Moms’ self-care: yet another task?

bath tub at the ocean

Click this image to purchase it from Korpita.

I admit, I despair of those articles telling me all the things I must, should, or could be doing for myself.

Take 15 minutes, practice mindfulness, reach out to friends, take a bath.

self care is not selfish

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They are all great ideas, they are not selfish or outlandish, and they sound so do-able.

But they’re not.

Not for me.

I am a little jittery already, and taking time to smell the roses just… makes me uncomfortable.

Those self-care ideas still feel selfish, even though I know they’re not.

Or they feel like tasks: things I need to remember, maintain, or organize.

And before I could take a bath, I’d have to clean the tub.  Boo.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned some alternate self-care strategies!

self care

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I have, and they fall into three general categories: incorporate, schedule, outsource.

Incorporate nurturing things into your life.

After finishing a huge project I paid myself with luxurious flannel sheets, and every time I use them it is a treat for both eyes and skin.

Add a scent to your nighttime routine.

self care

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Or a luxurious soap to your morning routine.

self care

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“Surround yourself with” sounds like an enormous task of planning and commitment to me.

Instead, find one image that you love.

It could be a place, a trip, a person, a color, a dream.

Something that you will see and smile.

Then, put it where you will see it.

Or plant a perennial — my lilac tree looks good, smells good, and throws some shade.

Done once, enjoyed daily.

Schedule the things that get you through the week.

If you are reading this, you probably know that I love Mondays because it’s moms’ night out.

self care

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Every Monday, rain or shine.

And it must work, because our families respect it and make sure it happens.

Lunch, massage, a britcom, playing cards, a knitting or exercise class, a drink, or Wednesday evening gardening.

Schedule it once, enjoy it regularly.

Outsource what you can.

Start by getting your kids to do whatever age-appropriate chores they can.

self care

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Getting my kids to take out the garbage and recycling, and wipe and put away dishes, was far more gratifying and stress-reducing than I imagined.

And Thing 2 loves food prep: retrieving, washing, slicing. She loves setting the table.  Thing 1 loves lighting the candle if we have one.

It all adds up, and she chatters through the whole thing to the “audience” of her imagined cooking show.

Maybe you have someone who does your taxes, teaches your kids an instrument, or cleans your house.

self care

Click this image to purchase the print from Flourish Cafe.

And if you are juggling food sensitivities, diets, picky kids, or newly declared vegetarians– you can also hire an experienced researcher and planner to work with you on streamlining your family meal.  Me!  🙂  We can work together to get mealtime back on track.

Visit my website to see details on my short course on Feeding the Finicky and my more intense family meal overhaul called Kitchen Coaching.  And as always, pop on over to Facebook to catch daily tips and quips.

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15 thoughts on “Moms’ self-care: yet another task?

  1. I know exactly what you mean, Angela, about how self-care can just feel like extra work! Good on you for doing what feeds YOUR soul — and dumping the “shoulds”

    Remember: sometimes the luxury of a bubble bath IS worth scrubbing the tub first!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing my art, Angela!

    We can all benefit from self-care! I read once that every time you walk by something you wished you had cleaned up, it puts on drain on your mind and body resources, so one way of seeing tasks is to think how much freer I will be if that laundry is no longer sitting on my bed or sofa. Then I just do one thing at a time and try to reward myself with a bubble bath or walk or drink I like. It really helps dovetail the chores into rewards that way.

    Have a peaceful day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Angela, great blog and wonderful advice. Whether you are a mom are not we all need to remember that “self care is not Selfish. It is the simple things in life that mean a lot to a person, which cost you nothing.
    P.S. Thank you for mentioning MagnoliaEssential, my ETSY shop in your blog. It is greatly appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am sure we are distant sisters, we have the same awkwardness over the same things! I’ve found the huge benefits of self care in the past few years but in my own ways. It may seem trivial to others who don’t and at times even gets mocked but little things are now done regularly and I feel the benefit of them and truly believe it helps me be the person I want to be. The lovely thing is I now notice the little things in life much more – like how the sun shines through the trees and really lights up that space in a way I’d never seen before or the breeze brings a really fresh, clean smell. It makes me mindful of the little things and they enhance my life even more. Thank you for including me in your blog, MUCH appreciated xxx

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    • Ah, Lou, what a great point — that self-care both helps us focus on the positive, and it builds on itself, so that with frequency, we have a ‘regular diet’ of respect for ourselves, and it builds one up. love it, thank you for reading and commenting! xx a

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  5. Angela, you are so spot on! There is no “one size fits all” in terms of self-care. we all need to do what feels right to us as individuals. I love to garden as it gets me out in the sunshine and fresh air and reconnects me with the earth. Plus, when I’m finished I have something beautiful to look at for years and years. 🙂

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    • Jennifer, you get me! Haha. What a great side benefit of self-care — the flowers that nurture far past that afternoon in the garden (though that sounds pretty good too, especially as I look out over snow banks at the moment). Thanks for reading, xx a

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  6. Pingback: What they don’t tell you about being a NICU mom | Funnermother™: let's get fun!

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