As heart-felt my desire may be to provide a constant source of support and love for my children and family, I’m not a machine. My spirit may be infinitely loving and powerful, but I have a body, a brain, and emotions that need to be replenished daily. In order to bring resilience, unconditional love, and presence to the parent/child relationship, I have to intentionally, gently, and deeply nurture these qualities within on a daily basis. “To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.” ~ Mother Theresa
Modeling Self-Care and Self-Love
Our children, especially in the pre-verbal stages of development, learn through imitation. They learn from what we say, but they also learn from what we do. Just think of how a baby learned to hold a phone to her ear. I can teach my children the importance of loving themselves, but am I showing them how on a consistent basis? I’ve modeled how to love others, but have I ever modeled how to love myself?
Developing a routine can help. We can make the routine of meditation as important as the routine of mealtimes. My own children see me meditate frequently. I often meditate first thing in the morning and my little ones are so used to it that they climb up on my lap until I’m done, or play nearby in whatever room I’m sitting. You don’t have to meditate for an hour either – in the beginning, try starting the day with just 10 or 15 minutes. And take “One-Minute Breathers” often throughout the day. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, let your body relax one muscle group at a time from your feet to your face, and close the minute with a silent “Thank You.”
“It’s ok to take time for yourself, to take care of yourself. In fact, it’s the best thing you can do for yourself … and everyone you love.” ~ Cheri Huber