SELF CARE IS THE NEW BLACK
I love good skin. I love a good sweat. I love a good book. A long bath. A walk alone. A girls night out. And yes, I do love a good vacation, sans kids. This may sound selfish. Or conceivably self love overkill. Maybe even self righteous. Too much self. But what about perhaps the concept of self care? Hmm. Maybe that's the thing. And what if that thing, is everything? It got me thinking. Hard. And suddenly there it was, like in block bold script on my blank page. Self care is the new black.
We all know that we can’t have it all. We just can’t. Not all at the same time. Nope. But if we really take the time to be aware of ourselves, we may notice that we are not “self-caring” at all. And that’s not ok. It’s not ok to me at all, and it shouldn’t be to you. And here’s why.
It’s taken me a minute to really understand the term self care. It’s also taken some extensive life lessons. Events. Crucial moments. Perhaps I’m a late bloomer. Or perhaps life just goes so fast that you forget who you’re caring for. And how dense that duty may be without you even realizing it. But here’s the cool thing about getting older. You learn cool stuff. Like, I don’t care if you think I’m selfish. I really don’t give a shit. Because I’m not selfish. And I know that. What I do give a shit about, is if I’m ok. If I’m truly ok. I care about my state of well being. Think about it. If you stop. Just stop. And look around at your surroundings, at your environment and check to see if you’re truly ok, you might recognize a few leaks in your plumbing. Possibly some cracks in your foundation. And if I’m taking the time to be considerate with myself, the way I am with everyone around me, this means I’m paying attention. And this, is self care. And this doesn’t mean I go the day spa all day everyday. Nobody does that. Nobody. And if they do, congratulations. Also, get a job. But in the grand scheme of life and how that goes, if we don’t see these cracks, then eventually there’s a straw that breaks the camels back. Literally. And that’s what happened to me.
Life lesson 550
My back is not broke. Thankful for that. But it was close. I wasn’t paying attention. I thought I was, but I wasn’t. When I became a mother for the first time, I was focused. I was on it. I was detail for detail very on top of it all. And I loved every minute. I wasn’t perfect, but I was present and aware. Then I had my twins. A baby changes everything. But two babies, change it all. And upon lesson after lesson that I learned in twin mothering, somehow I didn’t pick up on any glitches in me. I wasn’t aware that I was over doing it all day, every day. And so I learned the hard way and I got hurt. So hurt that I couldn’t pick up my babies without excruciating pain. Sometimes lessons suck.
Self care 101
I’m no dummy, so I listened up. My body said no. Even if I tried real hard, it said, nope. That’s the funny thing about our bodies. Actually, it’s not even funny, it’s straight up miraculous. And so I listened to that body. I stopped lifting 61 pounds of adorable identical twin cuteness every day. I called the doctor. I went to the doctor. I went to a physical therapist. I listened. I followed instruction. And slowly but surely I’ve been healing. Self care isn’t rocket science, but to the everyday woman, the every day mother who caters to everyone’s needs, sometimes it’s easy to slip. Self care equals less slips. P.S. Slipped discs are no disco party.
I’m pretty sure everyone’s story is going to be different than mine. I’m also pretty sure we’re going to have to practice patience here. Because Rome wasn’t built in a day. And nobody expects perfection. But if we take the time to check in with ourselves and our needs, it makes it easier to cope with the times that we don’t have time to do it. Because let’s be honest, life is not a vacation. A 10 minute bath with a book or a glass of wine can pretty much make my whole week feel amazing.
Say thank you
Whether it’s your mom, your husband, your neighbor or your nanny, say thank you. Whether it is a 20 minute nap while your neighbor feeds your baby, say thank you. Whether it is your husband bathing all 3 children, cleaning the toy room and putting them all to bed while you watch the oscars with popcorn in your bed, say thank you. Whether it is your nanny minding the house and the children on a friday so you can color your gray hair and get your toes done despite feeling guilty for the ability to do such on a friday morning, shed your guilt and just say thank you. And whether it is your mom staying with you for 5 weeks post delivery of your baby/babies and despite 5 weeks being a long time, she feeds you, and clothes you, does your dishes or simply just rubs your head on the sofa while the baby sleeps, just reach out your hand, put it on hers and say thank you. Say it again and again, a million times over.
Self care is a conscious decision. It’s an act of awareness and a deliberate choice to take care of yourself. And God willing, you have all your arms and all your legs and a working heart and a conscious brain. And if so, then please do take care of yourself. Because God gave you this life to give unto others. But if you don’t take care of yourself, you may never get the chance to do so. Also, I love you and care about you. So take care. K?