I'm terrible when it comes to self-care. Sometimes just seeing the word makes me anxious; it reminds me of yet another way I'm failing at life.

So I came up with a list of more attainable self-care goals for moms. All are based on my own exhaustive research.*

(*None of this is scientifically proven in any way.)

  1. Take 90 seconds to finally remove the remaining slivers of nail polish from the last pedicure you got, back in September. Go ahead—indulge yourself.
  2. Buy a "share size" bag of peanut M&M's and polish it off in the 7-Eleven parking lot.
  3. Take an online shopping break! Fill your cart with adorable clothes you won't actually buy. Because one of these days you'll have time to go to an actual store, without the children, and try on clothes in a leisurely manner. You will. Right?
  4. Sit on the toilet and have a good cry.
  5. Plan a girls' night out! Make sure to text everyone early in the day, when you can realistically fool yourself into believing you'll have the energy to leave the house at night. Revel in sweet relief when everyone inevitably texts to cancel, then fall asleep while reading to your children.

  6. Stop reading the Goop article about why you should be using face cream made with your own blood, and watch an old Gwyneth Paltrow movie instead. Be grateful that you never tried to emulate her Sliding Doors haircut. (Or, if you did, be grateful that it grew out before social media happened.)
  7. Fantasize. Feel free to go a little crazy with this one. For instance, imagine an episode of Paw Patrol in which the residents of Adventure Bay demand that Mayor Goodway create an actual police and fire department instead of leaving the town's safety in the hands of a 10-year-old boy and his dogs. Alternatively, imagine a world in which you never have to watch another Paw Patrol episode ever again.
  8. Grab a screwdriver and remove the batteries from every toy that talks, plays music, or emits other skull-piercing electronic sounds. Because if that talking puppy tells you to pat its tummy one more time, you cannot be held responsible for your actions. Feign surprise when your child tells you his toys have stopped working. Promise you'll try to fix them… later.
  9. Be more like Marty, the grocery store robot that doesn't actually do anything. Specifically, the next time someone spills something on the floor, just yell "Caution! Hazard detected!" and wait for someone else to come and clean it up. *Note: You may have to wait a long time (read: forever), but the yelling will be cathartic.
  10. Eat your kids' leftovers without guilt. Just spoon that creamy mac and cheese right off their plates and enjoy. Allow yourself the unfettered pleasure of scarfing the chicken nuggets your children suddenly no longer like. You deserve it.

  11. Cozy up with a good book… synopsis on Amazon. It'll tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the 400-page, multigenerational family saga everyone's talking about, and you'll be fast asleep before you can click "buy now."
  12. Do Start a crossword puzzle. Accept that you will never get to finish it.