Today, I want to talk to you about the very important topic of self-care. The second most commonly asked question that I get from mamas, is why am I so overwhelmed? And my response to this question is always going to be, how are you doing with self-care? This is an extremely important question, and if we don’t regularly assess how we’re doing in this department, we can easily become stressed out and irritable.
Now self-care is a huge buzzword these days and rightfully so. It’s definitely important, however, a lot of moms struggle in this department and there are a lot of misconceptions floating around. So, in this article, I want to break down three myths about self-care and some mindset shifts we need to make. Next week, I’ll be diving deeper into what self-care actually looks like and the steps we can take to make it a reality.
Myth # 1: Self-Care is about Indulging
So, you’ll recognize from the title, that I said it’s not about the bubble bath. By now, you’ve probably heard that bubble baths, massages, nails, getting your hair done, all of that stuff it’s not truly self-care and let me tell you why. I know a lot of moms will argue with me and they will say that is my only source of self-care and when I get out of the house, that’s the only time I have to myself. Indulging in those fun things aren’t bad, but they are not sustaining what you need long-term.
So, bingeing on our favorite TV shows, scrolling Instagram, indulging in some sweets or that cup of coffee every morning, we all have thought about these as self-care. They’re not and I’m guilty of this too. Have you guys ever come back from getting your nails or hair done? You were hoping that the time away was going to be exactly what you needed, and then you walk into your house or into the room and your kids are screaming and you’re instantly back in that same irritable state that you were when you left. These are not bad things, but they are masking a deeper problem that we’re having, and we hope that these activities will fix things or make us feel better. There may be a deeper issue that you need to work through, that a bubble bath or a massage or a cup of coffee is just not going to cut it. This is where I want the first shift to happen.
Mindset Shift #1: Indulging provides temporary fun, but not long-lasting sustainability.
Myth # 2: I Understand the Importance of Self-Care but it’s Unrealistic for Me
Maybe you are in this camp right now and you are under the assumption that self-care is great, but you just don’t have the time. Maybe you are feeling super overwhelmed because you feel like you are in charge of everything. I actually got a question from a mama in the community who feels exactly this way.
“ I would love some help getting out of the mindset of feeling like I’m doing everything. I’m taking care of the kids, I’m cleaning, I’m doing the laundry, I’m cooking. I’m working in my business. I do all of the grocery shopping and I even sometimes have to do the yard work.”
We can all totally relate to her and it is so hard for us to feel like we are not doing everything. Especially when our children are younger, they need us so much. And for whatever reason, kids always feel like they need to ask mom for help even when dad is in the same room.
But I just feel like as women, we have such a higher capacity to handle things than men do. We have a capacity to do a lot as well as the capacity to handle a lot. And so, it’s just natural that we take over in a lot of areas as we like things done a certain way.
Even if our spouse steps in to help, it’s not typically done the way we want it to and then we start to micromanage everything. We show our displeasure with what they’ve done, and they start to pull back and they don’t want to help as much. I feel this kind of lends itself to the martyr mom mentality that I’ve talked about on the podcast before. I had Krista Moreland on the podcast, and we talked about it during the Plan, Prep and Protect your Nutrition episode. If you haven’t heard that episode, definitely check it out here [insert link]. But it’s that martyr mom mentality where we feel like poor me. We feel like everything is happening to me, nothing is happening for me and we can easily get wrapped up in that.
So, if we had an interaction with our spouse and they didn’t help us in the way that we expected them to and we ended up having to do everything ourselves, and this happens repeatedly, this is what I need you to do.
I need you to start asking for help and if you’re asking your spouse for help and they’re not actually helping, this might be an opportunity for you to welcome outside help. It could be help with the kids, it could be house cleaning, it could be grocery delivery whatever it is you need. I have a podcast episode all about what to outsource in your home so that you can get more time back, so listen to it right here.
Here’s what I want you guys to really understand is that if we feel like we are doing everything, we probably are, to be honest, and we need to ask for help. And if our spouse is not willing to take on some of our load, then hire it out. Talk to them of course before you hire it out and let them know the struggle you are having and the areas where you need help in. I know it’s a tough conversation, but it’s one that I think so many mamas need to have and trying to figure out where it is that you can delegate.
I also want you guys to think about time: everyone has the same amount of time and so it’s how you’re actually managing your time. And I want you to take note of the second mindset shift.
Mindset Shift #2: I am in control of my self-care. If I don’t advocate for it, no one else will.
I have been where you are, and I remember crying in the closet asking who is going to take care of me. And one day it hit me, no one! Everyone else has their own stuff that they’re dealing with and it’s not fair to my spouse for me to expect him to take care of me and it’s not fair to your spouse to expect that from them either. We have to be in control of our self-care and if we don’t have the time for self-care, we need to make the time.
Myth # 3: Self-Care is Selfish and Expensive
Okay, so self-care is going to cost me money. If you look-up the definition of what it means to be selfish, selfish is lacking consideration for others and concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. Let that sink in for a minute and I want you to think about this right now, if you are literally going to take care of yourself, does that mean that you lack consideration for others? No. Does that mean that you care only about your personal profit or pleasure? No. That means that you are going to care enough about the depth in which you give of yourself, the level in which you love.
Think of this analogy, the reason why on the airplane they tell the adult to put their mask on first, is because if the adult passes out from lack of oxygen, who’s going to help the kids? That’s why you take care of yourself first, so that you have enough energy and patience and resources to pour into your loved ones, to pour into your clients and your business.
So maybe you feel guilty spending time on yourself or maybe you’re thinking self-care is not selfish, it’s really important. But maybe you still feel guilty, like you still feel it’s too expensive, too much time, too much money. I want you to ask yourself why are you feeling this guilt? It might be time to create a rule where you talk to your spouse and you each get one night out of the house per week. Or maybe you need to hire a babysitter so that you can get that alone time that you need. Maybe you’re struggling with the feeling that you don’t have enough money to go out with your friends or there is a hobby you’re interested in trying but it’s just too expensive.
I want you to think about these things as an investment. We invest in our children and our businesses, but not in ourselves. We don’t invest in our personal growth and we don’t invest in our personal pleasure because we feel it’s so expensive. So, I just want to leave you with that thought today, and mindset shift number three which is,
Mindset Shift #3: Is self-care is not optional, it’s a necessity.
So, I hope that you have found today’s article helpful. Remember the very first step in making a shift and making a change, is to admit where you might be off track and that your self-care might be lacking. Next week, I’m going to follow up with what it looks like to make self-care a priority and how to make it your reality.
If you enjoy today’s post, share with other mamas out there. You can reach out to me on Instagram @thepurposegathering. Let other mamas know that their self-care is worth fighting for.