The phone rings, the baby cries, the dog knocks over a vase full of flowers...just as the doorbell rings, you have to sign for something and then the oven timer goes off; the cookies are burning!!
Life, am I right?
It sometimes feel like we're trotting along just fine until something (or a few somethings) tips the scale and we engage in what I like to call, an adult temper tantrum. When stress takes over, productivity goes out the window.
Self care for parents is more than just a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s a self-less choice. As parents, we bend over backwards for our kids; we wouldn’t hesitate to rework our plans, abort plans altogether, or otherwise shift gears to care for our kids. The least we can do, is extend the same courtesy to ourselves.
When life happens, it can be exceedingly difficult for parents to put themselves first.
At some point in your parenting, maybe more than you’d like to admit, you hit a wall where you think—I just CAN’T do this. Then by some act of fate, karma, divine intervention— your calm returns. You wipe your tears, you wash away your self-doubt, and you make it happen. The struggle is real.
As a new mom with a boatload of experience and education in child development—I admit, I have totally been there; and it’s only been 3 months, and boy does it induce guilt. So, what’s a busy parent to do, to avoid hitting the so-called brick wall of parenting?
Two words: self care. So, how to make it happen while on the daily grind? A quick Google search will point you towards community resources, recreational programs and government initiatives aimed at supporting parents; you’ll skim through the list and you immediately think “but who has the time?” The truth is that many of us don’t have the time to spend an afternoon each week playing squash, attending parent-support groups, painting the town red, or indulging in the spa. So now what?
Making Self-Care a Daily Priority
My advice is threefold:
1. Self-care is not a once-a-week, once-a-month or once-a-year endeavor. Embed self-care into your daily routine and make it a priority (like flossing your teeth...you NEVER forget that right :P)
2. Self-care does not have to be an after