Self care, sometimes it can seem like a lofty dream moms only fantasize about. We work tirelessly for our families every day. We think we’ll be able to focus on ourselves again after they’ve all left the nest. I get it, parenting is a selfless job. There is no room for being selfish when you are raising children. But can I tell you a secret? Self care is NOT selfish! In fact, I would argue that if we are to be the best parent we can possibly be, self care should be a priority!
We All Know We Need Self Care
We spend a considerable amount of time caring for our children. We pour countless hours into helping our children learn and grow. While it is perhaps one of the most important roles we will have, it is exhausting. Raising children requires so much of our energy we often feel we have nothing left at the end of the day.
We know we need to practice self care. Self care after all is what will rejuvenate us and provide the motivation to get up and do it all over again tomorrow. The problem so many moms face, is that while we recognize the importance of self care, we often feel guilty for spending any amount of time taking care of our selves.
Why Does Self Care Make Us Feel Guilty?
The main reason we tend to feel guilty for taking some time to take care of ourselves is that there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done. I mean, do you ever see an empty laundry basket for more than 5 minutes? As I’m typing this right now I could list off a dozen other things I need to get done.
Then of course on top of the household chores we think to ourselves “I should really be spending time with my children.” After all, they’re only little for a short time. I need to spend this time taking trips to the park, reading books, playing games, swimming. I could go on and on of all the things we think we need to do.
All too often we guilt ourselves into neglecting self care. For the sake of our children, we are too quick to forget that we need to be taking care of ourselves along with caring for our children.
Why We Need Guilt Free Self Care
Don’t get me wrong, all these things are well and good. I’m not saying ignore your children. I’m simply saying we can’t continue to give everything we have to our children and neglect ourselves in the process.
Friends, I am writing this from a place of learning the hard way. Like so many other moms, I fell victim to the lies that we can and should do it all. For some reason, we buy into the lie that we should ignore our own needs so we can do it all.
While we may be able to function at this capacity for a while, eventually it will catch up to us. When it does, it’s like a freight train crashing into a brick wall. It isn’t pretty. My train crash came in the form of chronic depression. Leaning how to incorporate self care into my routine without feeling the guilt was life changing for me.
The Trick to Guilt Free Self Care
So, how did I manage to make self care a priority without the guilt? I implemented one simple trick. Every morning I created a to-do list for myself. On that list was self care.
Guys, self care needs to be a priority. We all know this; but, have a hard time making it a reality in our day. By simply adding self care to our to-do list, we are validating the need to make this a priority. I firmly believe that taking care of ourselves is just as important as any other daily task.
Now, after doing something for myself, I cross self care off my to-do list. I do so without the guilt. I feel productive for practicing self care. Because I was able to cross it off my list of things to do, self care has become a task I accomplished rather than a luxury I can sometimes indulge in.taking care of ourselves is just as important as any other daily task #parenting Click To Tweet
This really is a simple trick that can transform the way you view self care.
Another trick to remember is that self care doesn’t need to be time consuming. So many forms of self care can be accomplished in 30 minutes or less.
Other To-do List Tricks
In order to make this trick work, you need to be careful in how you craft your to-do list. There are always more things that need to be done than you can actually accomplish in one day. So, when you’re making your list, be sure to make it practical. Don’t make your list so long that there is no way you can accomplish it all in one day. Don’t worry you can save some of it for tomorrow’s list.
If you make your list too long, you will still feel guilty for practicing self care. Having a list so long you can’t accomplish it in one day means you’ll continue to put self care at the bottom of that list. It will cause you to continue feeling that other things are more important.
Don’t forget to add fun activities on your list. Things like taking the kids to the park, library, or pool can certainly be added to the list. This can be especially helpful if you have a hard time doing these extra curricular activities when the laundry is piling up.
For more on making self care a priority, visit How I Make Myself a Priority as a Homeschool Mom.