You Take Care of Your Kids...Who Takes Care of YOU?
By Kim DeMarchi
How long has it been since you had 30 minutes by yourself? If you answered I can’t remember the last time I had 30 minutes to myself, then this blog is for you.
All too often, we parents (moms especially) take care of our children’s needs before our own. As a result, our energy is sapped, our emotional fuel tank runs close to empty, and we can’t be our best for our families. Personally, when I don’t take care of myself, I can be impatient, short-tempered, irritable, controlling, grouchy, and not very much fun.
And yet, so many of us, myself included, still find it hard to take care of ourselves first. Here are some common reasons we don’t:
- We may have been taught as children that putting ourselves first is selfish.
- We may feel that enjoying a little “down time” is not a good use of time.
- Perhaps we don’t believe we deserve time.
- We might believe that we don’t have, or can’t find, the time.
- Some people just don’t know how to take care of themselves.
But we NEED to take care of ourselves first. You know the oxygen mask speech you listen to on an airplane? It goes something like this, “… in the event of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first, and then assist your child.” Notice the order of the request: Put your oxygen mask on first, and then you’ll be able to help your child. We parents need oxygen in order to:
- Feel refreshed and have more energy for our children.
- Feel ready and eager to spend time with our families.
- Teach our children, by example, how important it is to take care of themselves.
- Be more patient and tolerant.
Regardless of how busy you think you may be, one of your priorities should be YOU. You must refuel and find ways to restore your energy. For me, I love walks with friends, my morning cup of tea, going to the movies, reading, lighting my candles, and getting pedicures in zany colors. My husband’s list includes reading the newspaper cover to cover, having a cigar around the fire pit, motorcycle riding, gardening, and taking naps in the middle of the day.
Find what works for you and give yourself permission to refuel.
You and everyone around you will benefit.