Do you make time for yourself every day?
Is there a quiet time before your children are awake or after they are asleep – time without mobiles, TV or other distractions?
Do you dedicate 5-30 minutes to putting yourself first, just for a short while?
Parenting is a constant challenge – do you feel ready for it each day?
If you answered no, then please reconsider your current lifestyle. You are the most important influence in your child’s life. You are their primary model for how to ‘be’ a human being.
But what difference will it make?
If your child is between 0-6 years old, they are absorbing everything they experience and using it to create themselves entirely. This includes language, movement patterns, habits, food preferences, religion, morality, political values, cultural interests, social skills, kindness, tolerance, acceptance, understanding, generosity etc.
If your child is between 6-12 years old, they are looking to you for support, encouragement and guidance through the next few years while they assert themselves within peer groups and wider social groups.
If you have a teenager, they need your acceptance, faith and support to navigate these challenging years. Your responses to their dilemmas shape their own responses to their friends and, eventually, children. Think respect, tolerance, understanding, kindness and firmness and you’ll stay on the right track.
All these acts require you to be patient, kind and calm. But can you be that person without putting your own needs first each day? I certainly can’t. It’s vital that you make quiet time for yourself every day because you deserve to put yourself first.
When you treat yourself with respect it filters out to every other person you have contact with.
You’re a unique and special person. You will always be the most important person in your life because when you feel happy, your family feels happy. When you are calm, so are they. When you act with compassion, they do too.
If you need an early night, ask your partner for help around the home so you can get to bed. If you’re a single parent, don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. They’ll be more than happy to help out and you can return the favour another time.
Make time for quiet, gentle experiences
Try starting your day with one of these calming experiences to focus your mind and relax your body:
- Having a bath
- Going for a walk
- Repeating positive affirmations
- Writing down your thoughts and feelings
Take time to do things that will make you happy each day
Find something that involves using your mind, creativity or producing something you consider worthwhile:
- Flower arranging
- or blogging!
Putting your children’s needs first does not mean ignoring your own needs. In fact, it’s the opposite. A happy parent = happy children.
You can collaborate with your children in many of these purposeful activities, which will lead them to imitate this positive behaviour as they grow older.
You’ll be setting them up with simple ways to keep themselves healthy and happy, by doing whatever it is that makes you feel this way.
Click here to read testimonials from parents who made time for themselves, changed a few simple things and created a calm, loving atmosphere within their homes. As always, I’m here for an informal chat with no obligation if you feel ready to make changes in your home and are looking for expert support and guidance.