Self Care is not Selfish

A mom’s guide to knowing the difference and getting what you really need.

Self-care should be self-explanatory and a simple concept and idea, easy to describe if not easy to implement.

However, once marketing genius’s (I do not say this with disdain, they are a very intelligent bunch) get a hold of a popular idea, they quickly dilute it by claiming every product fills the need.

Yes, moms can be selfish, and it is easy to be that way if we can claim it is self-care. But self-care and being selfish have nothing in common. The messages of the world may be trying to confuse the two, but with a little soul-searching, we can be clear on what activities are self-care and what is just plain selfish.

Self-care is responsible and grown-up. It includes things like moving your body, eating healthy, doing things you love, and learning. It also includes spending time with the people you love. Self-care is not a me vs. those people who need me battle. It is just a balance. Doing all of the above.

Selfishness is immature and childish. It includes things like sitting on your bum all day because you don’t want to get up. Eating junk food all day because it is easy. Being so absorbed in yourself you either forget to spend time with your loved ones, or you spend very low-quality time, focusing on something other than the people you are with and the activity you are doing together. Selfishness is not doing the things you love, but instead, the things that are the easiest. You can get the same dopamine hit from the things you love as you can from addictions. But getting it from the things you love usually takes more effort and self-discipline (i.e. work). Being selfish is deciding you know enough and don’t have the need to learn more. Or pretending to learn my scrolling the news of Twitter or Facebook instead of reading intelligent truth.

Selfishness is being too lazy or afraid to truly love and care for yourself.

Self-care is taking the time and putting in the work and having the courage to be the best person you can be.

Which do you think your family deserves?

I hope I have convinced you this is not an either or issue. It is simply a be awesome issue.

Does a pedicure make you a better person? Does a massage make you a better person? Does a candlelit bath? Does a new book? Does a trip to the beach? Does an hour playing your favorite game?

It’s okay if a pedicure makes you a better person, if you said yes, go get one, if you said no, skip it and do something you said yes to.

Self-care looks different for everyone, and the details of what you do to take care of yourself don’t matter.

But let’s just stop listening to the marketers try to tell us what to do with our own time and money.

I hope this has brought some clarity to the issue, because I know so many moms who are so confused about what self-care is that they either can’t do it, or think they are doing it but are not. Do the things that truly feed your soul and don’t worry if those things seem shallow to others. Only you know what brings soul-satisfaction and not just a temporary high.

What is your favorite way to care for yourself?

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