Motherhood and selfcare are not often two words you think of as going together. The reality is that motherhood is often portrayed as self-sacrificing and all consuming. And most mothers I know play into that belief and push their needs aside in favor of the needs of our families. I did and I had completely valid reasons why I neglected selfcare but I had to ask myself just how valid are they???
- I was too tired. There was no way I could manage to workout with the energy levels I had. And getting up early before my kids was completely out of the question because I needed every minute of sleep I could get. But not taking care of myself was actually draining my energy levels. Every day that I went without taking care of myself just pushed me deeper into exhaustion because I didn’t have the resiliency I needed to bounce back. I have learned taking care of me actually gives me the energy I need to get through the day even when I am still lacking in sleep.
- I didn’t have time. At least that’s what I told myself but when I took a look at what I was actually doing with my time I quickly realized that that was not the full truth. I was spending way too much time on social media with no intent or purpose, I was wasting time procrastinating with things that didn’t serve me and I was avoiding doing the things that I actually needed to do for myself. When I started using my time throughout the day with much more intention and choosing the things that actually served me, I saw an immediate difference.
- My husband was away. My husband travels a lot and it can be unpredictable, with little to no notice and for long periods of time. With 4 kids and no nanny, it isn’t easy and I definitely have to let some things go and of course usually the first thing to go was my stuff. I went into survival mode, put my head down and barreled through. But these are the times that I need to take care of me the most so that I can be able to have the stamina and patience to parent my kiddos. So now I double down when daddy is away.
- I felt guilty. I was seeing my time away from my kids as taking away from them. I would get anxious and instead of enjoying my time away I would worry about what’s happening because I am not there. Not only is this ridiculous but also slightly narcissistic. And the reality is time for selfcare is an investment in me so that I can be a better version of me for them. Like the saying goes, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
- Selfcare is a luxury and not a necessity. I told myself selfcare is for women with nannies and money for personal trainers. For ladies that have the time and the support to be able to take a ladies lunch in the middle of the afternoon. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a setup to forever be a passenger on the struggle bus and If I am a mess everything around me will be a mess. Selfcare is absolutely not a luxury and I had to stop looking at it in that way.
- My kids should come first. My kids should always be one of my top priorities but that doesn’t mean that I put myself last. Moms are often sold the idea that we have to sacrifice everything for our kids or we are not good moms and that is just not true. As the saying goes, “Put your oxygen mask on first…” because you can’t take good care of others if you are not taking care of yourself. And notice I said “one of my priorities” and not my only priority because this momma has to be a priority for all of this to work.
I know I am not alone in coming up with reasons why I neglected selfcare. What are some of the “valid” reasons you have given yourself for not practicing selfcare?
Elisha Beach is a stay-at-home mom to four kids and four step-kids…Yes, you read that right—eight kids. She is a wife, home cook, taxi driver, herder of children, terrible housekeeper and founder of The Mom Forum. This blog is part of the Prioritize Me blog series documenting Elisha’s journey in selfcare and putting herself first.
If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to subscribe to our email list to get more blogs like this straight to your inbox.