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8 Ways My Kids Are Total Self-Care Blockers

Photograph by Twenty20

Have you heard? The buzzword of the day is "self-care," moms. This means we’re all supposed to do a better job putting ourselves first, or at least not putting ourselves last. Sounds good, right?

Every day, I read articles touting essential self-care practices for moms. And I think, yes, I do need to take better care of me. Certainly, I would be a happier, healthier, less bitchy mom if I was properly fed and rested.

So, this fall, I set out to start practicing self-care. Spoiler alert: It didn't happen. Why? Because I have two kids, that's why.

Here are just 8 reasons my rugrats are the ultimate "me time" killers:

1. They're little thieves

My husband is fond of saying that death creeps in through the gums. It seemed like regular flossing would be a good life insurance policy and it only takes two minutes at night. Or it would, if I could ever find any dental floss. Ever since I took an interest in flossing, my kids have taken a corresponding interest in using my floss to make necklaces for stuffed animals or to tie each other up.

2. They think I'm a jungle gym

My creaky back appreciates a little cat-cow stretch in the morning, so I promised myself I’d stretch five minutes per day, right on my very own carpet—no muss, no fuss. Except every single time I lay down, my toddler thinks it’s hilarious to climb right on top of me. And, occasionally, she starts nursing. It’s not worth it.

3. They're scared of loud noises

A girlfriend of mine swears by her morning concoction of protein powder, chia seeds, almond milk and spinach, so I tried it, and while not as tasty as a root beer float, it did make me feel super virtuous. But there's a problem. My toddler cowers in fear from the blender, which makes me feel awful. Also, my 6-year-old gets smoothie-envy, only she doesn’t want a green one. She wants a fruity purple one. So now I’m cleaning out blenders and scaring toddlers and I’m even later for school drop-off than usual. Self-care, my ass.

4. They want what I'm having

I’ve never been good at remembering to take a multivitamin, and that’s partly because I hate swallowing those big ole horse pills. I decided to try gummy vitamins, but I have to take them in secret, or else this happens:

Child: “Mom I want a gummy bear.”

Me: “You can’t have one—it’s my vitamin.”

Child: “Then can you make me hot chocolate?”

What is the opposite of mindful? Because I’m doing that really well.

5. They have no boundaries

A hot bath used to be my happy place, but now if I try to sneak into the tub, everyone just climbs in with me. I have tried locking the door, but sadly, my iPad is not loud enough to drown out all the banging.

6. They're crafty

Dumping my hopes and fears—or even just my to-do list—into a pretty little notebook genuinely helps me CTFD. It also attracts little people who want to color in my journal, “borrow” pages from my journal and otherwise make off with my journal.

7. They're unpredictable

Some nights, I’ll make a commitment to getting eight hours of actual sleep. And to ensure my own neuroses don’t interfere with my zzz’s, I might pop a Benadryl to help whisk me off to dreamland. Unfortunately, that’s the perfect invitation for my 2-year-old to wake up at 3 a.m. for no good reason, when I’m foggy in the brain and so, so, so bitter.

8. They mind when I'm mindful

"Mindful eating" is one of those worthy goals that just makes me LOLOLOL. Sure, I would be healthier and thinner if I could take time to savor every morsel and listen to my body for “feeling full” signals. But I’m a mom. Most of my meals consist of stolen bites, standing up while I’m making food for others and also yelling. Dessert consists of leftovers shoveled into my mouth on the way to the dishwasher so as not to waste. What is the opposite of mindful? Because I’m doing that really well. (Pats self on back. Voila, self-care!)

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