I Can't Take Care of Me!
I hear this from moms and dads all of the time. Yes You CAN! Yes You CAN!
I know it doesn't feel like there is time. I know you don't feel like you have enough energy to do anything else. I know that you don't feel like you deserve it...I felt all those things too! I have to tell you I did a crappy job of taking care of me when we were in the trenches - and I regret it!
I didn't realize what I was doing. There was no one in my life cheering me on or explaining how important it was. Or most importantly helping me figure out how to take care of myself in the midst of my challenging situation. I was caught in the spin of my children's emotional challenges and did NOT know how to break free so that I could take care of me!
Look, you have to shift your definition of "taking care of you." For lots of parents, it means to get away from the parenting job. Well, with our kids that isn't always the best option! (Some parents get that chance, but for some of us, it just won't work). In our case, it is in the little things. The everyday things. It has to include how we think, how we speak and how we fill ourselves up.
Usually, it helps to start with filling yourself up, then your thinking and speaking are easier to work on. So, indulge a little bit. A new magazine, nail polish, lotion for your dry hands you have been ignoring. Invest in a new flavor of tea or coffee that you can look forward to every morning. Set your kids up with something to do and watch your favorite day time show. Or put a movie in on Saturday mornings and doze on the couch while they watch. Having a plan to look forward to is a really great feeling. It can just be for some little event like a game with your hubby while kids are playing in the evening. You get the gist!
The next move is to begin to work on your mindset and nothing helps that better than finding the good in your day...something you can be thankful for. Even if it is the very thing you did for you or that you made it to bedtime.
Finally, it is in how you talk about things. How you talk about your situation, your child and yourself. Be very careful not to label. Never allow yourself to use the word quit. And try to ask those around you for what you need.
So, here's the thing. I didn't have anyone to keep reminding me or show me how important this was, but you DO! Me! It is so worth it. Your energy will increase. Your outlook on life will become more positive. Your ability to stay in it with your child for as long as it takes will renewed! Give it a try. I promise it will make a difference!
Remember...you are NOT alone!