Finding Time for Self-Care in the Middle of Real Life

I’m tired. I’ve started this post a half dozen times already. I don’t have the energy to do this thing I love. My husband is attempting to put Baby Girl to bed and she’s crying that she wants a boobie. That doesn’t help. Just another reminder that there’s never enough time for self-care.

I’ve been fantasizing A LOT lately about a retreat. Nothing organized. Just a trip with myself or a few close friends. A time for sleeping in, practicing yoga, meditating, running, writing and plenty of time to cook good food. During this time nobody would yell at me or suck on my nipples. Actually, nobody would touch me at all, unless they were a paid professional. (I’m talking about massage!) I would have a bed to myself and the floor would would be clear of used tissues and stale cheerios.

Instead, my husband will be out of town for 3 weeks in February. I need to finish planning Big Girl’s birthday party and schedule dentist appointments, register her for summer camps and maybe, potentially, clean the toilets (probably not).

It’s hard to find the time for self-care, the energy for the things we know nourish us, in the middle of real life. In yoga we’re taught to breathe deeply in order to create space. Inhale, lengthen the spine. If only the breath created space outside our physical body, in our lives. Maybe it does… How about that for a deep thought? What does that even mean?

For now I’ll rely on YMCA Child Watch and the babysitting swap I have worked out with my neighbor to get my workouts in. I’ll continue to meditate while I nurse Baby Girl to sleep and write during the nap times that actually happen. My time for self-care comes together like a quilt made of stray minutes I find laying around the things I choose not to do.

I won’t cook good food. I’ll carpet by bedroom floor in clean laundry that never gets folded and step on leftover cheerios that I probably won’t vacuum up. I won’t bother with showering too much.

Big Girl told me the other day that the brain and the heart are our two most important body parts. “Without our brain we wouldn’t be able to think about birthday parties.” Right. I need to do that. “And without our heart we wouldn’t be able to move our muscles.”

What a wise 4-soon-to-be-5 year old. With just a few simple words she reminds me of my heart and my priorities. Moving my muscles and loving my messy life.

11 thoughts on “Finding Time for Self-Care in the Middle of Real Life

  1. Can’t begin to know how you are feeling, but I understand the self care stuff completely. I’ve been sick for 3 days and I feel terrible for my husband. The house is a mess, the toilets are definitely dirty. As women, we are wired to do everything. That’s just the way it is. You are doing a good job, mama. Your kiddos are loved. That’s all that really matters. You should definitely take a night (or two) with your best girls. I approve of that decision!😘


  2. Spoken like an overwhelmingly busy mom. It feel like life can get in the way of so many dreams and hopes. The hopes to make the lives of our children happy and something worth remembering. The dream of finding moments of peace and true appreciation in the mess. This posts speaks to my soul. Thank you. And thanks for reminding me that my kids are now a month overdue on dentist appointments.


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