A friend who has been divorced for a few years recently became a solo parent after the death of their ex-spouse. The words shared “How I raise my boys and what I do will impact them”.
Grief whether it is of a death or a divorce makes you reflect and question your actions.
You may have the same thought and reflection. Perhaps questions such as, “How are my children going to be ok with the change?” “What if I do make the wrong choice and it affects them and their future.”
The reality is there is no perfect and you can only do the best you can. It is natural to question “Am I doing the right thing by my children?”, however, there is a bigger question here that I ask you “Are you taking care of yourself first?” When you were married or in a relationship, your actions impact your children, so when life changing circumstances take place it’s no different, what you need to be aware of is how are you treating yourself?
As a parent we don’t always take care of our needs first. When we see our children in pain our natural reaction is to take care of them first, because their pain hurts us. Their pain becomes ours.
It made me think about my recent flights. I am currently abroad and changed many flights to arrive to my destination two weeks ago. No matter what country I was in or what airline I was flying with, the same information was shared when the safety information came on. You must put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others.
Let’s be honest, as a parent we don’t always put ourselves first, we tend to put all our efforts into making sure our children are ok. But if you are not ok and looking after yourself, how can you look after your loved ones. Throughout life, we tend to be comfortable in our habits, lifestyle and at times don’t take care of ourselves the best way we should be. The putting on the oxygen mask first is an significant metaphor for women who run around taking care of everything and everyone except oneself.
By not taking care of yourself, you can experience higher levels of stress, you may not be sleeping well, eating well and with this, health problems including anxiety can creep in.
Ask yourself today, “Am I taking care of myself”. If no is the answer, then why?
It’s not selfish. My truth... when I began to take care of myself as a single parent, it did feel selfish. I felt guilty, however, the reality is when I began to take care of myself first, I was a better person and parent. Stress levels dropped and my health improved, I had more energy and with this I was then capable to support my children on a higher level and my everyday focus was better for them and myself.
So today I want you to let go of any guilt that you may feel towards looking after yourself and put that oxygen mask on first. Begin with the following daily actions and create a life for yourself and as the light of self care and love shines over you, see the change not only for yourself but for your loved ones too.
Today, I will:
From one Woman to another, you’ve got this!