How Well Are You Staying Mom and Dad?
Posted: April 11, 2019
Dear Highly Valued Parents,
Spring is coming! I’m surely inspired by the longer daylight hours and the hope of everything greening up (after it likely snows here in MN on Thursday!) It’s been a long tough winter and I can’t wait to resume my regular neighborhood walks to see all the sights and hear nature’s delightful soul-feeding sounds.
How about you? Are you able to spend time outdoors with your children, or even by yourself? A little? Self-care, especially after a hard winter, may just have gone out the window (sorry … door - when it’s open for 5 seconds, then quickly slammed shut to keep out the cold.)
Even if you live in a warm climate, maybe you’ve been inside too much, too, not letting yourself be rejuvenated by nature’s calming effects. It seems there’s always something more compelling than taking care of yourself as a parent. Dishes, laundry, bathrooms that need cleaning, bill paying, work obligations, feeding your family, driving the kids to their activities, attending games, plays, and concerts, socializing with friends, seeing relatives, outdoor tasks … the list is endless. Where do your needs come into play here?
When did you last have time completely to yourself; to think, go inside and check your inner state, pray, mediate, walk outdoors, or just BE? If you can’t think of a time, that’s totally understandable. Life has never been more frenetic for parents. We have millions of ways we’re needed by hordes of people, and it’s so easy to forget that “you can’t draw water from an empty well.” It almost feels like it is possible, and then, voila. Your body starts to tell you otherwise. Headaches, digestive upset, anxiety, heart pounding, blood pressure rising, sleeplessness, viruses … they all point to the same issue. You need time to yourself in order to recharge and be there for your family.
Below is a Wellness Wheel. My challenge to you is to pick one area of the wheel each day and spend time thinking of your own needs, then fulfilling one. Just one. Per day. You will be a better parent, and your kids will see your wonderful example. (Note: you may have to disappoint them to do this … carry on … you need to fill you own well to keep up with your responsibilities and to avoid resentment. And you’ll help your kids learn to handle disappointment – such a valuable skill!)
Print this and put it on the fridge or your bathroom mirror right now. This will keep your own wellness firmly in your awareness. You'll avoid sickness, be a more pleasant parent, have fewer frustrations, and feel happier. You deserve it, and so does your family.
If you need help with this or any other parenting issue, visit www.parentingmojo.com/parent-coaching, and give us a shout.