Why we resist self care

My husband is flawed. Simply because we are all flawed. He is not perfect, he is not infallible, he is not without flaw.

But he is, however, loving and kind and caring. He is thoughtful and selfless and, when it matters most, I know I can count on him.

It’s no secret that, as a new mom to a 1 month old, as well as having a 5 and 3 year old, I am having a hard time. Sleep is nonexistent, stress levels are through the roof, and I am carrying the brunt of the load.

Waking up (and staying up) in the middle of the night is my job. Taking care of the baby is, for the most part, solely my job. Making sure my older boys needs are met (appropriately and in a healthy way) is largely my job. So the pressures and the burdens of life are building and building…and weighing me down.

My husband cannot breastfeed the baby, he cannot be a mother, and he cannot be me. For as absolutely amazing and wonderful as a husband and father as he really truly is….he cannot be me. He cannot be a mom.

But he still recognizes that I’m struggling. And he is begging me to take care of myself. And selfishly…I’m ignoring him.

See, my husband is the kind of husband who recognizes when self care has gone out the window. For the past few weeks, he has begged me to take care of myself. He’s offered to drive me, to watch the boys, to make me appointments…but I just keep shutting it down.

Today, for example. He is trying to get me to agree to go out and take care of myself. To get a massage (my chronic genetic disorder leaves my muscles tight and my body sore which leads to horrible headaches), get my hair done (I haven’t had a haircut in literally nearly 4 years) and to get a pedicure (we don’t need to discuss the callouses on my feet, but trust me it’s needed 🙃).

To probably any of you reading this, and anyone in general…that probably sounds like a really freaking great day. After all…I know that not many husbands would offer something like this to their wives. And would be competent and trusting enough to leave the kids with.

Trusting my husband isn’t the problem. Truthfully, I do (more or less) trust him with the boys, including the baby…for a short time.

But that isn’t the issue.

The issue is my anxiety.

My anxiety doesn’t want me to leave the house. It doesn’t want me to go to unfamiliar places. It doesn’t want me to shift or alter my known and familiar routine in any way possible. Even if that very routine, the day to day bullshit that is my life, makes me just a little bit miserable.

It’s hard for me to take care of my needs. It’s hard to put myself first, to accept the fact that I can’t do it all, and to put the effort into myself. That’s definitely part of the issue – I just don’t want to put the effort into myself.

I don’t have much effort to give, and what do little I have to give, I don’t want to spend on myself.

My husband is more or less forcing this in me this morning. He’s even driving me to make sure that I actually leave. I hate leaving the house, especially when I have to take all the kids with me.

This very well might be a disaster. But, hey. If my husband wants to subject himself to being locked in a car with 3 grumpy kids while I get things done for myself…I guess it must mean a lot to him.

This isn’t something I want to do…but I know I’ll feel better once I feel like a person again.

Sometimes, I guess self care looks like someone literally dragging you out of the house.

When you’re running on 4 hours of sleep each night…I guess that’s ok. I guess I’ll let him take care of me in this way.

7 thoughts on “Why we resist self care”

  1. He’s wise to push you to get at least some respite. You deny yourself everything, wanting to save it all for those sweet boys, but your husband is right. Only by pausing sometimes to refill your own well are you going to be able to keep giving to those kiddos. I know you know this, but you forget sometimes and kid yourself that you can just sacrifice yourself forever and still be the patient, loving mom you want to be. A little self-care is a very good idea. Try to give in and enjoy it a little!

    1. Yes, he’s definitely right to push me. He knows me well enough to know that sometimes I really do need to be forcefully pushed into taking care of myself.
      I definitely can’t take care of everyone else if I’m completely drained. So I’m glad there are people out there other than me who recognize that 😅

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