Never in the world could I imagine how easy it would be to ignore & forget basic self care when you’ve just made and birthed a human. When I was pregnant I imagined that the furthest I would go when it came to neglecting the concept of self care would be months without doing my nails, buying a new piece of clothing or getting my hair done. Having babies would never be my "lie" to justify my own negligence.
But now when our babe is finally here, fully dependent on his parents to take care of every little need that occurs as he grows (especially from his momma who nurses him), and healing from childbirth, the consequences of me not prioritizing my own basic needs suddenly became extra prominent.
The trending concept of self care is more than often only defined as something luxurious; every-day, big or small ways to make a life of complete overload a little more bearable. It’s like you can find the word everywhere, and somehow it seem to have lost some of the meaning of a deeper kind of care for yourself.
Living in a world where self care is trending actually tells us how much we have to work with, and how detached we have become from normal & healthy ways of taking care of ourselves.
But self-care is not all milk baths and cappuccinos.
Self-care is not always beautiful.
"The act of self-care has become yet another thing women are expected to be good at. Did you use the right filter for that ‘gram of your impeccably prepared acai bowl? Are the candles you just lit in your Snap story made from organic hand-poured soy or are they that mass-produced factory shit? And how can we stem the inevitable capitalist tide from turning something as simple as self-care into yet another thing to be bought and sold? These are all things I wrestle with as I order Dominos in sweatpants under the guise of ‘being good to myself.'" – Amil Niazi
Self care is informing your partner about his part in your recovery after giving birth. Self care is as unglamorous as not skipping out on food & water. It is, choosing not to run from problems, making important phone calls and asking for help.
It is re-strategizing, loving people on a distance, saying no and making people uncomfortable with your integrity. It is creating a decent sleeping routine and it is giving up on blaming a busy or unreasonable life to justify self-sabotage.
It is taking care of a loved one, standing up for mothering your babies your way, calling a friend and taking time to read a book.
Caring for yourself is not about indulging in consumer self care on a regular basis. When it comes to long term wellness and treating yourself, consumer self care is only touching the surface and when we oversize it, it instead makes us disconnected to our basic needs - those who help us form a life we don’t feel the need of escaping from.
Self care is about being our own heroes. It is letting ourselves off the pressure. It is about how to be a human in this world and finding ways to cope between traumas.
Self care is not all milk baths and cappuccinos. It is what leads us to know that those things are only ways to enjoy life, not to escape from it.