Self Care - Are we ACTUALLY doing it?

Self care is a huge topic right now, which I think is great. Women and men need to be taking care of themselves, even if its something little like enjoying a cup of tea/coffee, undisturbed, the in the morning before the madness of the day begins. That to me, is self care. But for the sake of this blog post, lets focus on women, because this is what I'm frustrated about, and why I'm weighing in.


Self care to me is getting to have sex without the pressures of not wanting to wake the kids, or having to make breakfast for them any minute, or even coming home on a lunch break and really just enjoying your partner like you are the only two that exist, exploring and loving each other.


Self care to me is going to a bookstore and browsing at your leisure, picking out just the thing for you, and maybe even getting to read a bit of it with a scone and tea.


These things are all self care.


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You know what isn't self care?


Doing the dishes without the kids around because your husband took them to the store.


Cleaning the bathroom because no one else will, and the kids are outside playing.


Folding laundry alone in your room without anyone knocking over the piles.


Cleaning, being a maid for your family, and everyday household chores, are not a form of self care if done without being disturbed.


I love doing these things without having a mess follow right behind me (mother of two toddlers over here). I truly do. And for some, maybe, just maybe, it is a form of self care. But generally speaking, no. Its not. And I shouldn't be made to think that just because I get a moments respite, that its a form of self care to clean.


Maybe its me that isn't fully understanding the topic of self care. But what I've taken it to mean is doing something for yourself that maybe you don't get to do all the time, that you get a mental health break to do something just for you.


When we were little, we'd get my mom for her birthday, or Christmas, baking utensils, or pots and pans. Things to use in the kitchen. Did she love being in the kitchen making us delicious desserts and dinners? Maybe. Did we ask? Never. But it benefited us. If she truly loved all the things we got her, and was maybe the only one to use them, then that would be a different story.


What I'm trying to say is that self care shouldn't benefit anyone else, really. Like a chore would. If you benefit from me being a little bit more sane, and less on edge, perfect.


But domestic servitude is not a fucking form of self care, and women shouldn't perpetuate that to other women like its the only thing we get in life. I love taking care of my family. But its not a form of self care.

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Marissa Peterson
Bellingham, WA
253.334.7282