As parents, the concept of self-care often seems laughable. You can’t lock yourself in the bathroom for a spa night when you only have one bathroom. And even your weekly trip to Starbucks has become a bestie date with your mini-me, whose order costs more than yours. So, how do you take care of yourself in a home with kids? One mama on TikTok has found the ultimate lifestyle hack: self-care booby traps!
Scattered around the house in spots where she tends to spend the most time, Caroline Anne (@awakenartswellness) leaves plastic bins filled with items that constitute self-care for her. Most notably, every container has a book to read — because, let’s face it, reading a good book is way better for your mental health than spending 30 minutes spiraling on the internet.
Naturally, self-care looks different for everyone. For some of us, it’s just crying in the back of a Target parking lot. For still more of us, it’s taking the time to shave our legs in the shower. Many people consider self-care to be just “phoning it in.” And for many, many moms, self-care is literally just remembering to make the damn appointment for that pap smear… and then not canceling it.
Since self-care can look different and take different roles in everyone’s lives, your booby traps might look a lot different than this TikToker’s. Not everyone enjoys reading, after all. While self-care is healthcare, there’s an argument that self-care shouldn’t be about just doing things you need to do for survival/comfort. However, for many people, women especially, that’s exactly what self-care is.
Whether your booby traps contain Icy Hot and tweezers or luxury items, so be it. The idea of self-care is that you walk away feeling better cared for. If that means ripping out a ton of tiny hairs from your brows or chin, who are we to judge?
Where to Place Self-Care Booby Traps
- By the couch
- By the nursing chair in your baby’s nursery
- On the back of the toilet
- In a kitchen drawer (so you’re not just watching the dino nuggies cook for 17 minutes)
- Under your car seat
- With your kid’s soccer equipment
- In a desk drawer
- Near your spot in the backyard
- On your nightstand
What to Put in Your Self-Care Booby Traps
Again, not everyone considers the same things calming or rewarding. You don’t need to put all of these in your traps. You don’t even need to put the same thing in every trap. But pick and choose the items that work best for you and each location:
- A face mask (the kind you don’t need to wash off)
- A manicure kit
- Nail polish
- Waxing strips
- A book
- A gossip magazine
- A puzzle book (crosswords, word searches, etc.)
- Knitting/Crocheting projects
- A tiny phonebook with numbers for doctors and/or besties (MAKE THE APPOINTMENT!)
- Muscle cream
- An adult coloring book/coloring tools
- That old shuffle you keep half-charged
- Cookie mix (because maybe the oven is already on)
If you’re making a car booby trap, you could even include a couple of gift cards. Nothing beats some salty fries or a PSL on a bad day! If funds are already low, you may not want to spend the money… but according to Girl Math, using a gift card means your treats are free. And what could possibly be a better way to fill the time during football practice than with a delicious treat and the latest celebrity tea?
We shouldn’t have to trick ourselves into self-care, but *motherhood.* Ultimately, what’s important is not how we get there but that we do.