#SelfCare it’s the hastag of the moment. I see it daily on my Facebook feed that everyone needs to make time for self care. Friends use it for a variety of reasons because for each person it’s different. It’s everything from daily soaking in a favorite bath bomb, losing 82 lbs from a lifestyle change in eating habits, starting the day with meditation or yoga, opening the day with prayer and daily devotional, Tae Kwon Do, lunch or dinner with friends to unwind, reading a new book, or exercise. It’s anything you can do to promote a sense of peace or well being.
For a lot of moms it’s hard to find time from all the other balls we juggle to practice self care. We don’t always see it as some luxurious little niche of time that we carefully carve out for ourselves in which no one else would dare to infringe on. More often than not we see it as another way to feel as though we failed to make time for everything in the day. Self care sometimes is a burden, because as moms we have to coordinate that time to find a babysitter, get ready, let something else go to make that time, and that little scrap of time we had to practice self care became the time we used to find out we can’t get that babysitter or the husband has to work late and here comes the vicious cycle of feeling failure because in order to toss the self care ball in the air we HAD to drop another one and now we don’t even get the time for the self care.
We live in a society that is let’s face it JUDGY. You should do this, you should do that, OMG your kids don’t do eight different activities a week, boy you really did let yourself go a little more after each pregnancy didn’t you, you let your kids eat junk food? Well you really should put makeup on and fix your hair daily, you really should go buy yourself something a little more in style, therapy doesn’t count as an after school activity, you know gym memberships are cheap and running around the neighborhood is free, my kids only eat organic and only use glass containers so they don’t get chemicals and hard metals in their food and drinks. You would feel better about yourself and look better if you practiced a little self care. There’s a reason for a couple other hashtags I can think of. Can we say #momshame and #bodyshame ?
I’m not against self care in any way and kudos for all of you who manage the hamster wheel of life with kids and housework and a job and self care. To me the self care is another list of time consuming things I need to do to better myself. You know that upper lip, eyebrows, and legs don’t just become hairless with a wish and a prayer. That muffin top, flabby arms, and thunder thighs don’t just become tight and toned and the scale read 70 lbs lighter after one session in the gym or lap around the neighborhood. It takes time, REPEATEDLY!
You know though there’s these other self words that I’m not hearing enough of though. Self like, self love, self trust, self worth, self confidence. I’m going to be brutally honest here. I don’t like myself and if I don’t like myself how can I love me? I don’t trust myself to not procrastinate or let it go completely and just say screw it, it doesn’t matter. Without trust to do these things to be a better wife, mom, friend, me how can I feel any sense of worth? When I look in the mirror I see FLAWS. I pick myself apart to the point of looking in the mirror is only to pluck that stray random hair from somewhere it shouldn’t be, popping a pimple that seriously at forty I should not be getting, checking for white hairs because with kids we just skipped gray and went straight to white hairs multiplying like freaking little rabbits, and to make sure my hair isn’t sticking out of my ponytail. My self confidence is NON EXISTENT because when I look in the mirror I DO NOT like what I see. I see fat and frumpy and all the little things that I could do to help myself look better. I don’t take compliments well, just ask my husband, and my first thought is you need glasses, you’re lying, or boy that was a pity compliment because no way you think that.
Yes, I believe that self care is an admirable use of time and for those of you who manage the time for it daily or weekly I think it’s wonderful. For some of us #SelfCare is eating away at our #SelfWorth. We feel a sense of burden, failure, shame, disappointment, and I’m sure there are other negative adjectives that can be added to the list, because we simply cannot effectively carve out the time or we are too overwhelmed to do even one more thing in the day to get around to practicing this newest thing we should all be doing.
So this morning I found myself doing this thing that most would consider a form of #SelfCare. I went to the gym and sat on a bike for an hour while my ass went numb and pedaled and sweated and wondered why the hell am I doing this to myself while multitasking and writing this post on my phone. The exercise was something I needed to do and the writing was something I wanted to make time for and neither had been done in quite some time. Now will I purposely turn my legs to Jello again anytime in the near future? Magic 8 ball says: Future Unclear Ask Again Later. So as I wobble walked back to Bessie, my mommy mobile, probably for everyone to accurately guess I had not stepped foot in the gym for years, and got in to finish writing this I realized something. I might have accomplished something that most people would consider self care but to me, I was working towards self worth.