Self-Care Campaign

meditate-1851165_960_720

Inspired by International Women’s Day (and the #daywithoutawoman campaign that has my friends all taking the day off of work) I’m starting a self-care campaign for myself and anyone else who wants in on this challenge. I’m using the hashtag #selfcareformama on twitter (@momwithawife).

I was a pro at self-care when I was pregnant. I meditated, ate well (but indulged my sweet tooth when it felt right), got fresh air, naps, relaxation, took baths just to soak, drank herbal tea… I prioritized myself because I was a vessel for my unborn baby. When that baby left my body, my body became like the forgotten, shed skin of a cicada (this thing:

you’re welcome for the nightmares).
I started showering twice a week when the baby would “allow.” I started shoveling boxed food into my mouth, wearing the same clothes for two days and a night, never brushing my hair – just putting the elastic back in every morning over the new knots and frizz that formed each night. My makeup sat in the bathroom cupboard untouched, along with my razor. Perhaps the most dangerous neglect I showed myself was forgetting to drink water (although somehow there was always time to make coffee) and forgetting to go to the bathroom.

My body has had enough of the neglect, and now it’s also starting to ware on my emotional wellbeing. So I’m working on bringing back self-care, one tiny, baby step at a time.

Quick caveat: making time for self-care is harder for some than for others. Some may read this and think it’s absurd that I couldn’t make time to go to the bathroom. Others, in the thick of a stressful and challenging stage of parenting, might feel there’s no way they could follow me on this self-care journey right now. For me, this is actually possible now that my baby is 6 months old, happier, and more independent, and my wife works closer to home and can help me out on evenings and weekends.

The first act of self-care I prioritized was actually for the benefit of the baby, but I found it really helped my emotional wellbeing: I started my daily outside time goal. Easier said than done here in the winter months in Canada, but I’ve managed to do it – at least 5 days a week, for the past month. I get the baby and myself outside for a good stroller walk (or sleigh ride), rain, shine, or sleet.

Next on my list:

  • drink more water. I don’t really know how much I’m aiming for, but I figure I’ll know when my pee is no longer orange.
  • take baths for pleasure again, even one a month. I hate bathing when I’m dirty though, so that means showering AND bathing in one day. It’ll have to be a weekend.
  • Start doing my hair (run a flat iron through it) and wearing makeup (maybe just some mascara) a couple of times a week.

If anything else pops into my head (maybe painting my nails, taking a nap, dressing up nice…) and I can make time to do it, I’ll document it on twitter (#selfcareformama). I hope you’ll take on this challenge for yourselves, if you are in a place to do so right now!

23 thoughts on “Self-Care Campaign”

  1. I love this. And understand at the same time it must be so hard to make those things a priority… I guess it probably never gets much easier even as children grow up! ๐Ÿ™‚ Our last negative cycle I did practice some self care and it’s amazing what it can do for your mental state! This reminded me I should do it more often!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, TTC is SUCH an important time to remember to practice self care. Your body is your temple for the process yet can so easily be forgotten about during the process. And your mind can so easily get cluttered and stressed when a clear mind might actually help.

      Like

    1. Thank you, so sweet ๐Ÿ˜Š You also deserve all the care in the world, and not just on women’s day! Women everywhere need to start prioritizing their own wellbeing on a regular basis. Can’t pour from an empty cup.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great idea. Since we moved here 7 months ago, I have not taken care of myself the way I used to in Idaho. I was eating right and was fit. I’ve let myself go…which happens with my depressions. I think it’s so easy for we women to put so many other things and people as priority over ourselves. It’s like it’s encoded in our DNA to put self last. So, good for you! Small steps to a healthier you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I’m turning into my mother who turned into her mother, in regards to always putting ourselves last. I’ve been wondering how much of that is social learning and how much of it has to do with an evolutionary imperative to nurture…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My friend and I have had this very conversation over and over. We truly believe it is thousands of years of conditioning that has changed our DNA. We women just give selflessly until there is nothing to give, then we feel guilty when we feel we can’t give more. It took me 15 years into 21 year of parenting to figure out that it was OK to take time for myself…but I still have pangs of guilt I have to talk myself out of. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally understand this feeling. My son is nearly 1 years old and because I still breastfeed him, he is constantly with me. I haven’t spent more than a few hours apart. I don’t sleep well at night and I need to start training him to sleep in his own cot. Just like you, I have been neglecting my personal appearance but I have had enough now and need to do something about it. I will be following your updates and We’ll done for getting to this point ๐Ÿ™‚ Monica x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, we have the same challenge – exclusively breastfed so I can’t really get a break even when help is offered. Good luck to us both in gaining a little independence ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Self care is so important and SO HARD. That said, the little things you force yourself to do really make a difference over time. Doesn’t make it any easier though. I didn’t brush my hair this morning and I work in an office. It’s pulled back in a tight bun with a shit ton of hairspray. When I was home with Charlotte, I was TERRIBLE about drinking water. I found that what helped me was to have an 8 oz glass handy. Just a small glass. It’s easy to down an 8 oz glass of water in a short time. Much easier than carrying a larger water bottle from room to room. Then I would just challenge myself to refill it and chug every time I walked into the kitchen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good tip. I get grossed out by all the cat hair I find in any glass I leave sitting around but I think i’ll try having a travel mug on standby.

      Like

  5. I’m loving your honesty Amy! This came at the right time for me, hence being pregnant and starting to feel like I’m nothing but a shell for my unborn son. Its gotten to the point where I literally have to force myself from being exhausted to the point where I just lay in bed and don’t want to indulge in anything or anyone. I feel as if its not enough hours in the day for me to care for myself hence needing a 3hour nap, cleaning and having to sleep early at 7pm.

    Your #selfcareformama is such a brilliant idea. I might even blog about this in the upcoming week. I feel as if more mothers and women overall should jump on board. I seriously envy the moms who seem as if they have it all together. Time for me to stop the envy and get myself together.

    Thanks Amy! Such a lovely read!

    xx Shannon / http://www.duedatediaries.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure there will be days when self care comes easier and days when it’s all you can do to eat and sleep – just be kind and forgiving on those days when you just can’t squeeze in a relaxing bath, a workout, meditation, or other big ticket self care item. Good luck!

      Like

  6. Self care is where it’s at! It was around when Austin was 6 months that I started realizing, like you, that hey! I was treating myself so good during pregnancy, and then? Nope! Had to change! I was really miserable and anxious too…so I started going to meditation group, and having lunch with friends once a week. My wife and I committed to one night a week when we would solo parent and manage dinner, bath time, story time, bed time, homework, clean up, and Mary and moms (but only mama tonight) time, so the other could go out and do whatever she wanted after work. It’s a pretty freaking great set-up! So, yeah, we do a lot of self care here…and wine…a lot of wine!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve got 4 kids ages 5, 3, 18 mo, and 4 months. I’m completely exhausted! Adjusting to the chaos of 4 children in such a short time has been a challenge, but I try to be super aware of the need to take care of myself. I don’t get enough sleep, but I’m working on it! Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s