SAHM: Is "Self Care" still a thing?
I know that "self care" is a buzz word right now, and it seems like there are about a million different places telling you a million different ways to care for yourself as a mama, as a woman, as a wife. But sometimes I find myself wondering if it's really still a thing? And if it is, what does it look like for the average mama?
When it comes to my daily life, I don't normally have the time or the energy or the emotional capacity to carve out a little piece of "self care" or "me time", but during times when I find myself needing a pick-me-up, here are the things that I do to care for myself.
One Thing Every Day
Something that I've started doing for myself, when I find that I get into those slumps of low energy and bouts of depression, is to do one thing every day that makes ME happy. It doesn't have to be something out of the ordinary like a glorious facial, or a night out, but something simple that isn't about making the family or the babes or the home happy, it's about you. Go through the drive-thru and get a drink (or 2). Make your favorite dinner and don't stress if your kids don't eat it (there's stuff for PB&Js in the pantry). Watch your favorite movie, show, or read a book while your kids have quiet/nap time. It doesn't have to be big, and the shocker is your kids can even be there for it, but just do it for you, mama.
Oh man. Sleep. I feel like this is one that every mama wants! The fact is when you're feeling low, you may need to just tell your man that you need sleep. Yes, sometimes it can feel like you're being a bum, and you don't like feeling that way. Yes, it may make you feel like you're not doing your motherly duty. But sometimes you need sleep, mama, and it's okay to tell daddy that you need it, and to please be okay that the bedroom door will be locked and you will be MIA. Do yourself a favor and get to bed when your littles go down, and don't stay up to do laundry, or work, or watch a show and eat cheese. Drink some tea, listen to ASMR, and fall asleep as soon as humanly possible. You need it. I need it. We all need it.
Okay, so this is going to look different for every mama, but I think that we need to be okay with hiring a sitter even when we're not going on a date. I know, revolutionary. When my husband is working his busy season, he leaves before the rest of us wake up, and gets home waaaaay past bedtime, and I can tell you that I do not feel one bit guilty when I hire a sitter during a weeknight, order a pizza for them, and go out by myself. Normally I just end up going to Target to walk around by myself or run errands that are downright horrible with my kids. But sometimes I'll make it fun and get my nails or hair done because nothing is more heavenly than having someone else wash your hair, ya know? It's definitely worth the money to me, and I don't think we should feel bad when we need a mama night off.
I have a love/hate relationship with exercising at the best of times, but I find that when I am feeling like I have zero motivation and zero energy and zero mom abilities, getting out of the house, going for a walk with the littles strapped into the stroller, or heading to the gym and letting the kids play at the childcare for a while (even if they always get a runny nose afterward), or doing yoga while the littles watch TV, just moving your body can really make you feel more awake, and will help you work off any frustrations/anxieties/annoyances and help make you feel better about buying that KitKat the next time you get groceries. I have a love/love relationship with KitKats.