Sometimes we can get so caught up in caring for everyone else, that we forget to care for ourselves. But what we need to remember is that when we care for ourselves first, we can then take better care of our loved ones. You’re worth it, and so are they.
For about 10 years now, I have worked with children. From summer camps, to children with disabilities, to preschool classrooms, to being a full-time nanny, I’ve pretty much seen it all. But one thing that has struck me year after year is the devotion that parents pour into their kids. The kids are everything, and that’s great. That’s how it should be. However, it is important for the parent to remember that they matter too. All too often, the health of the parent starts to decline as the kids grow. There is less time for the little things that brought mom and dad their personal joy, and their personal health. They make sure the kids are fed, and then sneak in a snack bar or the leftover crusts of PB&Js while driving to baseball, soccer, and dance. Getting a workout in seems like a ridiculous task when there’s so much housework to be done… and plus, Lilly needs help with her homework. While in the short-term they are sacrificing their own needs to meet the needs of their children, the long-term effects may end up hindering the entire family. What happens when mommy can’t go on a family trip because her blood pressure is too high? When daddy can’t play catch after work because he is too exhausted to get off the couch? The kids, who were and are the center of everything, are suddenly missing out on family time because their parents didn’t make the time to take care of their own health. So while you maybe think that taking time to care for yourself is being selfish, think about the long-run. You’re not just doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for them.