Let me guess, from the title you think I am going to be extra ranty?
Well. You’re right.
Buckle up for this, shockingly, unpopular opinion.
Showering without a child with you is not self-care.
Using the restroom without a child is not self-care.
Going grocery shopping along is not self-care.
Look. I get it. Sometimes work shifts with your partner overlap or come up at the last minute and you are unable to shower, go grocery shopping, make that Target run, or whatever it may be.
And then the next time you get to do a basic task or errand without a child seems sweet and easy.
And you get used to it. Used to the everyday hard so the once-in-a-while easy feels sweeter than it is.
But, let me tell you something: if your partner or other support person tells you, “I’ll watch the kids while you shower!” or “I’ll watch the kids while you go grocery shopping!”.
First off, good. As you should.
Second, you are not doing anyone a wild favor.
A parent watching their child while the other parent takes care of basic self care, hygiene, or other tasks is not self care. It’s keeping you and your household running. They are not doing something that is so out of the ordinary that they should be praised.
Do not settle for the bare minimum when it comes to your mental health. Being able to take a shower and actually relax or enjoy it is something everyone deserves. Eating your food while it is hot, wild – I know, is NORMAL. Going to the restroom and locking the door is DEFINITELY okay. Taking twenty or thirty minutes to yourself on a daily basis to do things that are NOT basic care is needed.
You want to doom scroll online for a bit so you don’t have to think? Super. Want to make a cup of tea and just stare outside? Cool – just make sure you don’t burn yourself. Grab a book you’ve been wanting and you’re finally ready to start? GOOD. Read a chapter. Or two. (or the whole thing.)
You. Are. A. Person. You deserve to be clean, fed, sheltered, and able to do something to keep your identity and mental health intact.
Take the shower. Exfoliate. Try a new bath bomb. Paint your nails. (Read that book.) Do what you have to do to keep being you. Everyone needs an “and”. For example: I’m a mom and a contributor for CBMC, marketer, book lover, tea appreciator, popcorn enthusiast, thrift store lover, and so much more. After I stopped ignoring and neglecting my “and’s” I felt more at peace.
Need some ideas on practicing self-care?