Because your kids WATCH you WAY MORE than they LISTEN to you.
You can tell your kids to say and do the right thing, be kind to others, be kind to themselves, and all sorts of other important life lessons. Guess what? They don’t listen to you! They don’t brush their teeth the first time you ask. They go quickly when you want them to be careful and they move like molasses when you’re already running late. They grab things from their little brother as soon as you leave the room. Kids don’t always listen. But you know what they do?
They watch you and they might even want to be you. They watch the way you carry yourself, they way you build relationships, the way you live your life.
THEY WATCH THE WAY YOU CARE FOR YOURSELF. So self-care matters - because your little humans - the mini versions of you - they watch every. single. thing. you do.
Because there’s no fucking PAUSE button on PARENTHOOD.
Parenting is hard. It’s non stop. It never ends. And no one hands you a pause button (or an easy button, but that’s a story for a different day…). I literally tattooed a pause button on my wrist when my daughter was 6 months old as a constant reminder. If you don’t learn strategies and make time to create your own pause button, you’ll be impatient, reactive, and resentful.
Self-care is your pause button.
Self-care teaches you how to go slow in a really fast life. Self-care creates space - space to respond (rather than react), space to speak (rather than nag), and space to love (rather than resent). Self-care gives you space to see clearly through the fog of your sleep-deprived, needy, stressful life.
Self care is not an option. Don’t view it as a choice. It’s as important as the food you eat or the water you drink.
Self-care leads to healthy self esteem. Anyone who’s ever struggled with self esteem knows that it can be a real downer - literally. Anxiety, depression, suicide, addiction, I know - these are scary things to think about if you’re holding a tiny baby in your arms. But the reality is we live in a world of some crazy shit going on.
Kids need tools to live in this world so we don’t feel scared to keep them in a bubble. Self-care means self-awareness, self-identity, self-compassion, self-esteem, self-confidence - and if you truly know who you are, love who you are, and own who you are, it makes all those scary things feel less scary.
It doesn’t make them disappear - Trump is still President - but you can’t selectively numb - so rather than numbing our lives and not feeling our feelings, can’t we use some self-care to make life tolerable so we can really live it? Live all of it.