Lately, everything is about selfcare. Selfcare is the latest new trend and it’s so important that you make time in your routine to get some selfcare in. It’s a whole new market in which entrepreneurs and business find their niche. Selfcare this, selfcare that. I even get confronted with it in my daily life. People seem to have the need to tell me to take care of myself, tell me that I can’t work that many hours because it will break me, that I have to take some me-time too…
But to be honest… I don’t want this selfcare thing, literally don’t care for it at this moment in our lives. And there are multiple reasons for that:
1. Survival Mode is not the same than normal life
While we are more than crawling out of Survival Mode, I can still relate to the time that worries took over and you literally pray that you’ll make another week of food and shelter. I’m an atheist… I normally don’t pray, but Survival Mode does that to you.
Survival mode is a time in your life where all normal norms, rules and activities get thrown overboard. It doesn’t matter what you think or believe in, it doesn’t matter what you as an individual need. The only thing that matters is the needs of the group or in the case of a family: the needs of the children. You can’t compare Survival Mode to other times in your life. It’s completely different and all the things you’re used went out the door. Nothing stands.
Yes of course, someone in Survival Mode would love some selfcare too… but it’s literally on the bottom of the long list of things to prioritize so you can get out of this vicious cycle. I understand that people think that selfcare is so important, but that rule really doesn’t apply to people in Survival Mode.
2. There’s no time left
To be honest, even when I would want to do some selfcare, I wouldn’t know where to fit that into my schedule. Working 90-100 hours a week is a lot, but it’s what brought us this far already. Things will slow down in the future, that’s the goal: earning more per written text, setting up a business that earns more, so the number of hours can be dialed back. But right now? Every hour that I can work counts. And I’m so happy that I can work, that I can’t imagine taking time away from that for myself.
I’m blessed to find that much work and many assignments. I literally have a to do list that is bigger than what I actually can work through in a day, so there’s always work to do. That’s a huge blessing! Not everyone is this lucky. I will be eternally grateful for those giving me the chance to feed my kids and pay the small bills at this moment.
3. I miss my children
With so many working hours, I truly miss my children. Yes, they are around and we see each other often during the day, but it’s just not the same than when the girls were young. I was a real mom back then… all my time went to them. I was there, always available. Now I’m working all the time and it breaks my heart that I can’t be the mom that I want to be. My boys don’t have that mom who is always with them during the day. I took making an income for our family upon myself because I was sick of waiting, but I truly miss my kids in the process.
The few moments I have left, I want to spend with my children, not waste them on selfcare.
4. Feeling guilty
The big bear among all the reason I think selfcare is overrated: I actually feel guilty for all we went through, making me not worthy of selfcare. I still stand behind everything we did these past few years: running away from our country of origin because their laws became absurd and we couldn’t put our hearts in it anymore, even though we didn’t have any savings put aside. It was a big jump and I would make that jump again, without a doubt. I would leave everything behind and go, over and over again.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel guilty for hitting rock bottom before things got better. My kids deserved better than that, but life doesn’t do handouts.
Most of all I feel guilty for not taking matters into my own hands sooner. I wished that I could keep focusing on the children, but I actually knew for a long time that that dream was a lost cause. I should have taken the income part upon me way sooner. Even if that broke my heart, because deep down I just want to be a mom. In the end it got crushed anyway…
So yes, I feel guilty and no, I don’t think I deserve selfcare. The only thing I have to do is shut up and keep working on building a better future. And look at where it is leading us… we’re actually succeeding.
5. I need sleep
I’m tired as hell. Truly, overly tired. Sleeping IS selfcare at the moment. I’m not going to take time to have myself do something special, while I can sleep instead.
I believe that people who are not in Survival Mode can benefit from selfcare, yes. It might even be an important step in your routine. But Survival mode is different. I haven’t been on a walk for weeks, it’s 3 weeks ago since I set foot in our own garden and the only time I go outside is when we need to go to the store to buy food once a week.
But it’s fine. No selfcare is both my way of penance and the biggest chance our family ever had. I’m lucky that I can find so much work so we have food, water, electricity and a house to sleep in. Selfcare is overrated at this moment. I’m grateful for the people who care enough to want me to take care of myself, but it’s fine like this. It feels right. It’s what I need to do… and to be honest, I would love to see that recognized and accepted.
Instead of people telling me to slow down, it would be a bigger help if they could just give me a pat on the back and a simple “you’re working hard for your family, good job!”. Because I know what you’re trying to say. I just don’t want to deal with myself right now.
Pat on the back
To all those that recognize this… I’m sorry you have to go through that! Don’t let anyone tell you that your hard work will break you down if you don’t take care of yourself. Because it doesn’t. You’re a freakin’ warrior and you’re fighting harder than anyone or anything.
Survival mode is temporary, but you’re killing it! Imagine the moment that you have reached the next step on the path out of survival mode and there is breathing room. That’s all on you! You did that! Can you imagine how that will feel? That’s what keeps us going, that’s what makes sure that we don’t break down right now. We’re survivors!