The Guilt of Self Care

As a mom we are always putting everyone else first, especially our children.

If you ask a mom why this is 9/10 times I hear, “I just don’t have the time. I’m always busy taking care of the kids, I get them up (or my friends with young children say they wake me up), I feed them breakfast, get ready for the day, play with them, do some learning, then it’s lunch time, nap time. By the time it’s nap time the house is destroyed so I need to clean it. So I spend nap time cleaning and when they wake up it’s pretty much a repeat of the morning.”

Something I always like to tell my friends is, “we make time for the things that are important to us.” But getting the kids taken care of is important isn’t it? Of course. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of you too. It’s important to take care of you. Not just because your kids deserve a mom who is not stressed out all the time, but because YOU as a person are important, you matter, and you deserve not to be stressed.

When I became a mom for the first time I believed I had to do everything. If someone offered help I would immediately say no, even if all I wanted to do was say yes. Why? Because I felt guilty. I didn’t believe that I should need help. I’m a mom now, I’m supposed to do everything. Something I’ve taken note of from my own mother who loved to do everything herself and not accept help from anyone.

I had bad postpartum depression. I wanted to run away. I wanted to cry every second of everyday. This little boy deserves better than me I thought. A lot of people reassured me though that it was okay to accept help and to take care of me. Many of these people were people who did not accept help or practice self care either. How can I listen to advice that no one else was following? Now having two kids though, I’ve learned to accept that help. I’ve learned that it is necessary to practice self care, even if it’s something small like watching “The Office” instead of “cocomelon”.

I have included a picture above that has some small things that take 5 minutes. So no, “I don’t have any time” excuses! To anyone reading this, I challenge you this. Do ONE thing this week for YOU. Even if it’s something small. Make sure to leave me a comment with what you did I’d love to hear! I will include some things I like to do below for myself to give you some ideas.

Things I do to practice self care:

1. Read a book, even if it’s just one chapter.

2. Go for a walk, sometimes I do this with the kids. Even though they’re with me, it’s still nice to get the fresh air.

3. Watch a show or movie I want to watch

4. Listen to music

5. Go to the mall. I often go with my friend Ashley and we bring both our kids. But they sit in the strollers and it’s nice to get out of the house.

6.take a shower-with the door closed. No kids.

7. Go to target- I love to aimlessly wander the aisles.

8. Get my favorite coffee from Starbucks

9. Order my favorite food

10. Take a nap. The kids are sleeping. The dirty house can wait

The Mother

There’s a song I posted on my “About Me” page called, “The Mother” by Brandie Carlile. A song that always makes me feel like I am heard, and there are other mothers out there like me. The song starts out talking about being alone inside your mind, being tied to someone else, and being worried all the time. It makes me think about when I first found out I was pregnant with Noah. From that moment on I would never not be riddled with anxiety. It felt like I was holding my breath until the 13th week of pregnancy when I would finally be in my first trimester. When my second trimester hit then I started worrying about if we would make it to the magical week of 24. Viability week. When that came and passed then I started worrying about my labor and delivery. How bad would it hurt? Would he survive? Would I be able to breastfeed if he did? Will I be a good mother? When the nurse placed Noah on my chest all I could think about was how scared I was. Noah was so tiny, so fragile. “Are you sure I can actually take this kid home?” I thought to myself. My worries never went away. I would check him a million times during the night and a million times during nap time. Often, I would wake him checking on him. Even now, at two and a half years old I still look over at my son to make sure he is still breathing. Unfortunately, that anxiety didn’t go fully away with Evren but the feeling was definitely more manageable, I don’t check on her a million times a night, and I don’t wake her out of a nap to check on her breathing either. Now I religiously follow that expression, “dont wake a sleeping baby!” Anyways, give the song a listen. Let me know what you think about it and how you find yourself relating.