Self Care: Why it’s Not For Me
Self care. It’s every where these days. Everyone is talking about it on their social media platforms and are suggesting people NEED to take time for self care so that they can be better parents. But honestly, as a working mom of three, when I hear people talking about this, my first thought is: “great, another thing to add to the to-do list that I don’t have time for.” My guess is that I’m not the only one.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m writing this from a current place of exhaustion and overwhelm. It would be great to be able to have time to put myself first and do something for me, and I do hope to get there sooner rather than later. But right now it’s just not possible.
And that doesn’t make me a bad mom.
Now, I should clarify. By self care, I don’t mean showering regularly, eating 3 meals a day and sleeping when you need it. Those are necessities that are required for our health. I’m talking about reading a book, meditating, going for a mani/pedi, journalling and all those little things we should apparently be doing daily but aren’t required for survival.
Mothers are inundated with things they are “supposed” to do. On top of feeding and clothing your kids, mothers in the 21st century are supposed to ensure their kids are getting the social interaction and exercise they need, make sure kids are stimulating their brain and engaging in learning activities, ensure they aren’t watching too much T.V., make sure their emotional, physical and spiritual needs are met, but not be a helicopter parent or be too hands off. Many of us are also required to hold a job or two. And, in 2020, we’re supposed to do all this in the middle of a pandemic.
Now, on top of this juggling act, some one threw in another ball: you can’t take care of others unless you’re also taking care of yourself.
My very first question is HOW?!
Small children are needy, making it very difficult to find time during the day to take care of yourself, and unless you are blessed with kids who sleep well throughout the night, giving up sleep to read or meditate or whatever your self care looks like, is just unhelpful at best and damaging at worst.
And we don’t need more mom guilt for not having the time to care for ourselves.
If you have the time and capacity to do something for yourself at least semi-often, that’s amazing. But if you don’t, please don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re a worse parent for it. There are seasons of life where we just can’t put ourselves first, and this selfless love and care for your kids is beautiful. In a self-serving society that constantly tells you to put “number one” first, it takes a strong and generous person to meet the needs of others without taking care of their own first.
What works for you and your family works. Please don’t let society talk you into believing you’re a worse parent for not holding up one of it’s standards. You are a great mom. Period. End of story.
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