Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Self-care is important, especially as a mom. You can’t possibly devote all the necessary energies to your kids if your own tank is measuring empty. As much as I try to repeat this mantra to myself, I must admit that I suck at self-care. I feel guilty leaving for only the briefest of moments, and I can’t even tell you why. Other family members are completely capable of caring for her, and even if she cries as I leave, her eyes are dry as soon as I’m out of sight. So why do I have such a hard time doing something for myself as an individual, and not as a mom?

We all have our struggles.

I struggle daily with PTSD, a souvenir from my time in an abusive relationship. For a couple years I convinced myself that I was doing “well enough” and that things would get better with time. In my circumstances it didn’t, and I now attend therapy weekly to address the trauma I experienced. This is not only critical to myself as a person, but it is vital to my role as a good mother to my daughter and partner to my husband. The levels of stress I was experiencing were wearing on my marriage, and having a newborn did not make things easier. I noticed that on the days that I was tired (which was almost every day), I didn’t have the strength to keep my demons at bay. Addressing my mental health is one of the best things that have done for myself, and I’ll continue to work on recovery.

Unfortunately, as valuable as my therapy sessions are, I wouldn’t count them as a mini-vacation. I know that I still need a hobby of sorts to give myself a break from all my obligations and worries. As much as I would love to be on a beach, sipping cocktails handed to me by beautiful servers, that is not in my near future.

I’m a city girl in a farm world. 

I live in an area where I simply don’t like to do what is available. It is rural farm and wine country, and to some that is haven. To me, rural is so incredibly effing boring. I don’t like to camp, or fish, or hike. No thanks. Of course, there are “fun” wine-and-paint opportunities but no one wants that mess. I’m sure I would be removed from the festivities, since one glass of wine would cause distraction, and anything more would cause disruption. One drink knocks me over, and tequila also may or may not make me bite? But that’s a story for another day.

My realistic idea of self-care would involve exploring parts of a bustling city, new exhibits in a museum, or even a night out downtown when the mood strikes me once or twice a year. Access to adult dance classes that aren’t mediocre, or a gym with childcare that wasn’t a 30-minute drive would be nice. However, I live in the middle of nowhere, so good luck to me and my pickiness of hobbies.

Making the best of it.

So right now, my self-care involves home workouts, most with my daughter present. The gym was a great stress reliever when I was younger, and still is. I love the feeling of a good workout, and although it isn’t a perfect fix, I have already noticed an improvement in how I feel in general. Yes, my daughter is still rolling around, which sort of invalidates what should be “me time”, but that’s ok. I’ve also been reading more, which is a good escape. The point is, I’m trying, and I will continue to try to find an activity that amuses me.

Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes all you need is a hot shower or a long soak in the tub to feel refreshed. I’m tapping into guided meditation to see what that does for me. Other times I put Hallie to sleep and eat a pint of ice cream in one sitting. All I’m saying, is that you find something that soothes the stress of day-to-day motherhood.

Mom-guilt is too real.

As guilty as time for ourselves can feel, it’s better for both you and your family in the long run. Your kids will survive for the short moments you have stepped away, and you’ll be more present in the moments that count. It may not be a perfect situation, or anything close to a beach get-away, but even a few minutes is exactly what you need to keep that mom train going. What do you like to do in your quiet or kid-free moments?