Practicing self-care on a daily basis involves setting up clear boundaries that support a respectful, responsible and fun household. The time we need to practice self-care is created by the limits we set for ourselves.
A close friend of mine, Marion, provided an excellent example of setting limits so she could hold on to her treasured daily workout time. I looked to her for guidance when my children were small because she had way less of the helicopter gene than I did. I asked her how she managed to do her daily hour-long workout while she was nursing twins? I had given up my beloved daily yoga practice the day I gave birth to my first child and never went back to it. Now it was six years later.
Marion described how she would get down on the floor with the twins on blankets and do her workout. When the twins would move toward her, she would gently nudge them back, over and over again, until they understood the boundary of her sacred hour.
Of course there are exceptions when babies are under a year old. Their needs are essential to take care of and if they were hungry or needed comfort Marion would stop and give them what they needed. It was her consistency over a period of time that taught her children to respect certain boundaries that enabled her to renew herself.
I always picture a mother tiger batting her cubs back with a big, soft paw. This is a fierce, tiger-mother who will protect her children against all odds, but she uses the same ferocity to protect her own space so she can maintain her health and strength.
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