I think most moms look at the words “self care” and cringe.
“I’m sorry–what? Care for myself? I don’t have time for that.”
We went to the beach on Saturday, and I put sunscreen on the kids at least 3 times each. I’m so worried about their precious, toddler skin burning. If they get even the slightest bit red, I’m right behind them–slathering on more white goo. I don’t want them to feel the hurt of a burn or, worse, be susceptible to skin cancer.
I was so exhausted from putting on their sunscreen, not just on Saturday but from the Sunscreen Dance that we do every morning of the week, that I skipped putting it on myself.
My skin? Not important. Their skin? SUPER IMPORTANT!
If I get a little burn, I’ll just use some aloe or something…
Well, I look like a lobster. Worse, I feel like a lobster in a pot. My body has been on fire since Saturday. It’s painful for me to carry a purse on my shoulder. Yesterday, Emmy gently brushed up against my back with a pretzel, and I thought I was going to lose my mind from the pain.
Really? Is this the lesson that will finally encourage me to jump on the self care bandwagon? I hope so because, right now, the feeling of my shirt resting against my shoulder is enough to make me scream.
I think of self care as being selfish. How can I possibly worry about myself when I’ve got kids to care for? How can I close the door to take a quiet bath when they might need me at any second? How can I curl up on the couch to read my book when I should be sitting on the floor playing with them instead?
1. If I show my kids that I value myself then they, too, will value themselves.
2. If I take some time to address my needs, I am a much calmer, happier, and more relaxed parent.
Charlotte kept looking at my awful burn and saying, “Mom, you really need to use sunscreen next time.” By turning into a lobster, I showed her how little I care about my own needs. It’s actually embarrassing…to show my 4 year old how little I value myself. That needs to change if I want her to value herself. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right?
Ok so, I finally took a step in the right direction. I put on my headphones and went for a walk. But not just any boring old walk! I played music that I can’t play when the kids are around. Charlotte has a great memory and repeats everything, so there are some songs that I don’t play because I don’t want to answer any questions about the lyrics.
Realization: It’s amazing what listening to my own music for 20 minutes does to my psyche. I felt myself instantly unwind. Self care isn’t as hard as I make it out to be! And it only took 20 minutes. Next time, I’ll try 30…
Thank you for the birthday wishes for Emmy! She had such a good time and blew out her number 2 candle beautifully–with a tiny bit of help from mom.