Why is it that, as women, we tend to think that taking care of ourselves is “selfish?”

My intention – my mission – is to help kids and parents succeed! I want parents to feel good about parenting! I want families to be happy, healthy and loving towards one another. I want kids to reach their full potential. I want parents to enjoy their kids and enjoy each other. I want couples to practice loving kindness towards each other and to themselves.

Often times stress and overwhelm get in the way of that happy life that we all strive for and dream about and Moms (and believe me when I say I mean NO disrespect), Moms are the WORST with regards to self-care! And it’s not your fault – society teaches you to put everyone else’s needs first and put yourself dead last! That’s what it means to be a great Mom, right? Give your kids, your family, everything you have and put your own needs last, if you can fit them in at all. Well… that’s just messed up! You are NO good to anyone else if you are sick, tired, overwhelmed, hurting, depressed, or deprived of what makes you happy.

So, I’ve come to realize… Moms need permission. Permission to put their own oxygen mask on first. If you have ever taken a trip on an airplane, and most of us have, you know that at the beginning of every flight the flight attendants always tell you to put your OWN oxygen mask on first before assisting others, before taking care of your kids. Why? Well, if you don’t… you are on the floor dead and no good to them! So, I realize parents need permission… and also a good role model. I’m here to give you permission and be that role model! In order for me to teach self-care, I must practice what I preach – for myself and also for those I take care of, which includes my clients of course. I cannot be of service to others if I am feeling sick, hurt, overwhelmed, stressed out, or scattered. I must be sure I am happy, healthy and loving towards myself. My self-care tips work – I know they do! I’m living proof as are those who follow my guidelines.

Ok I admit it… sometimes I fall out of my self-care routine! I’m human too and I get VERY busy… but my body always seems to give me that gentle nudge – a reminder – to coach myself through the hard, stressful, busy times just as much as I coach my clients. I must schedule in self-care time for myself – EVERY SINGLE DAY in fact! If I don’t, I’m no good to anyone! And if I lead by example, maybe then the parents I work with will see MY great results and try it themselves. I can TELL them till I’m blue in the face, but until they start a self-care practice for themselves and EXPERIENCE the benefits (like I do when I’m honoring myself) they will never really grasp the importance of it. They will never get how taking a bit of time for themselves can actually improve their happiness, their marriage, and their relationships with their children – not to mention improve their child’s PROGRESS! Whoa baby, does self-care help that!!

Do what you love and love what you do? Yes, that sounds great, and it is, but even doing what you love can take a toll if you don’t take breaks now and again. I have to trust and remember that, as I take a break for myself, all my “to-dos” will eventually get done – they always do. I can just rest and rejuvenate and NOT feel guilty about it. Guilt and worry are toxic. They are energy drainers. I will not allow them to linger and neither should you. I will make a list of my favorite self-care items that feel good, are quick and easy and / or fill me up with energy. Journaling needs to be part of that list because it always provides me with a greater sense of clarity and allows me “permission” to see the path and justify self-care without judgment. Why is it that, as women, we tend to think that taking care of ourselves is selfish? Can you answer me that? Where did we learn that? From our Mother? From our Grandmothers? From society?

I buy my favorite make-up or shampoo for myself – to help myself look good – this is not considered selfish. I buy myself clothes so I can look and feel my best – this is not considered selfish either. Why is doing something for myself that makes me feel good selfish? Because it isn’t making someone else feel good? I make others feel good all the time – when is it my turn? Parents, YOU make people feel good all the time – when is it your turn? I don’t have another person around me daily who fills up my cup so why can’t I fill it up myself? Or why can’t I make myself feel good while I make others feel good too? Do something nice for me and the kids, my spouse, my partner, or a friend? Why does it have to be either/or? Why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone so to speak? Or maybe… just maybe… I can be selfish for a bit – for 2 minutes out of my entire day, or 15 minutes, or 30 or 60… How good do I feel after that “me” time and doesn’t that help me be more productive with my business, my family, my “to do” list – with a renewed energy that I so desperately need from time to time? A shot in the arm, so to speak. Things always flow so much easier when I feel refreshed; don’t they for you?

So, yes… I will schedule some “me” time, some positive self-care time (not self-ish time) because it not only serves me well, but it also serves others well. Remember, put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting those who need your help (like your kiddos)… you are NO good to them when you are stressed out – you are better for them when you are calm, relaxed, and happy! What are you going to do for yourself today? Maybe you start by making your own personal self-care list – then do 1 thing on it that makes you happy and relaxed. There is no better time like the present. If not today, then do yourself a favor and schedule it into your calendar for tomorrow. You’d keep that doctor’s appointment if it were with your child’s pediatrician. Why not schedule an appointment for yourself and keep it? It will be the best thing you can do for your family! Trust me – you’ll be glad you did!

I invite you to contact me if you have some questions, want some ideas, or need some extra support regarding much needed self-care. With the right support, I know you can begin to feel more relaxed, less frustrated and more refreshed – and you can get back to being the Mom, or Dad, you truly want to be! 🙂

I’m here to help, but the first step is yours.
Twitter: @DeniseCarbon

Photo from: morguefile.com/creative/zerros24