I’ve been noticing more and more lately the inconsistencies between how we, as moms, care for our children compared to how we care for ourselves. I’m sure it’s natural, and I’m not even saying it’s a bad thing, but it’s definitely there. Our kids come first. Our self-care is lacking.
It’s in how we buy all the best organic fresh fruits and veggies for our kids, even though we’ve never felt we could splurge on that kind of food for ourselves when the regular versions seem exactly the same and much cheaper.
We scan every single ingredient in any body wash, lotion, and sunscreen we buy for our children, yet we’ve been using whatever has the nicest packaging or scent on ourselves for as long as we can remember. I never even thought to check ingredients on these things until I was pregnant, and then I became crazy about it. I still watch this to a certain extent now, because while breastfeeding I am aware of how my son is connected to my body and what I absorb.
It’s in how we never let our kids eat fast food, but then we zip through the drive thru when we’re alone because we don’t have the time or want to spend the money on a real meal when we’re out and about. It’s not an accident that my son has never been to McDonald’s. But I hardly think twice when I gobble a dollar menu burger myself even though I’ve seen all those videos about how they’re basically not even food and never decompose.
We track hours slept and plan schedules around nap times to make sure our babies get the recommended and necessary amount of sleep each day, yet we stay up ’til the wee hours of the morning to squeeze in a little more work or to finish the last household chores, or even to have a chance to watch one episode of TV by ourselves, even though we know we’ll be woken up in only a few hours.
I’m not here to tell you it’s wrong, or that you need to change. I’m not one of those people who is all into “self-care” and going to make you feel bad about not doing enough for yourself. (Let’s be honest, these are just not the years for it — there’ll be time for that when the kids are older.) I know it makes sense in a lot of ways, because we created these beings, and of course we want them to have the best of everything. We want them to stay as pure and innocent as possible for as long as possible. But it’s a slightly unsettling idea that I’ve noticed is happening in my home. And I have a feeling I’m not alone.
What do you do for your child that you wouldn’t do for yourself?