We had just settled into our seats on the plane. My son was happily sitting by the window and my daughter was waiting to get her free drink. As all the passengers got settled onto the plane they began the safety demonstration. After the demonstration, the flight attendants always make their way to the parents. They remind parents that we must put our oxygen mask on first before we help our children. That makes sense because we can’t help our children if we aren’t breathing. Now think of this, how is it we do the complete opposite on a regular day? We care for everyone, but ourselves.
For example one of my aunts has a one-year-old son and her day starts at 4 a.m. She starts out by getting her son his milk and snacks. Along the way, her list slowly starts to grow. The cat needs to be fed, the dog needs to be let out, and her son’s toys need to be put away. She then remembers she had a cup of coffee sitting on the counter. She was telling me that the coffee was taunting her. It just sat there on the counter overloading her senses of the idea of enjoying the first sip of coffee. But, the coffee had to wait.
Sip Your Coffee
Getting caught up in everyday life can be easy for parents to do. Our days start early and they sometimes end late. We have our children, our homes, and our jobs that need constant attention. So sometimes we forget the most important thing: ourselves. We become so focused on everyone and everything that our needs always come last.
However, much like my oxygen mask scenario we as parents can’t function completely if we don’t care for ourselves. We have so much on our plates that the idea of doing anything for ourselves seems impossible. But, it is possible. It just depends on how and when you do it.
Here are some tips that help me:
- Workout: Now this doesn’t have to be something crazy. It could be as simple as taking a walk around the neighborhood. Just getting the body moving can help you feel better in general. Plus working out can be a great way to relieve stress. The awesome thing about this tip is you can work it around your kids. Do a home workout during naptime, or put the kids in a stroller and take that walk.
- Sip Your Coffee: You made that pot of coffee and now it’s waiting to get poured into that cup. Grab your cup and take a minute. The laundry will still be there, the kids’ meltdown will still be happening, and the dog can chill outside. Things are really not going to change in one minute. Get that sip of energy you need to push through for the next five minutes.
- Reply Yes: You’ve been so busy with life that you haven’t seen your friends. After a long week, it’s probably the last thing you want to do, but it’ll do your soul some good. Have a good conversation and enjoy something different. So reply yes to,”Let’s doing something Friday.”
- Sleep: Now I know this can be difficult. But, sleep is so important. Once the kids are in bed, go to bed too. That Netflix series can wait. Try to get those extra hours before the children take control again. Take a nap. Remember those days when our parents told us we would miss naptime. Yeah, I regret those days.
- Frozen Chicken Nuggets: It’s okay that you don’t want to cook. When you do your grocery shopping grab something that doesn’t require a lot of work. Make it easy on yourself. Cooking can be overwhelming in itself. So don’t feel bad if you give the kids frozen nuggets or that bowl of cereal. The kids will probably enjoy it.
Don’t Forget To Focus On You
Now, these are just a few things I do. However, everyone is different. It really doesn’t matter what you do, but self-care is so important. We need to be able to take time for ourselves so that we can give everyone and everything our full attention. Don’t ever think that it’s selfish to want a few minutes for yourself. We are human and life can sometimes be overwhelming. So do what you need to do and take care of yourself.