The Importance of Self Care in Parenting

“Put your own mask on first,” the classic self-care analogy goes – and it’s true! You can’t fill one glass with an empty one. We can’t effectively help others when we ourselves are depleted. This analogy is often forgotten, especially in parenthood.

A parent’s primary motivation is to keep their children protected and taken care of. But we’ve all seen parents (and maybe it’s us!) who are so caring for their children and neglectful towards themselves. And the irony is, children notice. When you yourself are always stressed, it can easily reflect through your parenting. When you don’t take care of yourself, those same patterns are passed onto your children. 

In parenting, self-care isn’t a reward, it’s a necessity. 

boy holding oxygen mask on face

So how can you as a parent prioritize self care in order to show up the best you can for your family? Below are some tips:

woman striking a yoga pose

Schedule Regular “Me” Time

It is so important to carve out dedicated time for yourself. Whether it’s 15 minutes of meditation in the morning, a leisurely bath after the kids are in bed or a solo walk during your lunch break, prioritize “me time” on your daily agenda. Treat this as a non-negotiable, just like any other important task, and watch how it slowly but surely connects you to yourself outside of your role as “mom” or “dad” and becomes a natural part of your daily routine.

Prioritize your Relationships

Whether it be your marriage or friendships, relationships outside of your children are crucial. Just as your kids need social relationships, so do you! Having somebody to share your highs and lows with – someone that isn’t your children – will provide you with comfort and balance. And not only are these relationships nourishing for you, but also for your children. A huge aspect of raising children well is giving them positive examples of marriages and friendships to learn from.

man and woman hug
holding hands black and white image

Ask for Help

As a parent, it’s easy fall into the trap of trying to do everything yourself. However, it’s essential to recognize that asking for help doesn’t signify weakness—it’s a form of self-care. Delegate household chores to your partner or older children, hire a babysitter for a few hours a week, or reach out to family and friends for support when needed. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s okay to lean on your support network.

Be Honest with your Limits

Being honest with your kids can be extremely powerful. If you’re overwhelmed or need a break, try to let them in on it. While it can be easier to hide your struggles, sharing them with your kids can be just as effective, if not more. Especially as they mature, they’ll be more sensitive to your limits. Furthermore, they’ll learn to communicate their own limits when they see you communicating yours.

mom and daughter talk on bed
man in therapy session

Go to Therapy!

Of course a therapist office is suggesting you go to therapy! Therapy is a straightforward, tangible action step you can take in promoting self-care. Giving yourself that designated time to check in with yourself and share your  will pay off in your parenting skills. Whether you’re in crisis or not, therapy can offer support and a safe space to process emotions and learn coping skills. Plus, the skills you learn in therapy will only support your desire to be a present, attentive parent.

As important as your role of “parent is,” taking care of yourself is equally important. By prioritizing self-care, you not only nurture your own well-being but also set a positive example for your children. So, whatever self-care looks like for you, find what works best for you and make self-care a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. You’ll find that your efforts to promote self-care will not only benefit you but will impact your family in more ways than one.

For more tips, check out Decade2Connect today!

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