Why Self-Care is NOT Selfish
I have heard so many moms, in person and online, say that they feel guilty for taking some time for themselves. Moms - working moms and stay at home moms - are some of the hardest working people I know. We wear so many hats at any given point in the day: teacher, counselor, provider, playmate, nurse, therapist, etc, etc, etc. And so when we choose to take time for ourselves, we feel like we should be wearing one of our hats instead. We feel guilty. We feel selfish.
But self-care is NOT selfish. I'm going to say that again: self-care is not selfish! In fact, taking care of yourself is more beneficial to your kids, your spouse, and your colleagues. Self-care avoids burn-out and improves mental health. I'm sure most, if not all, would agree that having a positive mental state is essential to being the best mom, co-worker, spouse, leader you can be. Not taking care of yourself can make relationships suffer. Not taking care of yourself can lower your self-esteem and confidence. Lack of confidence and low self-esteem are not things we want to teach our children.
Self-care is important because it can make you more energetic and more effective. It creates positive feelings (self-love) and therefore, boosts self-esteem. Our children see what we do and create their own version of it. If we are constantly frazzled and at our wits end, our kids will think this is the normal and will eventually follow suit. Is this how we want our kids to be? Of course not!
So, mom, don't feel guilty for taking a coffee break or spending an hour in your room alone while your spouse takes care of the kiddos. You are teaching your kids that taking care of themselves is important and you are instilling this in them now while they are young. Even more, when you take your time, you can encourage your kids to take their own time, too. Encourage them to read a book alone, or write in a journal about their day. Reflection can be a great way to keep a positive mindset.
We all want our kids to have high self-esteem. We want them to be healthy in both body and soul. To teach them this, we need to show them. Self-care, self-love, and positive self-talk start with us, parents. Our kiddos are our little monkeys and what they see, they do. Let's teach them that positivity starts from within.
Aside from encouraging our kids to self-love, it is important to take time for ourselves because we are our own person! Yes, we are mom, wife, teacher, etc, but when we were born we were just "me." I am Shannon plus all of those other things. It is important for me to have alone time to just be Shannon; to just be who I am. I have my own thoughts, my own views, my own needs that I can't think about or improve if I am always focused on others. When I can walk through Target, ALONE, is one of the best moments because I can look at things I love. I can create and design ideas for my home and myself. When I go with the kids, I rush right through and try to avoid going anywhere near the toy aisles! Because when I go with kids - I am Mom. When I go alone, I am Shannon.
So, find ideas and things to do on your own a few times a week if you can. These things don't have to take long and they don't have to be expensive (or even cost money at all). They just have to be things that will improve your body, mind, and soul. So that you can be the best YOU you can be. Because in the end, that is what counts. You are what counts.