self-care | mom schedule |

Stop Calling it “Self-Care”

**Disclosure** This is MY blog.  These are my OPINIONS.  I am not judging any mom in any way.  I have NOT had an easy road in motherhood.  Read my bio before you leave a nasty comment about how I just don’t understand how hard you have it.  I am not bashing you if you practice self-care.  I am just simply saying that self-care may NOT be the answer to your problem if you are not prioritizing taking care of yourself at all.  I am also just saying that as moms we already have a LOT on our plates and self-care isn’t something else that I personally want to add to my checklist.  Still with me?  Read on mama!

Self-care.

I keep hearing it EVERYWHERE.

I am seeing it EVERYWHERE.

 

And now I’m thinking about all the things that I haven’t done today and on top of it I haven’t taken care of myself.  Oh the drama!

Are we serious?  We have gotten to the point that we are tired of being the selfless mothers and now we need to practice self-care to “rejuvenate” ourselves?  (Insert eye roll) But really … isn’t having a “self-care” ritual still emphasizing to ourselves that we are so selfless that we have to force ourselves to prioritize the “self”?

I get it.  I really do.  Life is hard.  Going to work every single day is hard.  Taking care of tiny little people every day is hard.  Life is hard, no matter whose it is.  I get that sometimes we put higher values on certain things and that’s what we do with our time.  Then later we regret having prioritized our life that way.  BUT these are choices.

This whole self-care thing is so dramatic.

 

If you choose to prioritize your work over sleep or yoga or reading a romance while drinking a cup of hot tea in your fuzzy socks… that’s YOUR choice.

If you choose pick up the house and fold a few loads of laundry during nap time instead of sitting down, listening to harp music and smelling incense for an hour… that’s YOUR choice.

Since when did we as grown adults become so incapable of deciding what’s best for our own lives?  Since when did we as grown adults lose our own free will and forget how to take care of ourselves?

Are there really moms out there that aren’t showering or eating or drinking water every day because they are SO BUSY with their kids?

 

If you are one of those moms you may need to take a step back and ask yourself why?  You don’t need to read another self-care post about how to make yourself feel better with essential oils and bath bombs.  You need to figure out WHY you feel so inferior in your own life.  Why do you feel the need to ALWAYS put yourself last?

My kids are my job.  They are my life.  They are attached to me 24/7.  I am still eating.  I am still drinking water.  I am still up moving around everyday.  I get dressed (in yoga pants) and brush my teeth.

The fact that there are checklists floating around on the internet that have you checking off how many times you’ve eaten today and how many times you’ve brushed your teeth blows me away!

I am an organized person.  Like really organized!  I plan my kids activities for the week.  I plan our meals.  I plan my Instagram and Pinterest posts.  But I have not gotten so far lost in my life that I need to schedule normal, necessary bodily maintenance.

 

The thing about this new self-care craze is that it makes me question whether I really am taking care of myself or not.  Self care on a budget, self-care when you are tired, self-care for SAHMs, self-care for anxiety, self-care for Saturdays…..  I mean its honestly exhausting.  It’s just one more thing that is floating around on Pinterest that makes me feel like I might just be missing out on something.

Don’t fall for it guys.  This self-care thing is the new “fad diet” of emotional health.  Please don’t add self-care to your already long list of things that you aren’t going to get accomplished today.  Give yourself a pass on this one.

 

We as moms already have a ton on our plate.  But we are MOMS.  We signed up for this job.  Its our thing. Its our calling.  Sometimes its going to keep us up at night , sometimes we are going to go three days without a shower, sometimes we are going to eat the crumbs at the bottom of the chip bag because everyone else ate the whole chip pieces.

Its okay.  It’s a season.  It’s okay to not put yourself first all the time.  It is okay to back burner your own “self-care” for a season.  Sure, I would love to try some of these wonderful evening routines or Saturday pick me up tips and tricks but the reality is I have a 1 and 3-year-old.  I honestly don’t have that much extra time on my hands.  I have a husband that travels and stays in hotels at least 4 nights a week so no I am not showering alone everyday.  Its 100% okay!

I refuse to buy into this new idea that there is something wrong with my life because I haven’t had time to read a book in over a year.  I LOVE to read!  But I also LOVE to cuddle babies, and make peanut butter and jelly and clean dirty footprints off the floor.  I will read again one day.  I am not going to force it into my schedule today just because someone else thought that’s what I should do.  If I honestly felt like my happiness was in jeopardy because I wasn’t reading I would find a way to make reading a priority.  I am not going to make reading a priority because a self-care article says I’m not taking care of myself if I don’t.

If you really, really feel like you are missing out on personal time then do something about it.

 

Drink more water, figure out a way to wind down at the end of the day, shower alone, read a book…  Just do it.  Take control of your own life.  Stop expecting these self-care tips to make you feel better.  They wont.  The fuzzy socks, and essential oil rub down will make you feel good in the moment but it’s not going to make up for the fact that you aren’t prioritizing yourself where YOU feel like you should.

If you need more alone time, schedule it!  If you are feeling totally fine with how things are going then don’t let the self-care craze make you question it.

Am I way off here?  How do you feel about mandated self-care?

 

27 Comments

  • Brittany Shugart June 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!! It is so true. I started seeing these self-care lists and things and almost started feeling guilty that I wasn’t doing things like I should. This is a season in life and it will pass and we can get back to doing things for ourselves, but we can’t get back the time with our babies. We live in such a selfish world. I feel like things such as “self-catering” schedules are the devil’s way of distracting us from taking care of or serving others and causing us to pity ourselves.

    This page is awesome! I relate to so many of the things you post. Keep them coming Mama!!!!

    • TheGracefulOlive June 26, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      You are on point with this one. I think there is a very fine line between taking care of yourself and taking care of yourself OVER serving others. While I don’t think you should ALWAYS be a yes person to everything I think it is important to serve others needs over your own on a regular basis. As wives and mothers I think its just part of the job description to constantly (but not 100% of the time) put others peoples needs before your own. Its part of loving other people that we want to make things easier or better for them.

  • Nadalie June 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Hahaha, it is kind of dramatic. It’s like this sacred ritual. Then again I’m as guilty as everyone else, I keep repinning those pins when I see them.

    • TheGracefulOlive June 26, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      Oh I for sure have a whole board of them. At first I was intrigued and then I just kept pinning as a guilty pleasure. Kind of like watching my 600lb life on TLC… I almost cant believe what I am reading.

  • Amanda Frazier | The Light Owl June 26, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    As a masters-level mental health therapist who stresses self-care, I have to politely disagree with this post. In fact, what you are describing actually sounds like self care! Perhaps you’re right and you don’t need a “routine” of self-care. But it is important to take care of yourself in some way every day. The example I like to use is this: when you’re on an airplane and they are giving the emergency instructions, they will explain that oxygen masks drop from the ceiling in the case of a loss of cabin pressure. They tell you to make sure you secure your own oxygen mask before helping others. Why? Because if you’re struggling to survive yourself, you’re going to be of little help to others. Neglecting your own self care can lead to anxiety, depression, and a whole host of health issues. You are absolutely right that people need to explore the reasons behind the fact that they don’t have time enough in the day to drink water. The solution to that, however, is taking care of yourself, aka self care. Introspection, by the way, can be a form of self care. My bet is that people who are anti self care are already taking good enough care of themselves. But some people need that reminder to do something nice for themselves to give them the energy to keep giving to others. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Thank you for a thought-provoking and gutsy post!

    • TheGracefulOlive June 26, 2017 at 10:38 pm

      I knew I would ruffle some feathers with this one. Thank you for responding so in-depth. I don’t necessarily disagree with self-care. I just disagree with the new push for its importance like its some sort of extra essential chore we need to have on our schedule today or our life is not going to be complete. I do think its important to take care of yourself, but if its not something you are doing each day I think its important to understand the WHY behind it. Like, if you mentally view yourself as inferior to everyone else around you and that’s why you have to have a reminder to do a few things for yourself each day then I think the bigger issue is the view of yourself and not band-aiding it with fuzzy socks and aromatherapy lotion.
      I also feel like those moms that DO already practice some levels of self-care (without putting a modern age label on it) see these self-care articles and think “oh here’s another mom ritual that I haven’t been practicing”. Todays mothers already have so much on their plates, it just seems silly to me to have to add this to their list.
      I do really love your comparison of the in flight emergency instructions! And thank you for sharing your opinion in a polite and respectful manner!

      • Amanda Frazier | The Light Owl June 26, 2017 at 11:10 pm

        Ah see I’m so glad we can talk about this in a respectful way! That makes me so happy 🙂 much respect to you my friend.

  • Taylor M. Harrison June 26, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    In love with this perspective. Very edgy, but very true. Will be sharing!

    • TheGracefulOlive June 26, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      I have this bad habit of not filtering what I think…this post is for sure not filtered!

  • Amy White June 26, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    This post just made my day. Seriously I get that moms need to have some me time, but don’t understand the need to turn it into a whole orchestrated production. Take some time but be realistic about your life and family needs.

    • TheGracefulOlive June 26, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      Exactly!! The idea of self-care makes me feel like I am some sort of doormat and I need to take a few moments of each day and remind myself that I matter….I think if you really feel this way about yourself then you need to dig a bit deeper as to WHY you feel like or have let yourself become a doormat.

  • Tamara @ Parenting 2 Home Kids June 27, 2017 at 1:09 am

    I think life has seasons. When I had babies at home there was not time to go to the gym. I lifted babies and walked with them in a pack or stroller. Now that the babies are grown I can go to the gym or blog as much as I want.

    • TheGracefulOlive June 27, 2017 at 10:37 am

      Sometimes its okay to just make do as best you can in whatever season you are in.

  • Amanda | My Own Unexpected Journey June 27, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    I have to admit that the beginning of this post was offensive. The way that you spoke about not understanding women who are so busy with their kids and life that they forget to eat came off as you shaming them because they are obviously just disorganized and don’t want to take responsibility for their choices. Once I got to the end, I don’t believe that was your intention. But I am that mom who got so wrapped up in the struggles of life that I completely neglected myself. It wasn’t a conscious choice I made; it was what happened because I had to pour all of myself into my 3 (now 4) young children and bipolar husband. And it’s not a season in the sense that most people talk about seasons, it has been almost 4 years. 4 of the worst years of my life. So it might sound ridiculous to you, but yes–I needed to be reminded to take care of myself because I had become horribly depressed. Do fuzzy socks and essential oils take away my daily struggles? No, of course not. But they do help to fill my cup up a bit so that I have something to give to my family, who need me so very much. So the next time you see something that you don’t understand, please try to not shame the people who find it helpful. You don’t know what battles other people are fighting and can’t hope to understand what they are feeling until you have gone through it yourself.

    • TheGracefulOlive June 29, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      My intention was not to shame other moms at all. I have also walked through some really not so fun stuff like taking care of my 9 month old when she was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer and then going through chemo. I then immediately had a surprise pregnancy. I also have been diagnosed with depression, Anxiety, PTSD and OCD and I am highly medicated. So just because I have a different opinion does not mean that I don’t understand what you are going through.
      I am not totally against self-care at all. I’m against it being pushed at us like its an exclusive thing that we have to do to be able to function every day. I like to get a pedicure every month or so. I love to get my hair done a few times a year. I like to shower and go to the bathroom by myself. When these things don’t happen though, I’m not going to feel like a total failure because I didn’t do my self-care for the day.
      I also think if you are getting that wrapped up in life that you cant remember to eat you need to take a step back and figure out a way to fix that. You have to stop the cycle of self-neglect.

  • Allison June 27, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    So I wrote a blog post on this subject but I had no clue about the mandated self-care lists out there. That is interesting to me, I’ve not heard of it! I totally agree with you. I am a Mom and that means that I put others needs above mine. At the same time though, if I’m so run down that I can’t function and start being really grouchy- that’s definitely not healthy and not helping anyone. Children, Husband, or you. While I don’t like the term “self-love” or “self-care” too much, I do think it’s important but in an appropriate matter. Constantly saying “I need a break” and so you are constantly gone from your Mom life is a little much. I get that some Mom’s are better at dealing with the chaos daily than others so it’s probably a personal thing and what works for their family. All in all, take care of yourself so you don’t go insane, but also get that you are a Mother and Wife and so now it’s not about you anymore! Let’s raise our children to learn that love, marriage, and childrearing is a very very selfless thing! It’s all about others! Good article Zhade. 🙂 (sorry for the huge comment)

    • TheGracefulOlive June 29, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      That my thought too. I knew that being a mother was a thankless, selfless, demanding job but I wanted to do it anyways. I have actually done it twice and really think it would be okay to add a third! They wont be little forever. At this stage in my life “together” time is so much more important on my list than “alone-time”

  • Caitlin | My Chocolate Moments June 30, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Hmmm…I guess I’ve been clueless because I didn’t realize this self-care push was a “thing”. Seems silly! I’m a SAHM/WAHM and I pretty much take care of my kids and work all the time, so I do occasionally have to force myself to put down the phone/computer and relax with something out of my norm like a footsoak or reading a magazine, but I’m definitely not forgetting to eat or shower or do basic things.

    • TheGracefulOlive July 4, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Right!?!?! Eating and drinking aren’t self care! They shouldn’t be things that you have to remind yourself to do! I also think if you are totally neglecting yourself there is a deeper reason behind it that “self-care” just isn’t going to fix.

  • Maria July 7, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    I think you are “way off” as you put it. Sure, some people have their own well-organized routines and daily necessities (which IS self-care) and don’t need pep-talks or check lists or permission to continue.

    BUT

    Many do. Many moms cannot handle how hard it is. Many moms believe the lie that you have to be a doormat to the demands of your life. Many moms have tried so hard for so long that they don’t have the confidence, courage, or gumption to make those changes that you rudely demand of them. “Just make a change” is not a simple thing for many people, men and women.

    Just because you may not need it doesn’t mean that no one else does. And it especially doesn’t mean that those who do are ridiculous or insensitive or selfish. Next time you hate something, I would try empathy first.

    (I do not think that fuzzy socks are a necessity, but simple things like that can make a huge difference for someone who needs baby steps to find joy in her life.)

    XO

    • TheGracefulOlive July 7, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      Sometimes I think people only hear and see the things they want to see.

      ****If you are one of those moms you may need to take a step back and ask yourself why?  You don’t need to read another self-care post about how to make yourself feel better with essential oils and bath bombs.  You need to figure out WHY you feel so inferior in your own life.  Why do you feel the need to ALWAYS put yourself last?****

      How is self care going to give these moms the “confidence, courage or gumption” to not be a doormat? How is self-care going to break these lies in her head? Its NOT! So my point is stop trying to feel better with these superficial self-care methods. Dig deep, talk to a therapist or a pastor or your spouse but don’t cover up the hardship and the loneliness with a bubble bath.

      I also did not say anyone was “ridiculous, insensitive or selfish”, nor did I say I hated self-care. Here’s the problem with what you just did here. Because you didn’t agree with my OPINION you decided to make up things that you THOUGHT I meant or THOUGHT I said. Only I didn’t. You don’t get to villainize me just because you don’t agree with me.

      I have had a very, very hard road in motherhood. I actually just wrote an article about my own battle with anxiety and depression. Please check it out. I was that mom. Self-care did not cut it. I needed more help then a list on Pinterest. I have empathy for those moms who are in that dark place. Here’s some real life truth though they have to make SOME kind of change or they will continue to feel like crap forever.

      XO (and an eye roll)

  • brooks July 19, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    I think I agree AND disagree with this post… Is that possible? I’m a mom to one six month old, and I’ll tell ya, the first few months were so incredibly hard. I wasn’t at all prepared. So while I agree, we shouldn’t add self care to our lists as a chore we NEED to do, I disagree in that sometimes those moments of self care I forced myself to take were life changing. I agree that eating and drinking are critical to survival and thus do not qualify as self care. But showers, my friend, are not critical. I went weeks without showering at first. I was so terrified to leave my son (even though I’d be leaving him with his dad/my husband) that I just DIDN’T. And I’d be so tired that a shower felt like a silly idea. Why shower when I could be sleeping? However, when my husband forced me to shower, I emerged a new woman. I felt clean, I felt presentable, I felt HUMAN again.

    Now, I agree that filling out a chart with how many times you eat is a bit excessive. But I don’t think there’s any harm in forcing yourself to shower, or to eat a REAL meal instead of a quick snack. It’s so hard being a mother, and while I know in your disclaimer, you say you’re not bashing people that exercise self care, the article did seem a touch harsh. If I had read this when I was in that dark, anxiety-ridden place, it probably would have brought me to tears, thinking, “now I cant even practice self care properly!”

    All of my opinions aside, I admire you for writing such a bold piece that you obviously knew had the potential to offend people.

  • Michelle Paige September 12, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Just a friendly reminder that for some people self care is actually an every day chore that they NEED to do. I understand you may not know this but there are people out there who are just SO sad that every night as they fall asleep they pray to not wake up the next day and each morning getting out of bed takes pretty much everything they have in them. Whether you realize it or not, something that seems as silly as having a list of essential things to do each day is actually saving someone else’s life and giving them a reason to keep putting one foot in front of the next. Also, self care is a way of working through problems, defining your self worth, and relearning to love yourself but more importantly than anything is gives hope to people who are having a hard time seeing the light. And for some depressed people forgetting to eat is very real and they end up in the hospital from malnutrition so those little reminders throughout the day are actually life changing to some. Anyways for me, as someone who’s in some seriously intense therapy and clings to things like the routine of self care just to stay alive, I just want to ask you to remember that posting something like this can be really hurtful to those who truly do need the self help. I get where you are coming from and it’s unfortunate that self-care has turned into a whole to-do but maybe instead of bashing it and telling other people not to fall for it, just be thankful that you don’t need it.

    Michelle | She’s Not So Basic

    • TheGracefulOlive September 12, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Michelle, since you seem to have skipped over it I’m just going to insert my disclosure that was at the VERY TOP of my post.
      “This is MY blog.  These are my OPINIONS.  I am not judging any mom in any way.  I have NOT had an easy road in motherhood.  Read my bio before you leave a nasty comment about how I just don’t understand how hard you have it.  I am not bashing you if you practice self-care.  I am just simply saying that self-care may NOT be the answer to your problem if you are not prioritizing taking care of yourself at all.  I am also just saying that as moms we already have a LOT on our plates and self-care isn’t something else that I personally want to add to my checklist.”
      This is my OPINION. It also seems that you didn’t read my bio either so let me give you the short version….. I am also in seriously intense therapy, take a handful of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications each day, have been diagnosed with PTSD and OCD stemming from my daughters battle with cancer when she was 9 months old. So please don’t tell me that I don’t know what “dark places” are. Its insulting.
      My POINT is that self-care alone is NOT going to fix my underlying problems. If I was not seeing a therapist and taking my meds and was only relying on personal self-care to make myself feel better that honestly wouldn’t cut it. I also state that I LOVE organization and that it helps me get through my day.
      I wrote this post for moms who see articles about self-care and think “oh my gosh, here’s one more things that I need to add to my list to be a better mom, or person”.
      If there are women out there who are so overwhelmed that they are forgetting to eat every day and ending up in the hospital, or take a break to shower, or haven’t had any alone time in months then reading an article on Pinterest about how to feel better on a Saturday night is just band-aiding the problem.
      Also, as a blogger who writes about “style advice, self-love, and finding happiness” I don’t understand how you think you are going to find happiness by popping onto someone else blog and trying to tear them and their opinions down? We clearly write to different audiences. I am not popping over to your page and trying to rip your posts apart just because I don’t agree with them. Again its called an OPINION.

      • Michelle Paige September 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm

        I’m sorry you feel that way. My intention honestly wasn’t to offend you or upset you and I totally agree that you are entitled to your own opinion. I wasn’t attacking you at all. I read your disclaimer and as I said before I get where you are coming from. To me, as a majorly depressed person with suicidal thoughts, I think scrolling through Pinterest and seeing the words ‘What’s with all this self care?’ come across my screen seems like the equivalent of saying to an alcoholic ‘What’s with all this AA?’. They work their steps and I work mine. I honestly didn’t mean to offend you. Just remind you that self care can be a really delicate topic and your words can be harsh to some.

  • Suzie October 4, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    To be honest, I think you should let other people get on with their self-care if they need it and it makes them feel better.
    I’m not a Mom. I don’t have kids stopping me from reading. I had a negative voice in my head that told me I didn’t deserve to read, or to eat, or to sleep, or to live.

    Having a self-care list is a way to remove the emotion from those things, to simplify them, and to make it much more likely I can achieve ‘basic’ maintenance.

    And yes, I did two years of counselling to tackle the deeper reasons. In the meantime, I needed a daily reminder to shower.

    The self-care posts are not for you. Nobody is forcing you to read them. There are lots of things on the internet that are not for you. That’s okay. You don’t need to rant about them and make other people feel bad.

    • TheGracefulOlive October 6, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      This post is clearly not for you either. Nobody is forcing you to read or respond. Also this is an OPINION, which I am allowed to have. This mom was written for moms, by a mom so again…. clearly not for you.

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    About Zhade

    About Zhade

    Hi Mama

    I’m wife to my high school sweetheart, and mama to three little girls: Everleigh, Magnolia & Juniper. I LOVE motherhood, holidays and hot chocolate. I crave efficiency and NEED to figure out the easiest and best way to do EVERYTHING. Life is short & I refuse to waste it on being boring.

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