Why "Self Care" Can Feel Like Nothing More Than A Couple Of 4-Letter W – StrapsAway™

Why "Self Care" Can Feel Like Nothing More Than A Couple Of 4-Letter Words

The first time I dropped my kids off at my parents to be babysat, my oldest was nearly 4. They had almost never been away from me. 

I got into my van and realized that I had unconsciously done a skip-run all the way from their door, while giggling a weird, deep, maniacal giggle, out loud, the entire way. 

To be clear, I love being a mom. REALLY love it. But while responsible for your children you are in a constant state of high alert. Little kids basically walk around trying to get hurt, and it's your job to never look away so you can save them. 

They actually like sticking forks in outlets, and eating non-food, like poison. And I'm not just referring to toddlers. At my wedding, my mom was in the bathroom with two of her older vomiting sons, on the phone with poison control because they were dared to eat the noxious calla lillies in the centerpieces.

With a toddler, multiply that by a million. 

"Self care" was a cringe phrase. I had read the articles about grocery shopping alone, or doing your nails. Garbage. It was all garbage. It wasn't enough.

I was 24/7 considering others' needs, and adjusting mine. I was in an eternal heightened state and it was too much. 

Cue breakdown to husband. Husband watches kids so I can take a bath, or get groceries alone. Upon returning, husband expectantly asks, "so, how was it!?!" 

'Not enough' is the wrong answer, but it's what I feel. A bath or shopping for the family once in a while doesn't bring the heightened state down enough, for long enough.

The answer? For me it was time to be 100% selfishly me. Weekly, scheduled TIME to be left the heck alone and do whatever I wanted. Even for just 3 hours. Time when I don't answer to anyone.

I walk at MY pace. I listen to MY music. The temperature of the room is MY choice. Zero negotiating, even less compromising. If I spend it all watching crime dramas and eating Vietnamese food in my underwear, with a space heater blasting until it feels like a sauna... awesome. Apparently, I really hate being cold and hungry.

It may not feel 100% rejuvenating at first, which is why you do it weekly. It has a cumulative effect, just like burnout does.

What refuels you may be different than me, but figure out what it is and expect to get it. Guard that time, and do only 100% what YOU want.

Otherwise, it's just not enough.

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