It’s all about ME. So many of us today feel like this is the status quo - everyone looking out for “Number 1.” But what if there is a little something valuable to that mantra? After all, our kids are in this mindset all.the.time!! The reality is they should be. Developmentally they are not yet ready or able to practice empathy with any sort of consistency. But at what point did we, as adults, begin to learn that taking care of yourself first was somehow “selfish”?
Please don’t misunderstand me. It is imperative that we do focus, at least some of the time, on the greater good. The good of the environment over our disposable/convenience-focused society; the good of the company over the needs of the individual; or the good of the family over the wants of one member. Admittedly, it is all about balance and priorities.
One important thing to remember is that self-care isn’t just about date nights and time to yourself. Self care is about taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally in balance with your goals and responsibilities as a parent, not instead of them. Self care becomes even more important in times of high stress, like the stress of moving with young children to a new home.
When you’ve been up all night with an anxious child and he or she is finally resting comfortably and you see all the boxes that need unpacking, do you forego rest because you just HAVE to unpack today? When you realize that the boxes can wait and you sit down (better yet, lay down!!) and take time to rest, that’s self care.
When you just can’t possibly read “Goodnight Moon” one more time and you help your child compromise on a different book, that’s self care. No one said that your child will be scarred if they don’t always get their way!! You’re happy, they’re happy, and you can actually connect and enjoy the time reading with your child.
When you give back to yourself, in loving, balanced ways, you give back to your family your BEST you. We all give back in different ways. For some it’s turning the music up and having a dance party for 15 minutes. For others it’s hiring a babysitter and going hiking or reading a good book in the park. There are many small and big ways to give back to ourselves. Making the effort to stay connected with friends and other parents is important too. A good five-minutes on the phone with a good friend who can reassure you that NO you’re NOT crazy, and YES, this will end is just as good as a bubble bath…OK, possibly not AS good but a very close second!!
No parent should move without a written game plan to help your children deal with the difficulties they face when moving.
For more information about the Moving Families Initative, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.