Summer is in full swing and the kids are having a blast! What about you? Do you carve out fun time for yourself as well or do you feel guilty about leaving the kids behind for a weekend, a day, or even an afternoon? So many moms tell me they wish they had more time for themselves to do things without the kids but “feel too guilty,” to do so, leaving them feeling completely depleted! The concept of self-care is an important one in my parent coaching practice, especially with my mom clients who often do so much for their kids while inevitably neglecting themselves.
Of course it is not a foreign concept for most of us to put our kids first. This is human and natural, and yes, it is totally ok and even beautiful! Yet it is important to remember that we matter too! In fact, we matter more than we may realize, as our kids actually benefit when we are being our best selves. Our children thrive most when we are energized, when our emotional tanks are full, when we are grounded, calm and present. Taking regular time outs for ourselves, to nourish our needs and wants, is rejuvenating to us both as human beings and as parents.
I invite parents to look at both what makes them feel good and what makes them feel alive. Try it! Spend a few minutes to jot down a quick off-the-top-of-your-head list with these two columns. Note that there are no wrong answers and each person’s list may look different as what fills my bucket may bore you to death and vice versa! You might start small with a regular visit to Starbucks or a quiet shower or a yoga class or you might think big such as annual girls trips or a big hike…the possibilities are endless and they are yours to create! You might try this exercise with a significant other and see what activities you might do together or how you might support one another in getting your respective self-care-needs met. Then pick one or two to start with, schedule them into your calendar and do not cancel – honor your self-care and increase your energy and vitality!
As always…find the balance!
-Galit Birk, PhD
Galit Birk, PhD is a PCI Certified Parent Coach® and Owner of CORE Parent Coaching based in Dallas, Texas. She writes regularly for the CORE blog and guest blogs for Dallas Child Magazine and its various blog sites.