We have all been in that space where we have guilt. Guilt for working outside of the home, guilt for working inside of the home, guilt for working on top of the home...ok maybe not that last one, but seriously we get it. Balancing work, self-care, and life with kids can be so hard, but it is important. Time without our kids is important for our mental, physical, and emotional health. This holds true whether you are a stay at home parent, working parent, or a single parent. We need breaks, we deserve breaks.
I know we all see the memes on social media about the differences between when mom takes a day off and dad takes a day off. Mom does the laundry, goes grocery shopping, does stuff with the kids etc. and dad wakes up goes to the couch, plays video games and takes a nap on the couch. We have all been there and seen our partners take a day off to a different level than us, but why don’t we act more like the dad in the meme? What’s the problem with not actually doing anything with a day off and just enjoying your time…to yourself without doing all of the extra things?
Society puts this huge burden on parents (especially those who identify as female), to do it all, be it all, and portray it all. Personally, I can say that when I feel like super mom and wife and can rattle off 99 things I did for the day and mommy time isn’t one, I feel like a bada** and then I feel pissed off when my husband goes to the gym and plays video games that same week or a different one. This is my learning curve. I’m slowly learning to realize that I don’t need to do L,M,N,O and P oh and then X,Y, and Z when I have a day to myself, I can choose to enjoy it instead. Take notes from your partners doing this, they are doing it the right way.
Yes, I get it, sh** still needs to get done, but chances are it can wait a little while longer. How many times have you washed all of the laundry and then you don’t actually fold it until 4 days later? Did the world end? Did your child think you were insane? Did your mother-in-law come over and wonder why all of that laundry was on your bedroom floor? The real questions to answer are: Is your kid happy? Are you happy? Is your spouse happy? Did you spend that time doing something of value, like making memories? How many memories are made cleaning the toilet? None.
Personally, I'm a fan of the following for my self-care time:
Get your hair done
Get your nails done
Get a facial
Get a massage
Grab coffee/lunch/drinks with a friend
Read a book you've been neglecting
Take a nice relaxing bath with wine and candles (taking a shower doesn't count...because you probably aren't doing it to relax you are doing it to get clean)
Watch/go to a movie
Get caught up on trashy reality TV with a pint of Ben & Jerry's
The key is to plan something for yourself daily, it can be 10 minutes or it can be an hour. Trade off time with your partner, schedule it in because it is important. This isn't a time for you to fold laundry, do dishes, or clean something in the house it is time for you to do something you truly enjoy that is just for you-free of kids and possibly your partner.
What are your favorite self-care activities?