Taking that moment to stop and notice what we are feeling and thinking is key to knowing what triggers our own emotional reactions. What if – instead of feeling guilty for taking time for ourselves, we can feel proud to model what self-care looks like to our children, as well as to our spouses? Parents need down-time to unwind but it is too easy to let that time go with all of the endless tasks and the needs of the family filling up our space. Whether it is a walk, a bath, working in the garden, or a pedicure it won’t happen unless we make it happen. I kept waiting for someone else to notice that I was running on empty and start taking care of me but that never transpired.
By the time my children were teens I realized that I had trained them to expect that I had no needs and they would keep on taking whatever I gave because they could. It turns out that most humans need to be taught how to use the altruistic part of their brains. So I learned to guard my downtime tenaciously, by putting it on the calendar every day, with all of the other activities.
Copywrite© 2006 by Leigh Scott. All rights reserved.