Are you a parent? Plan to be one? Have (or had) one of your own?
In a divided world, whether in politics, sports, or social standing . . . parents are one thing we all have in common . . . regardless of their effectiveness or presence in our lives. We all need them to enter into this world . . . and rely on them to survive once here.
Giving birth to my first child was life-altering in all the best ways:
- I learned that miracles are possible
- I found that giving to another was more fulfilling than taking for myself
- I experienced a depth of love I didn't know was possible
However, I also became quickly aware that:
- Hot meals would become a thing of the past
- My idea of tired would be tested, expanded, and laughed at
- Order as I knew it (both in terms of time and space) would disappear and would need to be recreated again and again over the years to come
Thus the dance began . . . of balancing my needs with hers and her siblings to come.
Over the past 14 years, my success at maintaining that balance has varied. At times, I've erred on the side of self-sacrifice . . . where I wouldn't shower for days nor exercise for months. At other times, partly as a pendulum response, my self-centered needs dominated . . . requiring high levels of support from my husband, or exceptional independence from my children. Of course, neither is ideal.
Instead, when things are running best around my house, there is balance. I get the stress-reducing benefits of exercise, and have the structure of healthy meals . . . while my kids have a mother who can listen and take time to care.
Where are you on this continuum?
Where do you want to be?
If you are like most parents, you would like to forge relationships with your children that last into their adulthood. Likewise, along the way you would like to set a self-care example that they can imitate and emulate.
Through this balance, you then get to share joy and happiness with them.
Be who you want your kids to be . . . and then they'll know how to do the same.
- Coach Rebecca