There’s a whole lot about parenting that’s hard.
Being a parent is challenging in general. You have sleepless nights and tantrums and your heart is ripped in two when your child is sick or hurting.
Parenting is NOT for sissies.
But as a relatively successful professional, there’s something about parenting that I didn’t really expect, and it drove me crazy as a new parent:
As soon as I have something figured out, the world shifts beneath my feet and I’m a beginner all over again.
Before I had my son, I was a pro at self-care. Here’s what a normal weekend looked like for me:
I woke up leisurely after a full night of sleep (those were the days!). I would meditate for around 30 minutes in my comfy bed, then I would write in my journal and read a few pages from my favorite uplifting books. After that I would drive to a beautiful location (usually the beach or a woodsy trail) for a nice run… Then I might grab a coffee or a bite to eat after my run and read some more. After that I would head home for a shower, rock out to some music while I got all gussied up, and then my husband and I would meet up with friends to enjoy a nice weekend of wine tasting, BBQ’ing, and relaxing.
I’m telling you, I was a PRO.
Self-care as a mom looks a WHOLE lot different though. The scene I just described above (which used to be such a regular occurrence) now seems like a fantasy vacation. Kids require a lot of time and attention, and my previous weekend routine simply doesn’t fit into my new family schedule anymore.
The problem is that I often feel guilty for not “taking care of myself” the same way I used to before I had kids. “Self-care” is such a buzz-word these days, and there are times when I actually feel bad about myself for not indulging in the same kind of activities that I used to be so good at. All of this talk about “self-care” makes me feel like I’m letting myself down if I’m not taking all of this time for myself the way I used to.
However, I think it’s important to realize that just because I don’t spend the entire day focused solely on myself anymore, it doesn’t mean that I’m not still taking care of myself. I’m still able to re-charge while integrating all of my responsibilities as a mom, wife, employee, friend, sister, daughter, etc.
Here’s how self-care looks to me now that I’m a busy working mom:
One of the biggest issues many working parents deal with these days is guilt. The guilt may come from many different sources: those “perfect” families on Facebook, traditional parents from a different generation, friends who have chosen to “stay home to raise their kids,” or even your own internal beliefs about what you “should” be doing.
Whether you work outside the home by choice because you love your career (and spent years working your way up the ladder), or by necessity because your family needs your income, guilt can be a major stressor for working parents.
To help you relieve a little of this pressure in your life, I wanted to outline the top 3 myths that I constantly hear about working parenthood, and bust those myths so you can let go of that guilt for good.