Deal With Stress

Self-Care: 3 Reasons to Take Your Own Needs Seriously

There are many reasons to take your own needs seriouslyI hear too many parents (especially moms) say:

– “Who am I when I’m not being a mom?”

– “Did I really have a life and accomplishments before kids?”

– “It’s selfish to do something just for me and not be available 24/7 for others.”

No, it’s not selfish. It is critical to set aside time for yourself, whether it involves your health, personal interests, or something completely frivolous. Being a parent doesn’t mean that you give up everything outside the realm of raising your children.

What it does mean is that you:

1) prioritize, and accept that your well-being is on that list of priorities.

2) say ‘no’ once in a while – to family, friends, volunteer work.

3) don’t do for others (including, or especially your children) what they can do for themselves.

In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. Here are three great reasons to take your own needs seriously, now:

1) We all know the airline warning, “Put on your own oxygen mask first, before trying to help others.” When you are depleted, you can’t be your best for others.

2) We talk a lot about balance in life, but most of us don’t have it. So what are we teaching our kids about balance, child-rearing and relationships when we put everyone else first, all the time? They’re watching you, taking it all in. You’re teaching them more than you know with your actions and attitudes.

3) One day the children will leave your home. Then what? If your life revolves around your children, the transition to an empty nest will be painful. Start taking back the best of your BK (before kids) life now. Take some time to remember who you were, and the dreams you had for yourself. It’s never too early to put a piece of that back in your life.

It’s time to take hold, and let go. Let go of the mistaken notions that when you have children, YOU cease to matter; that it is selfish to put yourself first; that you must be all things to all people… except you. Take hold of a balance between family, work, and personal satisfaction; of doing something for yourself, on a regular basis, without guilt.

As a parent you have needs, too. And when those needs are met, you are better able to be physically and emotionally available to others. So put YOU back on your to-do list.

Fern Weis is a parent coach and educator who helps parents of teens become confident and strong so they can have a loving relationship AND do whatever it takes to raise their teens to self-sufficient, confident, happy adulthood. For more support in getting through the roller coaster years, visit Take the “10 Mistakes Quiz”, and then take advantage of a no-cost “Parent-Teen Relationship Transformation” Breakthrough Session.

Fern is a certified coach, NJ State Certified teacher, married, and the mother of two wonderful young adults who have taught her more about herself than she could ever have imagined.

Article Source: Self-Care: 3 Reasons to Take Your Own Needs Seriously

2 replies on “Self-Care: 3 Reasons to Take Your Own Needs Seriously”

I have been guilty of putting myself last for many years, and now that my children are both in college I realize that I’ve forgotten myself a bit. This is great advice, Fern!

It’s great to realize it, Angela. The next step is to figure out, “What’s the next step?” And it doesn’t take much. It could be 5-15 minutes a day to decompress or re-energize, or it might be a major life change. What’s in your future?

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