Being Selfish Can Help You be a Better Parent
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Parents are usually the first to neglect self-care to make sure that their kids have everything they need to be happy and healthy. However, this can sometimes cause them to get to the point that they are tired, stressed, and even burnt out. This can happen even when the kids are in their twenties, even up to their thirties.
Being a single mother, and not having any help from their father, I got to the point that I was doing everything for my kids and neglecting myself. I didn’t want them to feel that they were missing out on having the same experiences as their friends because their father was not around. However, the price of not taking care of myself because I was so busy taking care of my kids is I was not happy and was yelling a bit too much.
It wasn’t until I read “Screamfree Parenting, 10th Anniversary Revised Edition: How to Raise Amazing Adults by Learning to Pause More and React Less” that I realized that it’s ok to take care of myself and it’s not a bad thing to be a little bit of selfish. I have linked the book below because it’s one of the parenting books that I have ever read.
When you are stressed out, you are not valid in the different parts of your life, which includes parenting. I would say that it isn’t really selfish because you are practicing self-care that is something that everyone should do.
These are some of the ways that have helped me take care of myself when I am feeling stressed.
Talk to Your Kids About Your Self-Care Needs
I am not saying to tell your kids all of your problems, as though they are your therapists. This also depends on how old your kids are. You can have a family meeting where you let them know that you are a bit stressed, so you are going to take some time for yourself, so you can feel better. This can be a long hot shower or bath, a 10-20 minute face mask while you lie in bed, or ten minutes to meditate. Being honest with your kids about what you need will help them understand that it’s ok to take care of themselves when they get older. We tend to forget we can do that the older we get. If we can help our kids understand while they are young, they will be better off when they are adults.
Take a Mental Health Day
Taking a day for you to decompress is always good to do to once in a while. This is a day where the kids are usually in school, and you are alone in the house. If your kids are homeschooled or do online school, then if they are old enough, leave the house and take yourself out to a nice lunch or sit at a coffee shop listening to music or people watching. It helps to take a Mental Health Day so that you can just let go of all the responsibilities and tasks that you usually have to take care of. If you do this, you will often be ready to take all those on with a clear and relaxed mind.
Go to the Spa
This goes alongside a Mental Health Day, but take yourself to the spa, whether it be a DIY spa at home or at a facility. Make a DIY facial, get yourself a manicure and pedicure, or if you have a massage machine (I have a tool that gives a good back massage that my mom got me for Christmas). You deserve it!
If you decide to go to a facility, the best spas are the ones that have pools, hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas, etc. that you can lounge around before or after your service (It’s preferable to do it before). If it’s summertime and you have a pool in your neighborhood, you can do the same there.
Go out with Family or Friends
If I am feeling that I need adult time, then I reach out to my family and friends. I have even reached out to friends and been honest that I need to see them even if it’s for a quick coffee because I am burnt out. A good friend will find time in his/her busy schedule to be there. It always helps because you spend time talking and laughing that helps melt any stress that you have.
Go for a walk. It’s even better if you do it at a park surrounded by nature. The sun provides the best Vitamin D, which research has shown that when you have higher levels of it, you are much happier. Even if you can’t go for a walk, then sit on your porch or deck and soak in those sun rays.
Get Off Social Media
Social media can be great to connect with others. However, when you are feeling a bit down, social media can sometimes make you feel worse. Therefore, take a day without any social media.
See Your Therapist
If you are feeling bad, then try to get an emergency session with your therapist. There is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist, and it helps to talk to someone. If you do not have a therapist, then search for one especially one that accepts your insurance.
Self-care is important. Even if you feel it’s selfish to do, you need to because, in the end, it isn’t. When you are happy, your kids are happy. Also, you will do better in all parts of your life because you have a clear mind and a positive attitude. Take a few minutes for yourself this week so you can start reaping the benefits.