Self Care

Self Care

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?

Two things:

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.

12 thoughts on “Self Care

  1. Have been working on a project all day. After reading your post – I’ve decided to take a break and go play tennis. Thanks for the reminder. Hope you feel better.

  2. I’ve been convincing myself that sitting on the couch and reading my own book is the best way to promote a love of reading in the kids. That’s our life now, I guess, even self care needs to have a measurable value for our kids. Happy Birthday belated to your gorgeous ray of sunshine!

  3. I know what you mean! I went and had a physical today – it had probably been 10 years. Who wants to make doctor appointments for ones self when they are so busy going to doctor appointments for their kids?

  4. Funny because we were out all day Sunday in the sun and my husband got really badly burned too – we tend to forget about ourselves or not have the time for ourselves (in my case) – I can’t remember the last time I blew my hair out straight lol. Tonight I have to go somewhere without the kids and I can’t wait to listen to my own music haha! 🙂 Small things make me happy!

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