If you work with the children or have your own children then you know how emotionally draining it can be. Yes, it is wonderful and rewarding but it is hard work too!!
Lots of us focus on our children and our families a lot more than we focus on ourselves. We tell ourselves they need us there all the time and so we don’t give ourselves permission to have time for ourselves. We think that this means we are good parents – always putting the needs of our children first. The truth is, it means you become tired and worn out. It means you are less responsive, more irritable and this can leave you feeling unhappy and trapped.
You know what we are talking about!
It is SO important to remind yourself that you are important too! How can you care for someone else if you don’t care for yourself? How can you be present and available to someone’s emotional needs if you are not tuned in to your own? How can you model self-regulation and self-care if you are always running round like a headless chicken!
The result? You will show up better for your kids! They will see a happier, healthier version of you that is present and available and most important happy.
How you show up for yourself is how you show up for others!
Why is this important for your children to see you looking after yourself?
In order for your child to learn how to take care of their own emotional state and their own wellbeing- they have to know how. Your children are watching everything you do, you are not only teaching through what you say, you are teaching through what you do. In fact they model more from you through watching than through listening. So, if you prioritise your own wellbeing in front of them, then you are modelling the importance of taking care of yourself. This is really important. If you take time for a bath and say, “ I need a calming bath to relax for 30mins”- then they will be more likely to have a bath when they feel stressed or need to relax. If you pick up a book and read it over breakfast, they will be more likely to read as a means of being calm and at peace. If you visit a friend and come back happier- they will learn the value of ‘filling your own cup’ when they are older.
We must begin to prioritise our wellbeing in these small ways to help our children learn vital lessons about calming their own emotional states and learning that their needs are important too!
Once they get comfortable with practicing self-care in their day to day lives, they will be more likely to turn to these strategies when they need to calm down, when they feel stressed.
So go for it, prioritise your own wellbeing – it is in your best interest and your children’s!
Small things count
- Have a long bubble bath
- Choose to read instead of watching tv
- Turn off your phone and watch a film with no disturbances
- Go for a walk in nature
- Visit a friend and have a laugh (or a long talk if that is what you need)
- Go to the cinema
- Dance around the kitchen – or go out dancing
- Go for a meal with someone you care about
- Spend time with people who make you feel good
- Book a spa
- Take a morning off- leave the kids with your partner/ family or friend and be alone
- Having a night to yourself
- Taking a hour to garden
- Painting or drawing
There are many many more!
You can’t! This is your permission to do something for yourself! Go and meet with friends one evening, go to the cinema one weekend. Take time where you can to find snippets for yourself. Have a long bath. Leave the kids with friends, ask for help! Make sure you prioritise your own needs too.