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Raising little ones is a 24/7 job; our children constantly demand our time, attention, and energy. While we need to be there for our children, we hope this article will serve as your reminder that it's just as important to be there for yourself. Engaging in regular self-care allows us to be the best version of ourselves for our kids.
When we don't look after ourselves, it's all too easy to lose ourselves entirely in the role of being a parent. That's when emotional overwhelm and resentment can creep in, and nobody wants that.
So, today we're going to school you in self-care to equip you with the tools you need to bring back some balance to your life because you deserve it!
Dismantling the Myths of Self-Care
Many people confuse self-care with selfishness. In truth, these things couldn't be any more different. According to Oxford Languages, self-care is "the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness". I don't know about you, but that sounds like the exact opposite of selfishness.
It's important to remember that being a parent is not the only hat you wear. You're a multifaceted individual worthy of nurturing downtime, and a life outside of being a parent, just like any other human being. Children look up to their parents as an example of how to be in this world.
In their eyes (and ours), you're a superhero. So what does it say to your kids when you neglect your own needs? By caring for yourself, you're teaching your children the value and importance of being kind to themselves. By taking care of yourself, everyone wins.
Top 4 Easy Self-Care Tips to Try Today!
Alright, we know that all of this probably sounds very logical and level-headed to you, and we get it that it's hard to put self-care into practice sometimes. That is why we're here to walk you through a myriad of self-care practices. If any of these resonate with you, feel free to try them out for yourself and make any changes that would make them a better fit for you!
How it Helps You: Children don't yet understand the importance of boundaries; this is where your helping hand comes into play. In case you haven't heard it yet, we want you to know that it's okay to set limits on your child's requests of you. Otherwise, it can quickly become draining to forever be at their beck and call.
How it Helps your Child: Setting boundaries gives you the time and space to recharge and gives balance back to you and your child.
The Less Social Media, the Better
How it Helps You: Feed-surfing can feed your insecurity; with a constantly curated highlight reel from picture-perfect families, it's hard to resist comparing yourself to other parents and feeling like they're doing it better. But social media isn't telling the whole truth about what it means to be a parent, and someone else's seeming success doesn't diminish yours. So if you find yourself sucked into scrolling and judging, take a step back and remind yourself of your wins!
How it Helps your Child: Beyond fueling self-consciousness, social media is incredibly time-consuming. By ditching the gram for a few moments, you'll have more time to do things that are good for you, and you can be more present for quality time with your family!
How it Helps You: You've heard it before, and we're here to tell you again; good sleep is so important! Without it, you're likely to wake up feeling drained and irritable, which is no way to start the day. Lack of sleep can also put you at risk of health complications and depression. It's time to make good sleep your prerogative.
How it Helps your Child: When you're in good health and feeling revitalized, you're better positioned to keep up with your children and their needs.
How it Helps You: If you don't schedule self-care, it takes no time for your needs and desires to wind up at the end of your never-ending to-do list. No doubt you already have a lot on your plate, and while a solo vacation may be out of the picture, a 5-minute self-care routine is more than achievable.
Whether it's a quiet coffee in the morning, a mid-day power nap, a weekly yoga class, a calming meditation, or a catch-up with your best friend, make sure you take some time for yourself and treat it as sacred!
How it Helps your Child: It can teach your child the importance of relaxation, quality friendships, and hobbies. Don't apologize to your kiddo for taking some time for yourself, help them get excited about you getting your special time!
Once you realize that self-care has clear benefits for you and your child, how could you not get on board? Whether you have 5 minutes to spare or 5 hours, it's important to dedicate a portion of every day to yourself. Super parents, deserve super self-care, and it makes for super children!
Dr. Agustina Fernandez earned her medical degree from the prestigious Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina. With a deep-rooted passion for pediatrics, Dr. Fernandez is currently on the path to specializing in children's healthcare. Recently, she has delved into the vital field of infant nutrition. Her research interests include breastfeeding, infant formula, and baby food in little ones’ formative years. Dr. Fernandez's commitment to this area of study underscores her dedication to ensuring the health and well-being of children from their earliest days.