Scheduled Self-Care

The term ‘self-care’ has kind of become one of those eye-roll inducing buzz words. What does it even mean? And WHEN on earth are we meant to squeeze it in on top of everything else on our never-endling to-do lists? Stressing about not getting enough self-care in seems to actually end up being counter-productive. And parents have it even harder. It’s not just us getting in our own way, sometimes it’s literally a handful of kids, two very needy pets and an unsympathetic boss.

While it may feel like a clever marketing gimmick (and in some cases it totally is, I’m sorry, but having hair ripped from my face with hot wax is not self-care, it’s just necessary), self-care actually is pretty important. Even the experts think so. Renowned parenting author and educator Maggie Dent  says “As parents, we often put our own needs last in our efforts to raise kids who are happy, healthy, strong, kind and resilient. But if we don’t care for ourselves, not only do we run the risk of parenting less effectively and compassionately…we are not modelling self-care to our children.”

I’m the first to admit that I was definitely not taking this advice very well. In fact, it took my long-suffering husband** booking me into a ‘clay and wine’ class before I really took the whole idea seriously.

**(I think my lack of self-care was very apparent to him at this point if not to me. Taking a fair chunk of my frustration out on him was probably his biggest hint. Sorry babe.)

So off I went, armed with a beautiful bottle of Pinot Noir, my sisters, and a whole child-free evening ahead of me. Honestly, that was enough for me. I couldn’t have cared less about the clay. But then, oh my, the clay.

Almost as soon as I touched the lump of cool, brown clay in front of me my mind went quiet. I repeat, my mind, that was in charge of a very, very noisy life, went quiet.

I proceeded to use my hands to mould and shape the clay into a very, umm, lets just say ‘rustic’ cup. But it really didn’t matter what the end product was. I wasn’t using my hands to wipe a countertop, nose or a butt. I was using my hands to make something. For me.

The only time I looked around at what the people seated at the table near me were making was to admire their ideas. I didn’t compare my creation or process to theirs once. And parents are usually verrrrrrrry good at comparing their creations and processes with other parents. They say comparison is the thief of joy, and I can promise that no one got their hands on my joy that night.

I drove home feeling strangely proud of my lumpy-looking cup, super content, and best of all refreshed. I was actually really looking forward to telling my children all about the class, and my cup. I guess you could say my clay cup was pretty full (sorry, it was right there!)

Now that I’m done making terrible puns, what if I told you this level of self-care can be achieved at home? You won’t need to leave the house, Covid won’t cancel your plans on you last minute, the clay will come to you.

But Crock’d is not just about clay. It’s about conversations. They want you to get messy, imperfect ad creative. Break Away Retreats have teamed up with Crock’d to offer live, online sip and clay classes; a chance for you to disconnect from your responsibilities and connect with like-minded parents looking for a break. You will be sent all the materials and instructions you need, but don’t worry, a real-life person will guide you through, step-by-step, all while making sure you take some sips, get your hands dirty and talk about stuff that matters.

Check out https://www.breakawayretreats.com.au/ to find out more. See? You just took your first step towards self-care. You can check that off your list.