“Self-Care is still important, even though you’re sick of hearing about it.” I posted this in a facebook group for moms who run their own businesses after someone posted a vaguely snarky comment about why she’s tired of hearing about self-care.
In fact, the snark was in full force on my self-care post in that group.
One mom said she “rolls her eyes every time she hears the words self-care”
Another mom said the concept of self-care is “crazy overused” so she usually just ignores it.
Another mom told me I was spelling it wrong.
I think it was that last one that pushed me over the edge.
Why are moms so resistant to self-care?
As one of the moms who responded with snark to my original post said, “I’m all about taking care of yourself because you can’t pour from an empty bucket but it’s just too much for me these days.”
What makes self-care too much?
Because for me, after years of ignoring my needs and not taking care of myself, the feeling of deep depletion is too much. Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with my life is too much. Knowing that I have the ability to make healthier decisions for my body, mind, and spirit, but choosing not to, is too much.
I won’t bypass my needs and put myself last just because I think self-care is an overused buzzword.
And I don’t think you should, either.
Self-care is still important, no matter how often you hear the words “self-care.” In fact, arguably, self-care is still important because I had this snarky conversation online with other moms.
Maybe it’s even more important because of that.
Here’s a different question:
Why does it feel so important to push back against self-care?
Why are we, as moms especially, so invested in rejecting the idea of setting aside small moments in our days for ourselves?
Here’s my theory why:
It starts with the idea of guilt and worrying about being a “bad mom.” It comes from wanting to put our kids first because our kids deserve our absolute best, no matter the expense on our own health and sanity.
I think it also comes from a misunderstanding about what self-care is.
So many moms see self-care as a luxury not a necessity.
Or they see it as another item on their to-do list.
Sometimes they think of those generic forms of self-care, like face masks and pedicures, and they think, “those aren’t me.” Or “who has time for that.”
Instead of investigating her own needs, a mom would rather look for all of the excuses in the book to prioritize someone else’s needs.
It seems pretty backwards and upside down and wrong.
We still do it, though.
Moms still do this because we’re afraid of screwing up. We want to do our best by our kids. I think many moms hope to raise their kids with even more joy and opportunity than we had as kids. Even if it means sacrificing our own health and happiness along the way.
There’s a big disconnect there, though.
The more you sacrifice your own needs, the more motherhood wears you down.
When you feel more worn down, getting things done in every aspect of life is harder.
As soon as life gets really hard, your health and happiness will suffer.
When your health and happiness suffer, your capacity to take good care of your kids, diminishes.
And here’s another piece that is often overlooked:
YOU DESERVE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS. YOU DESERVE JOY AND DELIGHT JUST AS MUCH AS YOUR KIDS.
At the end of the day, this is not just about making sure you are taking care of yourself so your kids have a good life.
It’s about taking care of yourself so YOU have a good life.
So yes, self-care still matters even though you hear about it a lot.
Self-care matters because YOU MATTER.
So start acting like you matter, mama. You deserve it.