Sure self-care is eating well, moving your body, sleeping enough, and the occasional bubble bath, but it’s so much more than that. Self-care begins with the realization that the number one thing you can do for yourself and your family is to put yourself first.
When you are a happy, healthy, and fulfilled woman, you can lead by example and guide your kids to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled people.
There is a name for the type of parenting done when parents put themselves first, it’s called Conscious Parenting.
Conscious Parenting is defined as; “turning the spotlight away from the child and placing it on the parent – on the parent’s inner self”.
Only when you begin to work on yourself, change your beliefs, and transform within can you cultivate the relationships and life of your dreams.
One of my favorite quotes about this is by January Harshe and she says;
”Because the truth is – the first few years of postpartum are going to pull you so far away from who you used to be – and then they’re going to put you back together as the person you were meant to be.”
Moms who view self-care as necessary rather than selfish tend to be more present, patient, and positive. In turn, they have a better ability to enjoy the magical and messy parts of motherhood.
Children as an Excuse
The dictionary defines self-care as “taking deliberate, self-initiated action in protecting and improving your mental, emotional, and physical health”.
Many moms knowingly or unknowingly use parenting as an excuse for not practicing self-care.
When you put yourself on the bottom of your priority list, even with the good intentions of taking care of others, you’ll end up fatigued, irritable, lacking energy, mentally foggy, controlling, restless, easily agitated, forgetful, and have a negative outlook on life.
You cannot be the woman or mother you want to be in those states of mind.
But, when you take care of yourself, you teach your kids about their own self-love and respect.
Paying it Forward wit Self-Care
Self-care is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself and others.
Practicing self-care will allow you to be at your best, living your life and parenting from a more loving, patient, positive, and understanding place.
It’s hard to do the things that make us happy or care for ourselves when we feel so low. That’s why getting into the habit of happiness is key in loving your journey of motherhood.
Self-care itself is a habit, so you’re aiming for progress, not perfection. And like any habit, you need to add rather than take away, make it positive, start small, and be patient while you implement it.
Approaching self-care with the understanding you are modelling to your kids how to love themselves it tends to be an easier habit to follow through on. It also makes also becomes something you do with much less guilt and much more consistency.