Mama, Can You Imagine 12 Hours of Self-Care?

12 Hours of Self-Care6-3-2013

A mama-friend shared with me that her child’s Waldorf school recently sent home a little love note for parents. It said that moms and dads need at least 12 hours of self-care per week. I have no idea if that’s at all evidence-based, but it has me feeling alternately intrigued and overwhelmed!

Off the top of my head, I can think of 4 to 5 hours of self-care that I feel pretty sure I’ll get each week … a favorite weekly yoga class, including the drive time. A short yoga nidra practice one day. A visit with my mentor another day. Lunch with a friend usually happens once a week. And I give my journal some attention sporadically.

Doubling or tripling that sounds radical! There are lots of simple, easy ways I could increase my self-care time:

  • walking barefoot in my yard
  • tending to my garden
  • intentionally sitting down to enjoy a TV show
  • froyo date with my kiddos for no reason
  • lunch date with myself
  • reading
  • and so on…
  • (what’s your favorite?)

The risk of getting all perfectionist about achieving that 12-hour mark is real, though. I don’t need one more expectation in my week. (I have a lot of empathy for how the open-hearted blogger Kira Elliott found her way out of excessive expectations–even for self-care!–and into the “balance of self-care.”)

But I also wonder how I would feel to dedicate what –for me, now– seems like so much time to nurture me, to build up my margins, so to speak. All that attention to softness and enjoyment ~ just for me. Somewhere between 4 and 12 hours week, maybe what awaits is that sweet spot of patience and attention that I’m often searching for as a mama.


picture © Stokkete |

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