Forget The Guilt and Practice Good Self-Care

All too often in my practice, new mom’s recoil when I suggest that an important prescription for health and healing is to spend time taking care of herself. Frequently, I receive this response. “Oh no, that would be selfish.” Often they state, “I have too much responsibility now; even more with the new baby. I would feel terribly guilty pampering myself.”

Sadly, that’s how many mothers interpret “taking care of yourself.” They see it as “pampering,” as if they were being too indulgent and don’t deserve “me time” for self-care and self-nurturing.

Somehow, these guilt-ridded women assume that motherhood means abandoning all their own interests and consideration. Or, they’re no longer deserving of the right to carve out time for themselves.

These sincere, but misguided, moms tell me that if they were to take time away from caring for the baby, or their family, they would feel indulgent, selfish.

I often wonder: Where do they get these harmful notions? Of course, as a therapist who is dedicated to helping women transform their postpartum experiences into positive, life-changing events, I try to disabuse them of these unhealthy and unproductive views. I emphasize they must work on erasing feelings of guilt and instead, focus on incorporating ways of taking care of themselves into their daily lives and routines.

This is my mantra: If you fail to take “me” time, you won’t have energy to give to anyone else. This self-care is vital for renewal and restoration; and most importantly, for healing from depression.

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~ by ppdsus on May 2, 2013.

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