Self-Care for Grown Ups

Self-Care for Grown Ups, sometimes it’s just getting five minutes of piece, and sometimes it’s about finishing that project without getting interrupted!

 

There is a lot of stuff in the news and popular media these days about self care. There was even a trending article just before the holidays that argued that self care is not about chocolate and luxury and is instead about actually making a budget for your household, etc.

I would like to argue that self care can be all these things and that for grown ups it often depends on the day.

For me self care can sometimes be as simple as getting away from my kids. Right now I swear my 4-year-old is clingier to me than she was as a baby, and just having a few minutes when she is not touching or whining at me would be absolutely wonderful!

The occasional breaks I get to go get my hair cut, to go grocery shopping alone, to go on a business retreat or extra training at Girl Scouts can be a lifeline for me.

But equally important is time with friends. Even if my kids are still there and are their normal interrupting chickens, having time with friends is better than staying a hermit in my house. Truly.

Hiding in a hot bath and reading a book is one of my go to things when I need some extra TLC or am just feeling under the weather. Most of the time I can sneak it in without any of my girls joining me, occasionally though it ends up being a family affair.

When it is not bitterly cold outside, drinking a hot drink with my hubby out on our back deck is lovely, the kids tend to either play in the yard or find that it is slightly too cold for them and go inside. It’s great because we get some much needed Vitamin D and a gentle start to the day.

But sometimes self care is getting that uninterrupted time to actually do something, be it have a conversation with your hubby, do your taxes and set a budget, pay the bills, or actually de-clutter the top of my dresser without having to explain what each item is. Just doing these things are super important.

Stealing a few minutes to finish the chapter of my book, or getting in an extra two rows of knitting done. Or actually getting to finish my food without someone else insisting on taking some bites or finishing it for me.

These are important things. Dragging my kids on a walk or a hike even though they may talk the whole way does seem to really help our relationships and at least gets us all outside.

Making yummy treats just because the day ends in Y is also a fun thing to do, like spontaneously ending the night at a friends house.

We schedule regular game nights or afternoons with friends, partially so we can have a chance to play games with people over the age of 15, or at the very least spread the teaching good sportsmanship around. But also because we have found it’s a great way to connect with other families and other adults while still including the kids.

Sometimes it is moving furniture around to make for a better flow in the house, so that things can work better, or just to change things up so that things flow in a different way.

Sometimes it is getting to garden without extra help.

Sometimes it is their insistence that you have to stop what you are doing Right. Now.

And play with them or read them a book.

Sometimes it is not telling them their best friend is coming over until just before they arrive so they don’t ask you all day how much longer it is until their friend comes, when they just asked two minutes ago.

Sometimes it is just taking a deep breathe and knowing that this too will pass, that this stage will change and that helping small people learn to take care of themselves and get their own self care is one of the most demanding jobs we can ever attempt to do.

And there is beauty in the attempt and not the perfection. There is beauty in the fact that we all mess up and it will never be perfect, because life isn’t perfect and there is so much for your children to learn from the imperfection of our life and the impermanence of it all.

Like self care moments that you hope will last at least five minutes and instead get shattered in two. And so you try again as soon as they are distracted again.

Chase Young is the founder of The Mommy Rebellion a place for judgment-free parenting.  She’s created a place to get tips, tools and support for what it is truly like to be a mother, stories from the trenches that show you you’re not alone.  Tips that real mothers use.  Tools to give to yourself and to your parenting friends to feel more focused, have more patience and energy, and feel less tired and snappy .  
You can follow Chase here on this blog, sign up for her newsletter here and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Losing My Shit (I’m not the only one right?)

Last week my hubby was home sick, I didn’t feel well but of course the kids were fine.  Seemed like the perfect recipe for some shit losing.

What is your recipe?

 

Some days we have no energy. As mothers there is just nothing left, we are stretched thin and there is nothing but the thinnest piece of skin between us and the world and if you touch it, if you blow on it, if you make it vibrate with your noise we just might get torn, be swept over the edge, have that be the end of us.

We most certainly will lose our shit. It will be gone, lost and what might erupt out of us is Goddess-Kali-like-volcanic-energy. We might swear, shout, scream and throw a tantrum that would put our two year old in the corner in a ball. We might just completely and utterly lose our shit.

No one wants to see that. We don’t want to admit that even ever happens (but it does, you know it does when we are pushed too far). So instead we ingest large quantities of caffeine, chocolate, sugar, alcohol.

We find a way to binge watch TV or to pick a fight with our spouse, because we are going to blow and if we don’t take immediate action, the mess we are about to make will not be pretty. Not a fucking pretty sight.

This is not something our kids deserve to see, or be on the receiving end. But I guarantee that most of us parents can’t make it through getting our kids to adulthood without at least one major scream fest. Some of us just try and keep it down to once a month or quarterly, but I guarantee it happens.

Does it have to be this way? Can we look back and find ways to keep ourselves from being so stretched thin that the slightest breeze tips us over the edge? Is there anyway to prevent this colossal blow up from occurring? Can we keep it from happening?

Well, your road is different than mine. But here are some of the ingredients that I have found that add to the recipe of blowing up for me:

  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Not getting enough help
  • The house looking like a total shit hole and no one but me gives a damn
  • Too many social events and not enough time at home
  • Driving for days
  • Not enough time to read a piece of fiction
  • Not any time to work on creating something with my hands
  • Life stress, like say moving
  • Not eating good food
  • Not enough sleep, oh did I mention that one already?

These for me are some of the key ingredients that make a volcanic explosion. Notice that baking soda and vinegar are not required. However not using them to clean things can be an ingredient.

Can I control some of these? Sure I can do my best to go to bed at a decent hour (though whether or not I get woken up is not necessarily something I can control).

I can allow my kids to only sign up for one extra curricular activity at a time. It won’t kill them to choose just one, I have four kids, it might kill me if they do more than one.

I can say no to social events, or more importantly keep one weekend day a week where we stay home, period, I don’t care how amazing your social event is, it’s not as amazing as my blow up later the next week because I didn’t get any time off.

I can hire a housekeeper. Haven’t done it yet, but you better believe it is on my bucket list, because my kids are not reliable cleaners….

I can make sure that I always have access to a good piece of fiction and that I can at least sneak away to read for 5 minutes a day.

I can have craft projects strew across the house so I am never far from one I can make.

I can speak to my hubby about my needs, and when they are not being met and find creative ways to get time off, like a long bath, a nap or just a sleep in day, or maybe he could just make the next couple of meals for me.

These things and more can happen and when they do the explosions get further apart. I am more often able to see they are coming and find a way to head them off, or explode away from my kids so they don’t have to be a part of it.

Will they ever truly go away? I don’t think so because I am human. And part of being human is losing your shit from time to time. Some of the most valuable lessons in life come from the shit losing.

Sometimes the only way to make space for something new is to lose something first, and yes sometimes that truly is our shit.

And sometimes those explosions turn out to be massive crying events rather than scream fests. Just Sayin’

Chase Young is the founder of The Mommy Rebellion a place for judgment-free parenting.  She’s created a place to get tips, tools and support for what it is truly like to be a mother, stories from the trenches that show you you’re not alone.  Tips that real mothers use.  Tools to give to yourself and to your parenting friends to feel more focused, have more patience and energy, and feel less tired and snappy .  
You can follow Chase here on this blog, sign up for her newsletter here and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.