This month was a real challenge for me as a parent. It was a whirlwind of illness, no parenting breaks, late nights, and early mornings. There was no balance in sight. For the last few days before the boys started school, I was frustrated and exhausted, and just pushing through.
I’ll tell you – it was not. pretty.
Was this reflected in my parenting? Absolutely.
Through it all I knew it was an anomaly, just a moment in time to get through, and I did my best to care for myself in any way I could, given the circumstances…
I squeezed yoga into any available moment (once or twice a week, down from 4-5 times)... I cooked with the kids so we continued to eat well... I set up play dates with friends to change the dynamics and provide myself with adult conversation... I really tried to get sleep, but found myself working late into the night.
Now, finally, I have some time to breathe. I am slowly re-gaining my balance and wow, what a difference!
Here’s the thing: you have to start with balance to act in balance.
How can we be present for our children and respond to their needs with thoughtfulness, if we don’t take care of our own needs first?
I know, I know… this is not a new idea. But I’m here to tell you this…
If we truly want to parent mindfully, we must think of self-care as an imperative (not an ideal).
Do you practice yoga? Meditate? Listen to calming music? Eat balanced, nutritious meals? Garden? Read for pleasure? Take walks? … whatever you do to recharge, make the time to care for yourself.
Do it for your children.
What do you do for self care? Leave a comment below… I’d love to know, and maybe you’ll inspire someone!