I get it. As a parent of (lovely and) challenging children, we get caught up in doing for others. All parents do, yet there’s an intensity that comes with our kids that doesn’t let up. It takes extra effort to create and maintain space for ourselves.
The question that always comes up – and I mean ALWAYS – is that focusing on yourself feels selfish. The message we get is that our attention needs to be solely on our children all the time. And, yes, I agree with that only if you are neglecting the basic needs of your child or children to live a life that doesn’t include them. That’s not what we’re talking about.
Caring for yourself is THE best parenting decision you can make. Like, for real.
When you focus only on your child, you can rob them of their learning process, but you also set a model for them that shows that other people are more important their own wellbeing. It seems like it’d be the opposite, but our kids pick up on everything. If they see that you are neglecting your own needs to give – even for them – they will learn that’s the best way to go.
When you neglect your foundation and yourself, you deplete your energy. With your energy, goes your patience, your sense of humor, and any zest for learning and life. (And those are the things your children – and spouse – really need from you.)
It is imperative that parents, yes you lovely mom, care for yourself as well or better than the people in your life. By doing that, you give them an excellent role model for a happy, fulfilled life, AND you have the energy reserves to be patient, light-hearted, and joyful when they need you most. (Which is, like, ALL the time.) Although, my younger said that he could probably live without me for, you know, like a couple weeks. 😉
I’m working on a project that will help you care for yourself while also parenting the lovely, unique, and intense children you’ve got. We all need to learn for ourselves first, and then we can teach our children how to care for themselves. Because let’s face it, you love them more than anything, but you want them to be fully functioning, happy humans that don’t live in your basement. And you want to enjoy your life too!
Bottom Line? Everyone benefits when you take care of yourself.
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