Does it make you selfish?
Should we feel guilty for taking care of ourselves first?
A few days ago I shared an article on Facebook. Something about psychologists recommending moms take a mom-cation as a way to engage in self-care. The premise behind the article is that when a mom takes care of herself first, she is in a better position to take care of her family. You can’t pour from an empty cup, right?
I had a handful of friends comment. Some who do this regularly, some who have friend-cations and special time planned away to recharge. There were also a few funny memes that gave me a chuckle. And then there was one other post. A comment that went something like this, “I could never take time away like that. I would have felt too guilty to leave my husband and my boys behind.”
I had to take a moment before responding. In fact, I didn’t respond at all. Mostly because the issue is so much deeper than what a simple
Facebook comment could address. Here is my attempt at addressing it.
Mama friend, you should never, ever feel guilty for taking time to care for yourself. Your body, mind, and spirit need to be well cared for so that you are in the best position possible to love your family. I am sure you know what it feels like to love them when you are running on fumes. When you are pushed to your human limits and one more cup of spilled milk will drive you over the edge.
It is so much easier to clean up spilled milk when your clay vessel is full. I’m talking Jesus-full, hope-full, joy-full. I’m talking about the kind of full that only God can provide but that is a direct result of you plugging into Him, intentionally.
Maybe that means you get up an hour early each morning to have your quiet time. Maybe that’s taking 5 seconds to read the Scripture verse you scribbled on the whiteboard on your fridge. Maybe it’s drinking an extra glass of water at lunch-time or adding another scoop of veggies to your plate at dinner-time. Maybe it’s taking a 30-minute walk or hitting the gym after work. For you, self-care may include taking a weekend trip, alone where you have time to think, pray, and sleep in. Perhaps it’s all the above!
I don’t know what self-care looks like for you. I don’t know what fills your tank but whatever it is, sister, do it. You are worthy. You are important and your family, friends, co-workers, and loved ones need you to be the best version of you.
Please, do not let guilt steal that version of yourself!