My journey through parenting has highlighted the need and importance of self-care. I know what you might be thinking.
'I can't prioritise time for myself, the kids need to get their homework done, I need to put the washing in, if I don't do it no-one else will, its selfish of me to do something for myself and anyway when I do I feel guilty.'
Does this sound familiar to you?
During my early years of parenting, this was me, and I began to feel constantly exhausted, burnt out, and lost a sense of myself.
While complaining to a dear friend, I remember her saying, ‘If you don't look after yourself, how can you look after others.
I was young and had just had my first child; I was juggling a job and a new baby. My friends were out partying and had lots of free time, and I heard myself thinking.
What do you know? You don’t have a new baby, a job, a partner, juggling housework and dinner, finding the energy to spend time with friends and family. You’re still going out partying and have loads of free time! How do you think I can find the time?
Little did I know that it would be the best gift I could have ever received once I got out of my head with all the excuses and being a victim of the circumstances I had chosen to embark on.
By the time I had finally downloaded the meaning of this, I now had three children, it only took me six years, but when I did, I began to feel more like myself again with more energy to spend with the kids, my family, and friends.
I started by signing up to dance class, I love to dance, and I thought this would be an excellent place to start. I loved it so much that I ended up becoming part of the troupe (but that's a whole other story!!!).
At that moment, I recognised the importance of self-care and began my journey to do more things for myself and find ways to love the inner me and remind myself to nurture my inner being as I did for my children.
I found ways to fit my self-care into my daily life, from 5 mins to 1-hour rituals and decided to give myself a break from time to time with my girlfriends by going to a spa or a day out.
It was a revelation! I started to understand my friend’s suggestion and noticed how much more present I was; I had better coping skills, spent more quality time enjoying the children, and felt calmer to manage life’s ever-changing journey.
Are you still wondering how you could ever dedicate some time for yourself and reap the benefits in as little as 5 minutes a day? I believe that if your self-care is solid and consistent, it helps you navigate life's parenting challenges.
So let's consider the following to help you on your parenting journey and love yourself back to life with phenomenal coping skills, more energy and feeling good about being you.
Imagine your child not receiving love, and none of their needs is met. How do they respond and react when this is happening? No doubt you experience the outcome every day, so now ask yourself:
- What would be the benefits of spending just 10 mins a day on YOU?
- How do you respond to your children when you are well-rested, have energy, and feel calm and relaxed?
- What happens to YOU when you don't spend any time on YOU?
- How do you respond to your children when tired, undernourished of love for yourself?
Applying these simple questions allows you to become more self-aware of your needs as a parent and as YOU. It is the beginning of connecting to your inner self. When you are feeling good from within, it causes a ripple effect all around you.
I know you know this, and I also know some deep-rooted hidden beliefs can be imprinted within your mind and body. You might hear yourself saying, I don’t have enough time, I don’t deserve to spend money or time on myself, there is too much to do; it's selfish.
I hear you, but I also know it is possible to fit something into your daily life in as little as 5/10 minutes a day that can change your world because when you do and make it a non-negotiable habit, you will find your children will greatly benefit.
Next time you hear yourself with these excuses, challenge the thought.
- How am I feeling?
- What is it that I need right now?
- Where else have I heard these words?
- How did I come to believe this? Is it a fact, is it true?
- Where was I taught to believe this thought?
- Why don’t I love myself enough?
- What would you say to a dear friend?
I invite you to think about introducing your self-care rituals every day. You will enhance your well-being, have better-coping skills, boost your immune system and have better relationships with everyone around you.
How will you choose to sparkle and glow from the inside and out?
Love the inner you
Here are some of my favourite resources and tools:
Heart coherence breathing – https://youtu.be/6oMCOF3g98I
Write down your intention for the day, for example
‘ My intention for today is to be aware of and acknowledge my emotions. Take care of myself and love me ‘ or
‘My intention for today is to create the space to have more time in the evenings with the children
Get outside and walk around first thing in the morning. Getting out in the morning light has incredible benefits for your immune system and can even get you set up for a good night’s sleep.
Set yourself up to have a day each week you will be having a bath. Let your family know not to disturb you.
Give yourself some reading time; this is one of my favourite parenting books that will connect you to yourself and parent from a place of trust and love for your incredible self.
Dr Shefali – The Conscious Parent
If you need support and guidance to connect you back into yourself and navigate through this incredible parenting journey to know yourself better, love yourself more and feel happier being you, I would love to connect with you and share my 5 Day guide to an empowered Parent.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request free access quoting A.R.T of Parenting Greatness