Why is it hard to take care of ourselves? All the rallying I’m reading for our personal radical self-care reminds me that there’s a deficit in our self-priorities. But why?

for the Caretaker on Shalavee.com

I know our expectations of our treatment of self come from our environments, our upbringing, and our role models. I heard and saw my mother disrespect herself, deny her beauty and power by the way she allowed the world to treat her and her husband, my father, to treat her. I knew she was anxious and felt unworthy by the way she fretted about the world she lived in.

From everything I’ve ever heard and learned, I know women’s roles are as caretakers. Our children are important, absolutely. And watching my husband ignore his body so often, I would wonder if any children would get their basic needs met if men were to be responsible for them. Not hungry until starving guy that he is. Not thirsty until dehydrated. No need to see the doctor until the emergency room visit.

Eamon's concert on Shalavee.com

So I concede to the necessity of the mothering to be handled by the caretakers, caregivers, and empaths. But what purpose does sacrificing our own well-being serve? Because if it’s all care for them and nothing for us, the children will be doomed to suffer from the same anxieties and low-self-esteem as the mother feels not valuing herself. And the cycle of depression and sometimes even self-hatred will continue for another generation. That’s no way to raise a well-adjusted next generation. Do as I say not as I do has never worked before. We need to be the change to see our children grow as stout resilient capable human beings.

I say challenge the whys? Who does it benefit when I can not even prioritize my health, my feeling of beauty, my teeth or my bones or my psyche? How does it benefit my mother or my country or the next generation if I stay scared and meek and un-proud of my body or my skills outside of the parenting?

Gonna stand and stare at that one for a while.

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  1. We have that misplaced sense of guilt – if we’re taking care of ourselves then that’s taking time away from taking care of others. But actually we should remember that we have to put our own oxygen mask on first before we can help others with theirs.

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