Deferred Maintenance: For Those Of Us Who Always Put Self-Care Last

Deferred Maintenance: For Those Of Us Who Always Put Self-Care Last

The first time I heard this phrase – deferred maintenance – it was in reference to a dilapidated house for sale which,  despite its jankiness,  was still well out of my price range.


The seasoned real estate agent said, “Once we are under contract we’ll get the inspector out to see what the real damage is and get an idea how much it will cost to get this house livable again.”


I was NOT impressed.


Who decides to just let their house go like that?

Why didn’t they just call a roofer and get it taken care of?

Couldn’t they see the weeds sprouting out of the gutters and the cracks in the pavement?

What were these people doing instead of taking care of their house?


Fast forward almost 20 years – and a home purchase + a kid of my own – and now I get it.



The people deferring maintenance on their house were busy: having babies, raising kids, getting laid off, starting new careers, burying their parents – the complicated stuff of life that gets in the way of taking care of what’s right in front of our eyes.


Every once in a while there is a time when things are clear and we’re able to look around to assess the damage caused by neglect and to start to build plans to get that house, that life, back into shape once again.



Hopefully this happens before you have to sell the house because you’ve lost the spouse to death or divorce, but rather in a lull in between major life events.




Look up when times are boring, uneventful, and take stock of what’s happened since the last major life event and see what you can do before the next.




Our lives (and selves), like our houses, also need to be tended to between happenings.



When was the last time you took stock of your self-care?

Have you been deferring maintenance on YOU?




A class for those of us who are always putting self-care off.

In this 6 week class we will focus on self-care 101. Each week we will focus on a different area of self-care, make a plan and hold each other accountable.

This class is perfect for:

  • Parents who have put self-care on the back burner because of kids.
  • Women who work for themselves (and never seem to stop)
  • People who put everyone else’s needs in front of their own.This class will be on-line so you can be anywhere in the world.



The sessions will be recorded and sent after each class.



$347 until 6/1/18

Sign up before Memorial Day at you get a 30 minute BONUS one-on-one session with me

$399 after 6/2




Self-Care Myth Busters

Self-Care Myth Busters


In December I completed my 100th interview in my 100 Women Project – my commitment to interview 100 women about self-care.

In order to share what I learned, I am starting what I am calling my Self-Care Myth Busting Series.

Self-Care Myth #1:
Self-Care is Selfish

I heard from A LOT women, all over the country, that self-care is selfish. I was astonished. I had no idea so many women were suffering in this way.

Are you one of them?

The women I talked to didn’t lead with self-care is selfish though. They lead with telling me all the ways they know how they should take care of themselves, they gladly told me of their limited successes and then confessed all the ways they are failing themselves.

When I ask the question – what is the hardest part of self-care? – that’s when the truth comes out.

Self-care is selfish.

Over and over again. I keep hearing that and it makes me sad and if I’m being honest – it pisses me off (not at the women I was talking to! But at this cultural message). More on that in a minute though.

The definition of selfish is “lacking concern for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.”

Here’s the thing, I have yet to meet a woman lacking in concern for others. But I do keep meeting lots of women who completely disregard themselves.

Since when don’t women matter?

With this pervasive belief self-care is selfish – no wonder why there are so few women who want to dive head first into self-care.

I’m here to offer an alternative way of thinking.

First let’s start with the definition of self-care.

This is the definition of self-care I use:


Self care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health. {Here’s the source of that definition which includes lots of great ideas for self-care}.

The only part I think is missing is the spiritual part of yourself. So when I think of how I am going to take care of myself I include all four of those areas. The details are different for each of us and it’s important that all parts of ourselves are nourished regularly to be truly healthy, happy and sane.

What this definition of self-care doesn’t mention is shirking responsibility for others or disregarding the people you love. It is simply the act or acts that you do to take care of your whole being.

Here’s why I am mad.

So many smart, awesome women are believing something I simply do not find to be true.

Self-care is NOT selfish.

Self-care is taking care of oneself as if you matter. Period. End of story.

I’ll use my own life as an example. In taking care of myself – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually –  I am not ignoring my family or their needs.

I am simply taking care of my business so no one else has to.  I am responsible for taking care of me.

At the same time, I am teaching my daughter to take care of herself so she isn’t looking for someone else to take care of her and I’m teaching my partner how to take care of himself so I don’t have to.

Which isn’t to say we’re all islands who no longer need one another. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We are interdependent – we rely on each other to help each one of us take care of ourselves.

Everyone in my family matters equally and we all get to get our needs met. While we don’t all need exactly the same things, no one has to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others.

You don’t have to forget yourself in order to be a great partner, mother, daughter, aunt or friend.

I would love to hear what you think.

I look forward to seeing you soon!