Take the SelfCareChallenge with me!
As I type, we're 13 months into parenthood.
(Sort of, I would like to think that the 10 months I spent incubating the child counts for something.)
Raising a child away from family or friends is really, really hard. I don't think it matters whether your a working mom, work-at-home, stay-at-home, or work part-time and at-home, whatever. It's hard. It's the one job you can't quit. Louis CK does an excellent bit on this... but, I'm quite angry with him right now. Anyway, I don't think it's a competition of who has it hard enough, it's all just hard.
There's this idea out there that "self care" is supposed to mean you get time "off", spend a day at the spa, take a luxurious vacation, splurge on new threads, or get a hotel for a night. I don't get this. Sure, I'm ALL for some serious "treat yo self". Pre-kids we did this all the time. But right now we don't even have a babysitter, and after buying a new house and a new car, a quick kid-free getaway isn't realistic. (#billsyall) Also, this just all seems a bit extreme.
Most of us don't do this. We either can't imagine leaving our children for more than a night, can't afford a babysitter plus a fancy meal out, or would rather spend money on cute baby clothes than replace the ones that we still wear from college. I definitely value a manipedi, but I'm definitely not getting them every week.
Personally, realistic self-care for me is smaller, consistent things that we can do on the daily. Things that involve putting myself first so I don't go insane. It's having Finn in kidwatch so I can workout for an hour, or cleaning my own room before I tackle his. Or like right now, when I'm sitting at a cafe while Graham stays home with a sleeping baby.
Otherwise, it's not cute.
I've gone weeks before rescheduling doctors visits, forgotten to pay bills on time, left my own laundry in the washer for three days, allowed my new car to become a pit of mashed cheerios and rejected socks, and let's not talk about how often I wash my hair.
Ladies, we've got to make some changes.
Again, I'm not asking you to do anything extreme. I think the extreme versions of the #selfcare trend actually cause more harm than good when it's bragged about on social media. It's just a reminder that you're not a bad mom if you plop your kid in his or her crib for a few extra minutes so you can take care of your own shit, or bribe them with cheerios when you're on a phone call. We have to take care of ourselves. I know it's been said over and over, but if you're like me, you need to hear this. (And DO this).
For this upcoming week- take care of yourself FIRST at least 3x per day. Then "splurge" once a week. I've listed out a bunch of ideas in this PDF that you can keep in your phone as a reminder.
Here's the deal though, none of these quick ones will cost you $$. Nor will they require more than 15 minutes of your time.
We gotta do this. No more excuses and putting ourselves last.