In order for you to take care of your family, the first step is to honour yourself.
Remember: self love is not selfish, it is a necessity.
I used to work full time until my son joined the family, then I started working part time. And when my daughter arrived, I literally stepped out of the work force until they started preschool and school …. when I continued with part time work and started GoKids.
The transition from full time or part time work to full time parenting is something I had to learn – how to adjust from being "useful" (so I thought) with my mind and seeing results and self fulfillment in the working environment to "useful" as looking after two young children and family and never ending home chores. The most challenging part of all was remembering being "unfulfilled with my mind", feeling tired and having literally no time of oneself.
I know it was a choice I made to start a family and to swap from being an employee to a full time mum. I know I love my children and would like to be the one looking after them, but I had to work through the inner chatter of "frustrations and resentment" and learn to adjust and appreciate what I had in front of me rather than what I used to have. It was a whole shift of mindset and lifestyle.
You see, during those time, I was not personally "educated" in the area of self development and self awareness. I did not understand how my actions and behaviour impacted my family and people around me, and how I viewed things and reacted to things from my current perceptions. It was not until I worked through my own beliefs and areas of disempowerment that I realised the impact my actions had on my young children, family and people around me.
Even though I have good relationships with my children right now, to tell you that I sailed through twenty odds years of parenthood smoothly without any struggle, tears or fear is a lie.
There were many instances that I wished I had better skill sets to enable me to cope and handle the challenges that arise both personally and as a parent /spouse. It was not until I was more aware of my own fear, my own struggles, my own life issues and beliefs that I started to shift my thoughts, actions and behaviour… and to take steps to improve my relationships with my family, as a parent, and my relationships with the world.
If I have my time all over again….
This is what I would do….
The first thing I would start with is having a better relationship with myself!
It is about self love! It is about acknowledging your needs and fulfilling your needs. When you have a better relationship with yourself, i.e. learn to love, accept and appreciate yourself for who you are, only then you will appreciate everyone and everything that is around you – it all starts with you!
Whether you are a stay at home parent or working a parent, here are 5 simple things that you can do right now that will enable you to start your day happy, fulfilled and honouring yourself for who you are everyday – and these steps can make your day the best day you can, and love and enjoy your children, your life and everything around you.
1. Make time for yourself
Wake up earlier than your children, grab your journal, write down your thoughts, fears and frustrations while enjoying your first morning coffee or tea.
Alternatively, during the day/evening indulge in fifteen minutes of exercise or dancing to get your energy or "qi" flow. Or meditate and diffuse or apply your favourite essential oils, or listen to your favourite music – remember, make this YOUR TIME! and ensure it is all about YOU!
2. Breakfast with your spouse
With the busy-ness in our lives, sharing yourself with everyone can be tiring and challenging; however, it is during these busy times that sharing and connecting will become more important and crucial. Create a space, even just for a few minutes in the morning or night, just to discuss or talk with your spouse about a topic that is different to the routine stuff.
It can be about your favourite movie, book or someone interesting you met, or sharing conversation about a date both of you are planning, even discussing and debating current affairs…
3. Wear something comfortable
Put on something comfy that you love and something that makes your happy. Because what you wear represents your self-expression; it is also an extension of who you, and is also an expression of your mood… Choose the clothes that make you happy and that you are comfortable (of who you are) to wear.
4. You are what you eat
Be mindful of healthy food, such as drinking more water, increasing the intake of greens and fruits, as more nutritious food helps with maintaining health and well being.
When we are busy, tired and stressed, we tend to gobble down food without realising what it tastes like, texture etc, as long as we fill our stomach. Also when you are tired, we tend to reach for sugary stuff for an immediate energy boost. That sweet stuff lacks vitamins and minerals, and has the potential to cause a slump in your energy level, which can cause more tiredness, irritation and stress.
Take 15 minutes, and sit down to consume your food, to taste and to feel the texture. You will feel more calm, and be able to appreciate what you put in your mouth.
Also as they say, food is cooked through love, so take the time to enjoy your lunch/dinner together with your children. Make meal time a connection time.
5. Practice Gratitude
Being grateful means knowing how blessed you are with where you are at this moment in time.
When you are in a "grateful" state of mind, your thoughts will be guided to focus on what you HAVE rather than what you don't have.
So every night before you head to bed, think of one thing that you are grateful for. Use that opportunity to remind yourself about the many beautiful things in your life, your work, health, home, family… even a beautiful sunset that you saw. And every morning before you get out of bed, think about something that you are grateful for.
Be grateful for what you have right now in your life. Life is meant to be fun, filled with love and compassion and abundance.
Most of all – Smile! Have FUN! And be HAPPY!