Today I sat and knit….instead of cleaning the house, instead of marking things off my to do list, instead of playing with my child. I actually told him “Mommy is choosing to sit and knit, I will play with you in 10 minutes”. You know what? I didn’t feel a smidge of guilt.
You see. It was one of those days. I had a rough night of sleep the night before so I wasn’t at my best. It was one of those days where my bad mood had caused my son’s bad mood. The day seemed gray and, I was just not coping well.
So, I needed to reset. I needed time, and I needed to do something that brings me peace…which is knitting. I gave J some toys to play with that I knew would keep his attention. He played quietly next to me…mostly. He did ask for me to play, but I needed to knit. For those few minutes, I put myself first.
After 10 minutes, my mood was better and I could cope and be a better Mom until naptime when I could (and did) take a nap.
One of the things I learned during my time as a Mental Health Therapist, is the importance of self care. Especially for those who spend their days taking care of others. I’m not just talking about making sure you shower, eat, and sleep enough. I’m talking about taking care of yourself emotionally.
Think of it this way. Everyone has a glass of water that is full IF all those basic needs and emotional needs are met. Every time you put someone else’s needs first (like your family’s), you loose a bit more water out of your glass. Sometimes we give and give and give until our glass is empty.
Then, when we are empty, we have nothing left to give. And we feel it, you may feel anger or sadness. You may feel resentful towards others who ask things from you. You may jump on those who love you, and you may not make the best decisions.
You know what I’m talking about right? We’ve all felt that way!
As parents, it’s our job to take care of our children and to make sure their needs are met. But what about us? What about our needs? It is so important to make sure that as parents our basic needs are met too. Not only do we need sleep, food, and drink. Our soul needs some support too.
So, what is it that brings you peace? What makes you happy?
- being outside
Find your thing and do it! Feed your soul. You will feel better, and you’ll be a better parent for it!
I knew on that day that my glass was empty. I had given so much and hadn’t taken the time for me. It wasn’t just the bad sleep, my glass was empty. It took only 10 minutes, but that’s all I needed in that moment. Those 10 minutes turned my day around.
So tell me. How to do you take care of yourself? Or, is this something that needs improvement in your life?
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