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Barriers to Self Care

Copyright 2005 Peggy Porter

For many women, the term self-care often becomes a foreign concept once motherhood occurs. Why?

I believe there are several key reasons why mothers find it difficult to take better care of themselves:

Time 'One of the major barriers to self-care is the feeling that there's just not enough time. Going from leisurely lunches with friends (before the days of motherhood), to sleepless nights, packed lunches and car pooling, is a huge adjustment. Often we are left feeling stretched for time.

Multiple Role Players 'In today's society, moms play multiple roles 'everything from career professional, soccer mom and committee volunteer, to chauffeur and housekeeper. How can we find time for ourselves while juggling all these roles?

Guilt 'Feelings of guilt play a huge part in why mothers spend little time taking care of themselves. Guilt can be associated with being away from our family due to work commitments, taking an hour to ourselves when there already seems to be so much to do, or by just trying to do something that is important to us and does not involve the family.

As moms, we believe that by being away from our kids, or not involving them in virtually everything we do, we are somehow not living up to our duties and responsibilities.

Perfectionism 'The need for perfection in our lives is another barrier to self-care. Perfectionists are always seeking that ultimate feeling of having everything under their control, often not doing (or enjoying) anything unless it can be done perfectly.

Seeking perfection in our self-care may lead to not participating in it at all. Self-care can't wait until everything else is perfect.

At times you will need to forego the housework, committee meeting or staying late at the office. Not all things can be completed before incorporating self-care into your day. For perfectionists, this concept is a difficult one, therefore adding to the neglect.

Lack of Support 'Lacking a support system is a common reason many mothers do not participate fully in their self-care. Many women may not have the support of a partner or family members to help out in order to give them time to themselves.

Poor social supports and few friendships can contribute to the lack of connection women feel at times. This emotional connection is necessary for your health and happiness, and is also a major part of self-care.

Finances 'Financial status may also play a part in the frequency in which women participate in their own self-care. Often mothers conclude that if only they had more money they would take better care of themselves.

As you can see, there are several reasons why we as mothers may put
self-nurturing at the bottom of our list. For our own health and happiness however, we need to start moving it up to the top.

About the Author

Peggy Porter is a nurse, Wellness Coach, and author of YumME MumME Makeover-How to Balance Womanhood and Motherhood by Nurturing the Me in MumMe. If you are a Mom and want to start creating a healthier balance in your life, go to and register for Peggy's free monthly teleclass and Ecourse! For more info you can also email or call 506-832-1117.


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