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PSA: Pooping with the door closed is not relaxing "me time" — it's the bare minimum.

By Parents
March 30, 2021
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This story originally appeared on Parents.com by Melissa Mills.

The emotional, physical, and mental toll of being a parent — and especially of being a mom — can be overwhelming and even unbearable at times. Add in a global pandemic and it's enough to bring someone to their breaking point.

Without the normal outlets for stress due to COVID-19, moms are burning out on a whole new level and anxiety is on the rise. So it's no wonder well-meaning friends, family, and even strangers point to ideas to help Mom take that much-needed break and prioritize "me time."

Mother having Breakfast with her Daughters
Credit: Geber86/Getty

But lets just get one thing straight: Meeting your basic human needs is not actually self-care.

As @emily.the.mom.next.door puts it in her now-viral video, "Golly I wonder why I'm still so tired with all this 'relaxing' me time!" In the hysterical-because-it's-so-true video, this mom sarcastically points out just some of the super fulfilling things moms are encouraged to do as forms of self-care, such as:

  • "Cleaning yourself! Super!"
  • "Driving to the grocery shop alone! Dreamy!"
  • "Sitting down when you eat! Delightful!"
  • "Pooping with no one watching! My cup is full!"

Give me a freaking break. No, seriously, can we moms actually get a break from cleaning, planning, working, and momming to do something just for us? (Related: Why We Really Need to Stop Calling People “Superwomxn")

In reality, all of these things are sort of the bare minimum of what it takes to be a human and live in the world — and not recommendations that would ever be made to Dad or even to non-parent friends.

Imagine telling a single, childless friend who's stressed out to "Just go enjoy a nice pee with the door locked, you deserve it!" Or telling a dad to go wild and "Take those extra 10 minutes to blow dry your hair!" Yea, it'd never happen.

And, listen, as a pregnant mom of a toddler, I'm really not picky when it comes to me time. There are going to be days when a solo car ride blasting my favorite music, even if it happens to be on the way to a prenatal appointment, counts as self-care. Sometimes that time away can recharge the batteries. But once this pandemic is long behind us and doing "normal" things is a bit easier, you bet your butt I'm hiring a sitter — or recruiting my partner — and making an appointment for a massage or simply laying outside and reading a good book.

It's time we moms set the bar higher for what counts as self-care and are held to the same standards as — oh, I don't know — Every. Other. Human. Being.

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