Some days it feels like the needs of my children are incessant. From the moment my eyelids open into the 5am darkness to the moment their little bodies succumb to sleep, they NEED.
They need love, snuggles, attention, comfort, and reassurance. They also need pancakes cut up just so, a cup of juice -no, I SAID WATER!, poopy bottoms wiped and then balanced on the “big” potty. They need latex gloves put on both hands and fire truck ladders extended. They need me to listen and offer feedback. They need me to basically bear witness and be available to assist them every second we’re together.
Which, in some ways is totally fine. That’s parenting, and meeting their needs is my job.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times where I hide in the bathroom pretending to poop for 10 minutes so I can take an Instagram break. Or that I don’t join them at the table because the second my ass hits the chair someone needs me to get something or wants out of their chair.
Occasionally, on the really tough days, I sit them at the table facing the tv while they eat.
I eat standing up in the kitchen, in plain view but far enough away to not trigger the Need button. I hunch over the plate scooping forkfuls of leftovers into my mouth while scrolling through Facebook, eager to accept my Mother of the Year award. But I am okay with it, because on some days, this is one of the only peaceful moments I get. Some days, this is what self-care looks like for me.
Motherhood is made up of these messy moments, times where we’re doing the best we can. And as much as my kids need of me, I need me too.
What does self-care even mean, anyway?!
To me, self-care means practicing self-love. It means connecting with my self in a space that is free of outside distractions, and treating myself super well.
When I say self-care, I’m not talking about a full on day at the spa (although that would be amazing!). I’m talking about finding small pockets of time to be alone with yourself and your thoughts. Time to focus on the habits that bring you a feeling of calm, healthfulness, and strength. Sometimes that looks like eating standing up while your kids watch tv so you can catch your breath.
I can hear some of you thinking:
“That’s all well and good, but isn’t that a little selfish?”
“Self-care is totally indulgent.”
“Easy for you to say!”
“I don’t deserve it.”
Whew. I hear you. In fact, I’ve said all of those things to myself! But I would never ever say them to a friend. So, why are we so judgmental with ourselves? Why don’t we deserve to treat ourselves well?
Listen to me when I say this: You cannot afford not to practice self-care.
Still not sure? What if you replaced the word “self” with “health”?
Health-care isn’t selfish or indulgent or unnecessary.
This subtle shift in perspective really opened my mind to possibilities. Because healthcare isn’t selfish, it’s necessary! I have to take care of myself to be around for my family and my business.
If you thought of self-care as a form of health care, what would it look like for you?
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing a bit of my journey back to me. I’ll be exploring heath, self-care, parenting and making changes in my business.
I hope you’ll join me and share some of your thoughts along the way. Thank you for being here.