8pm. My phone pings. It’s my well-being app. “ITS ME TIME!” it energetically informs me, with emojis of butterflies.
Really. Well, after I’ve washed up, tidied up, put on another load of laundry, let the dog out for a wee and done the school/nursery bags/lunches for tomorrow, maybe I’ll squeeze in a 15 minute bath (which will inevitably be interrupted by a small child having a bad dream) and even sneak in a swift gin.
I’ll have a scroll through Facebook – oh but hang on – I’ve read that good sleep hygiene dictates no screens for 2 hours before bed. So although I’ve coped with the inane chatter of little people all day, and long to assuage this lonely isolation by catching up on adult conversation or even the news (is Brexit happening anymore?!) apparently I’m not supposed to for fear of stimulating the wrong parts of my brain. Oops. Oh and alcohol?! Before bed?! My sleep hypnotherapy app says NO FOOD OR DRINK FOR 4 HOURS BEFORE BEDTIME! Fuck that for a game of soldiers. I’ve got the kids down; the reward is raiding the cupboard for forgotten Christmas chocolate. End of story. I’ve not done any exercise today. Work, pick up kids, chores. So I’m paying for a gym membership I’m only using once a week. Guilt from spending money on something so useless.
Self care? Pah. Self care shouldn’t be berating yourself internally for not doing the things you ‘should’ be doing to care for yourself. Why not do the things that feel fun or like a future-proofing, chaos-minimising, survival tactic to you? Early night? Check. Whizz around the house, cleaning so you don’t come down to utter chaos in the morning? Check. A large gin to help you sleep? Check. IT’S OKAY. Cut yourself some slack.
And some cake.