate into their routine as they transition from their 30s to 40s?
Abigail: From our 30’s to 40’s we are mostly dealing with hormonal acne, dryness, sun spots, and the loss of elasticity and collagen. So much fun I know! I frequently have my patient’s hormones levels checked which can tell us a lot about acne and dryness. I also recommend an IPL laser to combat sun damage. Now for that loose skin… keep an open mind… Ultherapy would be my first choice as it tightens the layers of your skin over time. Also, if you are open to hyaluronic acid fillers they are not a bad idea when done by a professional that understands anatomy and aesthetics. The idea is not to change your face with fillers at this age, it is to give you back what you are losing over the years. My goal with my patients is never to make anyone look aesthetically “done”, but more like you got 12 hours of sleep and no one can tell why you look so refreshed! One more tip… a light sprinkle of botox can do wonders.
SKYE: What are your top mommy multitasking tips?
1. Lunches made and outfits laid out the night before saves you a lot of time in the mornings.
2. Meal prepping will keep you on track and eating healthy.
3. Calendar events right when plans are made so you won’t miss anything.
4. Keep back ups of diapers, wipes and outfits for each child and yourself in the car. You will always need it.
5. Well, it takes a village...delegate what you can. My 5 year old has a chore chart, which is just as much for me as it is for her!