IS SELF-CARE THE BEST THING FOR A BUSY MOM?
WHY THE MODERN MOM DOSEN’T NEED MORE SELF-CARE
You see self-care articles, hashtags, and pins everywhere nowadays. The term self-care is on trend, but what does that mean for the modern Mom?
With a quick Google search, you can find thousands of articles on the topic of self-care for Moms. Each one shedding advice on how to replenish your own needs so you can perform more optimally in other areas of life (work, parenting, etc.)It’s important to be self-aware and know when you need to step back and recharge, but is that the message that Moms are really getting from all these articles? Or perhaps, does self-care send a message of more pressure? Click To Tweet
Pressure to get off social media, to have spa days, to nap, to exercise, to have hobbies, to meditate, to eat healthy, and the list can go on and on.
I’m not saying anything of this is bad, however, doesn’t it make you feel like crumbling?
Google searches coupled with social media has set high expectations for the modern Mom in realms of parenting, relationships, career, and self-care.
And honestly, the idea of having to schedule self-care and “check off the box” as though it’s on some to do list, is very stressful.
Today let’s say goodbye to the expectations and the suggestions set forth by the internet and welcome back intuition and being cared for.
Why the Modern Mom doesn’t need More Self Care
Most self-care lists don’t tell you anything you didn’t already know. You need sleep, you need to exercise, and you need to eat healthy. That’s the goal, right?
Why does that have to fall under the category self-care? It is family care.
When you focus on making goals for the family, everyone wins. And ultimately, this is what you’re after; shared happiness is stronger than individual happiness.
We achieve more and having higher senses of fulfillment when we do things together.
When you set out to care for the family unit, you can accomplish caring for yourself, but more importantly, you earn accountability partners.
Yes, your kids and your partner can care for you and hold you accountable. Giving others the ability and responsibility to care for you creates social awareness and empathy.
In the age of social media, that’s something we could all use a little more of.
To ensure everyone is on the same page, it is helpful to sit down together and write a family mission. Where are you guys going? What will you hold one another accountable for?
It doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to suit you and your family.
I love this example from The Bucket List Family on their Instagram account. This family of four (soon to be five) packed it up one day to travel the World. Before they went on their journey, they wrote out a list of goals:
- Become closer as a marriage and a family
- Be good friends to the people in our lives
- Live a life of service and compassion
- Learn to find happiness with less
- Become more open minded and open hearted
- Love and respect nature and our planet
Create lifelong memories
This list doesn’t even have any of the basic self-care items we see being promoted today; I believe that is because those are mere benefits of living life to a happy and higher purpose.
Encouraging Care for Others
It’s been said that kids aren’t always listening but they are watching.
With that, make sure you model the care you give to others like you would want someone to care for you.
I don’t know about you, but I know I could improve in this area. Sometimes I get snappy with my husband when he may genuinely need help. Or sometimes I’m not as appreciative when he provides care.
When modeling for children it doesn’t hurt to emphasize or repeat. One method, that I use to wrap up the day is saying “thankfuls” at bedtime with my Son. I take the opportunity to appreciate how my husband got the groceries or how my Son helped take care of the dog.
You could also comment on how refreshed you felt after a long walk outside. This is the time to instill ways we care for each other and ourselves.
It feels good to feel good. Plus, chances of repeat behavior are higher when acknowledged!
And that’s not just true for kids, spouses too!
Another thing to be mindful of in this arena is that you can’t control others, but you have control over your actions and words which influence others.
Mom Tip: Reading “Have you Filled a Bucket Today?” is a great way to enforce the message of caring for others with your kids.
Related: 5 rules to maintain balance as a working mom
It Will Come Full Circle
Family care doesn’t come as instant gratification and that’s where I think self-care shines.
A lot of self-care activities can be seen as immediate, like spa days or time spent reading a book. You can plan for it and make it happen.
But with family care, you’re family might not realize when you need time to reset right away. It will be a journey and part of the process will involve better communication from everyone.
The funny thing is, I’ve noticed that when we put more emphasis on the family unit, the less “self-care” time we tend to need.
Sayonara Self Care?
Are you ready to ditch self-care and cash in on promoting family and friends care?
Sometimes what we need is for someone to take care of us.
I know I don’t mind when my husband and Son head to Dunkin Donuts on Saturday morning to bring me back ice coffee. Sometimes that’s all it takes to feel recharged again.
Model the care you wish to receive, talk about how to care, praise moments of care, and be ready to receive the care you need.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments – are you in favor of more emphasis on family care? Or a firm believer in self-care?
Hello! I’m Bridget, a Working Mom who runs This Mom Life by night. My goal is to provide support and guidance to Mothers so we can all be happy doing purposeful work that provides financial security, flexible schedules, and fulfillment.
Wow, this is exactly what I needed to hear. Honestly I’ve been using self care as an excuse to feel trapped. I read all these articles about self care, look at my total lack of spa days and think “see, I’m suffering!”
I’m definitely gonna practice some family care instead. Thanks for the awesome article!
Yes, that’s the same ah ha moment I had when I read Bridge’s guest post. I try to incorporate selfcare in my life but sometimes that become a job. Lol So i love this fresh perspective! Glad you enjoyed it.
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