The word for today is self-care! I have spoken previously about the importance on how parenting starts in the womb. A mother’s mental state when the child is in the womb can affect the baby once he/she is born. If the mother has a good mental state, then the mother can raise a healthy child!
Self-care can be difficult for a single mother or father. When my kids were young, I remember my mom telling me, “On payday treat yourself to something nice”. I never realized the importance of self-care, until I came into my late 30’s. I had my children at a young age, so I spent much of my time ensuring they had everything they need. I was also able to provide my children with their “wants”, if they were doing what they were supposed to do.
Once you become pregnant you will forever worry about another human being. Therefore, it is important to take time out for yourself. Self-care will help mentally, physically, and emotionally with parenthood. From the sleepless nights due to a fussy baby or a sleepless night because your young adult is out with friends and will answer your text. A mother’s worry will never end!
Many parents will become upset and lash out and sometimes fuss at the child when they are under stress. When the reality is the parent just need a little “me time.” We must remember the child did not ask to be here. God has blessed you with this bundle of joy and entrusted you to raise this wonderful being. As a parent you will have those moments when we just want a break. Especially as a single mother or father because we must do it ALL. The child does not understand what is going on. As well as we should not put our stress on the child. All the child need is some love!
I see many times parents will sit in the car, or spend some extra time in the bathroom just to have a breather. This will help, but only for a short time. What do I suggest? Asking a family member or close friend to babysit for an hour. During this hour is when you do ANYTHING for yourself. Take a walk at the beach or the park, do some therapy shopping, or watch a good movie. Do something that will make YOU happy! Do not shop for your household or buy something for the kids but do something for you! I cannot stress that enough. Will you feel bad that you did not do something for your baby during this self-care time? Yes! Especially if you are that parent that must get your child something every chance you get when you are in the stores. Trust me treating yourself to something nice does not make you a bad parent. You want to make sure you do not loose yourself in the mist of parenting.
Teach children at a young age about self-care. As mothers we take our daughters to the salon to get their nails or hair done. Fathers will take their boys out for grooming. These are all little things that become mental breaks for us as adults. I love to go to the pedicure spa and treat myself to some relaxation time, while becoming pretty. I also did these things with my daughter when she was younger and now, she is an adult she does these things by herself. She was able to embrace those moment and understand we need those moments. I had to take my son to get his hair cut now some parents may disagree, but I did not go into the Barber Shop with my son. I gave him the money and told him go in and get your hair cut. Of course, he went to a shop where it was someone I knew, but I wanted him to have those guy moments. While you are teaching your child, you are also creating bonding moments and good memories. These are the memories that the once child will go back to when they are an adult; that happy place when they become stress. My son’s happy place is watching comedies on TV when he is by himself and my daughter happy place is reading a good book. Things I did with them when they were young. Escaping the stress for a moment is okay. However, you must go back and deal with whatever is before you. A parent’s job is never done so you must have those teachable moments for your child so they can grow up and understand how to handle life. To teach self-care you must master self-care. Which mean to take some time out for yourself first.
You are probably asking if this is self-care why are we talking about the children and bonding with them? Well a parent’s job is never done. These children did not ask to be born it is not their fault on why we become stress. We must still show them love through it all, teach, and still make time for ourselves. It is all about balance.
Parenting tip: Ask yourself what makes you happy? If you have lost yourself because all you do is raise your child and never do anything for yourself. This week I want you to do find something new you have never done and try it. Even if you a married couple raising your children together take a day out for yourself.