A new study found that moms feel guilty when they take time for self-care.
Several studies show how important it is for people to engage in self-care, but finding time for yourself, especially when you’re a parent, can be extremely difficult. A new study has found that even when moms find the time to treat themselves, they feel guilty about it.
The study was conducted by Kelton Global and funded by beauty company Birchbox and it surveyed over 1,000 adults. The findings indicate how we view self-care, how the different generations engage in self-care, and what gets in the way of getting enough me-time. Two in five people (40%) feel they rarely have time for themselves each day, and (not surprisingly) even more parents (45%) than childless people (32%) say that simply don’t have time to engage in caring for themselves. Those who are single are more likely to regularly make time for self-care than those who are married or in a relationship (42% versus 30%).
Even when parents do miraculously take the time to engage in self-care, they don’t even feel good about it — they feel guilty. While three in 10 parents wish that they spent more time taking care of themselves, 39% feel guilty to take time (as compared to 26% of those without kids), and 21% often don’t engage in self-care because of the guilt. Parents, especially mothers, can’t even relax when they’re trying to relax.
Also, more men than women stated that they consistently make time for self-care (39% versus 32%) and men are more likely than women to block off time for themselves in their calendars (34% versus 26%). Men are also more likely than women to be willing to say no to social engagements in exchange for some time for themselves (87% versus 81%), maybe because moms feel more pressure to attend social obligations involving their kids.
The survey also indicates that women are more likely to think that taking care of their bodies is a form of self-care compared to 68 percent of men. Women are also more likely than men to skip their beauty routine because they were too tired (68% versus 57%) or had chores to do (38% versus 31%).
Two-thirds (67%) of all Americans in the survey said that they put others ahead of themselves. For moms, caring for others is the biggest reason we don’t care for themselves — 42 percent say they’d take better care of themselves if not for their partners, parents, and kids.