Someone once asked me if I was doing enough for self care, my response was surprisingly quick. “Honey, I’m the QUEEN of self care!”. I said it with such confidence that I think it takes many people off guard. Only a few short years ago, this was not the case for me! Self care is something I have had to grow into doing and choose to prioritize for the sake of myself, and my family.
We have become conditioned to the thought that we need to go, go, go and give, give, give without investing in our own wellbeing. I can sit here and tell you that at some point, you WILL burn out! In a day and age when more is expected from parents than ever before, it is impossible to keep up with the demands and not feel depleted, very quickly. And worse, when we do try to carve some time out for ourselves, we can be judged for it. It sometimes seems like a lose-lose scenario! I’m hoping to inspire you today, to make yourself a priority! I’m giving you permission to spend time, attention and even money on YOU! And yes, I KNOW how hard that can be!
Here is the thing! Self care can look very different to different people. There have been days that for me, self care meant taking a shower AND brushing my teeth, or doing the grocery shopping kid free (which let’s be honest, lowers the stress factor by at least 80%!). These are very basic examples, and obviously don’t cost much at all. I really want to encourage you to think bigger than that! Some friends enjoy carving out time for the gym and are investing in their physical health, and I applaud them! Lately I have been splurging more on myself with “luxurious self care” by taking a full day at the spa to relax and unwind or attending a weekend women’s retreat, and I have to tell you, it is incredible! These are not every day activities, and as such I feel SO much more rejuvenated when I am able to partake in them!
A few years ago, when it first occurred to me that I would benefit from a day away from all the responsibilities that come with parenthood, I was overwhelmed with guilt! I felt like it was “wrong” of me to want to take a few hours to myself and spend so much money that could be used in other ways, it almost ruined the experience. I even had people make snarky comments about being away from Arthur for so long, and about spending so much money on myself. That’s not what “good moms do”. It was very hard to put that out of my mind, but what I realized is that my value as a parent is not measured by the hours I’m near my family, but the way I treat my family when I’m near them! I shared in my Survival Tips for Solo Parenting post that self care is not saying “me first, but saying me too!” It can feel selfish, but I think showing up as our best is actually one of the most important things we can do for those around us!
I’m so far from the perfect mum, but even at a young age, Arthur recognizes that when I take time out for myself, I am better at doing my “job” as his mother! I want my child to grow up in a home where he learns the importance of doing things that fill up your cup, so you can be the best you possible! I was recently diagnosed by my doctor with anxiety. Self care has been so critically important in coping with my emotions, and I’m not about to feel ashamed doing something that I know is so good for me, and by proxy, my child.
This is a topic I’m quite passionate about, self care is one of the greatest tools I have to keep me sane in a busy season of life! I am very protective of it and I hope that by sharing openly, I can be an encouragement to other people, to take back that little bit of whatever feeds you! I’m looking forward to writing more on this topic very soon!