Episode 9

Published on:

28th Dec 2023

I Can't "Self-Care" Myself Out of This

Telling moms to practice self-care is not an answer to the mental load.

What is the issue? 

Telling moms to practice more self-care is a bullshit cop out. 

Self care is defined as the ability to care for oneself through awareness, self-control, and self-reliance in order to achieve, maintain, or promote optimal health and well-being.

The term “self-care” actually has roots in the civil rights and women’s rights movements of the 1960s and ’70s. (There’s a frequently shared quote by Black American writer and activist Audre Lorde—“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”)

Self-care is an estimated $10 billion industry with a large portion coming from the beauty sector

The ideas for self-care is different for women vs men

  • Men are allowed to work hard and play hard
  • Drinking beer and hanging with buddies, golf, lawn care, watching sports
  • All very time consuming events
  • Women must FIND the time to get self care
  • Why is a hot shower marketed to women as self care? Hot showers should just be a given and a bare minimum.
  • Commercialized self care only geared towards moms: beauty serums, exercise programs, “mommy makeover”
  • We’re told “you deserve it” so it becomes something we are or not worthy of
  • Leisure gap: Men spend roughly 3 more hours on leisure activities per week than women.

But the truth is that self-care is not enough. And it’s time that we stop telling moms that a simple act of self-care will undo the years of culture-induced overwhelm that is causing us all to burn out.

What are the effects?

  • Burn out - Constant pouring from an empty cup
  • Resentment towards partner
  • Fatigue, headaches, stomach issues, and heart disease.
  • Low energy and less patience

How does this relate to the mental load? 

  • The coordination of our own self care – when, where, how
  • One more freaking thing to manage.
  • coordinating before we have to leave
  • Logically we know this is best for us but actually stepping away makes us feel guilty
  • Societal pressures to be everything to everyone.

But also - I don’t actually need self care. I need a partner who’s more switched on on a daily basis. Self care isn’t a break; it’s just delaying getting the stuff done we need to get done. I can’t take care of myself if I don’t trust my partner will seamlessly carry on without me. 

How can we fix this? 

  • Self care can be viewed as a partner's responsibility.
  • Change the narrative of self care as a health priority over an optional privilege. 
  • What is your self care?

Catch us on YouTube

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About the Podcast

The Mental Load
Breaking a generational cycle to create equal households
Two millennial moms explore the mental load. Here’s the deal, we’re the first generation of women who saw both of our parents work outside the home. And, because kids are oblivious to how much work it takes to actually raise them, we naturally assumed that our parents split everything else it took to run our households. Then we grew up, got married and were like what the f***? You know this conversation. You probably have it with your mom friends all the time. It’s your never ending to-do list. The perception that you’re the household manager and keeper of all the stuff and the things. The mental load is so much more complex than delegating out chores and duties or telling women to practice “self care” or “take a day off”. We don’t want a day off, we want husbands who are more “switched on” throughout the day. How do we have this conversation in our household? What systems keep the mental load in place? Why does the mental load even exist? We’re here to explore all of these topics and really dig into the small and large changes that need to happen in order to better support women and therefore, families in America.
And we’re here to bring this conversation to the forefront and help break a generational cycle so that as we raise girls AND boys, they know what it means to truly have an equal household.

About your host

Profile picture for Katlynn Pyatt

Katlynn Pyatt

Hi! I'm Katlynn. I'm a mom of three kids: Hudson, Nora and Willa. I might be biased, but they're pretty amazing kids. I'm super proud of myself for making them! I also have a very loving and supportive husband, Eric.

I'm a marketer from 9-5 but a creative soul all day every day. I love painting with watercolor, sitting on the porch watching the sunrise and meditating. I've always loved to talk, so podcasting is a natural fit for me and over the past year, I've spent a lot of time diving in to mindset and manifestation work. It's changed my outlook on life and made me a lot less high strung.

When I'm not wearing my mom, marketing or spouse hat, I enjoy exercising. Sometimes I'm motivated enough to look like a snack. Other times, I just like eating snacks.