It's Time for Self Care Mama Bear
Can we please talk about self care for a minute? Or maybe two minutes because it's THAT important.
A few weeks back, I hit a breaking point. My husband had gone out for coffee with a friend and come home from the gym and now was giving me some "Me Time". Yay! Time for some self care. I popped in my ear buds to listen to a podcast and...started cleaning. Just about the time my husband and baby woke up from their nap, I finished and was back on baby duty. Hmmmm....why wasn't I feeling relaxed? Why had I had all this time to myself and was feeling even worse than when I started. Why was I suddenly fuming that my husband had had a beautiful day filled with things that relaxed him and I had just spent precious "me time" cleaning the house?! That's when it hit me and I realized I'd been doing it wrong. I'd been getting self care all wrong.
I preach self care to my clients all day long. I ask them what they've done for themselves and what that day they're going to be doing for themselves. But I forget sometimes to explain the difference between self care and just care. It's a fine line and as power mamas, sometimes we forget that self care doesn't mean we're being selfish. Self care is meant to benefit ONLY YOU. That massage you got - self care. That yoga that you did...self care. Yes, a clean home might make me feel relaxed but a clean home benefits more than just me. I love to vacuum but it's not self care. Period.
Self care doesn't mean you have to take a vacation or buy something fancy. Self care can mean going to a park and reading a book. It could be that you spend 20 extra minutes just lounging in that bubble bath. Self care looks different for everyone but what's the same is how important it is. As a mom, it's so easy to lose yourself in that identity. We LIVE for our children. We LIVE for our families. We smile through plugged ducts, stomach flus, and aches and pains. We brush off fatigue and hunger and we cry in the shower so our family won't know that we just. need. a. fucking. moment. Strength doesn't always mean being strong. Sometimes strength means saying I need time for myself, time to reset so I can come back to you a better mom. When I'm hiding behind the mask of SuperMama is when I'm my weakest. When I admit that I need time to step back from my life and do something that makes me feel like ME is when I teach my son what strength is. There is strength in selfishness sometimes and I forget that.
I know that your To Do list is long and that you feel like there isn't enough hours in the day for you to get everything done let alone find some time for self care. I understand because my list is just as long. But from one mama to the other, I give you permission. I'm telling you it's ok to let those dishes sit for one night, for the laundry to go unwashed for the day, for you to delegate to your partner that one task that you need completed. And maybe next time, you'll give yourself permission because you don't need permission or validation from me or from your partner or your kids or anyone else to take care of your self. You just need to trust in yourself and know that it's ok and that what you've done that day or that week is enough and now it's time to take care of yourself.
So I encourage you to do something for yourself this week. Something selfish, maybe something a little naughty. Something to reignite that spark of life to bring you back into yourself so you can go back to your family, back to your life and remember the fun and lightness of being a parent. Care for yourself so you can care for the ones you love.
How do you self care?