Can we speak honestly about self-care for Moms? The idea that we should take care of ourselves first and then take care of our families is a joke.
If you have ever flown on an airplane, you know the drill.
The flight attendant tells you that if you are traveling with children or someone who needs extra assistance, put your own oxygen mask on first and then help the other person.
In theory, the same principle is supposed to apply to self-care for Moms.
Experts and other well-meaning people encourage us to take care of ourselves to be able to take care of our families.
But let’s get honest.
Moms are never going to put themselves first.
Not because we are martyrs.
But because we don’t have a choice.
Consider this typical scenario in my life:
I start off my day getting the kid out the door, and I drive them to school. Then I go back home, take the dogs out and get my Mom ready for me to drive her to her medical treatments in the neighboring town. While she is in her treatments, I either run errands or sit in a restaurant to use their wi-fi to work. Then I drive my Mom home just in time to pick my kids up from school and bring them home.
Kid #2 has piano lessons in an hour, and Kid #1 needs to be driven too and from work. The plan is for me to take the kid to piano and my husband will do the work run.
Only something has come up at work, so now my husband needs to stay there for several more hours.
I am crazy exhausted, have a headache, and the thought of getting back into my car makes me want to scream.
Do I get to put on my oxygen mask and do a little desperately needed self-care?
I get to drop Kid #2 at piano, run kid #1 to work, go back to piano to pick up kid #2, take her home, and then go back out again a few hours later to pick kid #1 up from work.
Why? Because my needs are at the bottom of the list. My time is at the whim of everyone else in my house as well as my aging parents.
I guess I could tell my husband too bad. You need to come home and drive the kids. But he won’t.
I could tell my son he will have to call work and say he isn’t coming in because he doesn’t have a ride. But I’m not going to. do that
Or I could call the piano teacher at the last minute and say we are skipping the lesson. But that isn’t fair to my daughter or the piano teacher.
Instead, the rest of the family is sitting in their seats with their oxygen masks snug across their face.
And I’m lying in the aisle gasping for air just hoping I will pass out and get some much-needed rest.
Self-Care for Moms
Don’t get me wrong.
I know self-care for moms is essential. I applaud the many women out there that are trying hard to help other moms take time for themselves.
But the reality is that getting in some me time is virtually impossible.
Which is why I go on vacation by myself.
The only way I can guarantee me-time is if I go on a trip and leave my family at home.
Read all 50 pieces of advice I shared in honor of my 50th birthday.