I’m sure you have seen the term self- care being used quite often at the moment. It seems to be something that many of us are obviously missing out on, to be reminded that we need it in our lives. I feel a pang of sadness that we now have to use a special term to remind each other that we need to look after ourselves.
I also feel as a mother, or just because of my nature, I’m not entirely sure, that there is a fuzzy line between self-care and selfish. A battle I face regularly when trying to establish whether what I am doing as ‘self care’ is actually having a negative impact on others.
This all come to mind after returning from one night away with my husband (the first in years), where our children didn’t come with us. We went to a spa and it was so important that we did go for our health (mental and physical) and for our relationship. It’s been tough few months. It was wonderful and I started to properly exhale and allow my shoulders to drop, something that doesn’t happen when I am being mum.
My wonderful mother was looking after the children and they had a lovely time with her, but I still felt guilt. Guilt that I wasn’t with them and that they would miss us terribly (they did a little but they were busy too). Guilt that I shouldn’t be leaving my children, as, we are their security, and I want them to always feel safe in the knowledge that we are there for them. Guilt because I can still tap in to that feeling I had when my parents ever went away (which was very rare!!) And.…guilt that I am working so much at the moment that when I have time, I should be spending it with them.
This got me thinking, that although the trip was self-care and necessary, perhaps I was now putting my needs above my children’s, and that’s something within me that just doesn’t sit right.
I know, and can totally see the value in parents feeling great and therefor being better parents, so it is inevitably a win-win. I also know that if one of us were with them, the guilt is not so strong. It’s in trying to switch off the instinctive ‘I should be there for my children at all times’ that I struggle with. I know I am not alone in feeling like this and wonder how others tackle the mum guilts?
How do you fair in the self- care/ selfish mind set? Do you suffer with the mum guilt’s or do you truly allow yourself to enjoy the moments when you get them? Or do you not even take those moments because you can’t or it doesn’t feel right?