Have you ever had one of those days when one thing after another goes wrong?
That was two Thursdays ago for me.
OG and I were babysitting another toddler in the morning and OG fell asleep in the car on the way home.
Then she wouldn’t take a nap at home.
Then she painted the coffee table with hummus and cracker crumbs.
Then the sink got stopped up.
Then there were no clean kitchen towels.
Then Matt called and said he would be late.
And while all of that was going on I was trying to clean up the kitchen a bit so I could make dinner.
This fiasco ended with me crying while OG played in her pack n play.
I was feeling overwhelmed and alone.
Friday morning I attended a group meeting called Mindful Families that is facilitated by two wonderful ladies. The topic for that meeting was ‘getting our needs met’ so it was very timely for me (isn’t it wonderful how the universe knows just what we need?).
What I discovered at that meeting was that it’s okay to take care of myself.
What a simple concept but something that I think a lot of parents struggle with.
Once I started thinking about my daily demands with my needs in mind I was able to realize that things seemed less overwhelming. It’s okay if dinner is PB&J sandwiches or that I tell OG that I believe she can go to sleep without nursing if that means I end the day with my sanity more or less intact.
I also discovered at that meeting that taking care of myself is not just okay, it’s good.
By taking care of my own needs I can be a better wife and mother. When I’m well rested (physically and emotionally) and I’ve eaten a healthy meal I’m much more patient, productive and creative.
I’m teaching my daughter that I can recognize my limits and respect myself enough to take care of my needs. Children learn their own behavior from those they are closest to. How could I expect her to learn this if I don’t model it?
How does self care make you a better parent?