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Guest Post: The Art of Self-Care by Jessica Curtis

In the first few years of parenthood, I made the mistake of equating who I was with the roles I played: mother, spouse, household manager. I worked hard to be the best mom and the best partner that I could. And how did I measure my success? I measured my success (read: worth) by how happy my family was, by how well I was meeting their needs.

 

I was putting one foot in front of the other, keeping myself and my family busy and not noticing that it felt like a daily grind. I had put my own needs on hold; I wasn’t taking the time to look at the scenery, to enjoy the people in my life and our experiences together. I wasn’t taking the time to look inside myself and notice the impact of the choices I was making. I simply tried to keep up with the fast pace of being all things to all people. In fact, it didn’t feels so much like a daily grind, as much as a daily race to nowhere.

 

It’s not news that “busy” is the new normal. We’ve managed to create a culture of busy efficiency, where stream-lining is revered and doing more takes priority over doing well.

 

Particularly for parents, there’s always more to do and do better. But where does it lead? To striving instead of thriving…

 

I recently bumped into an acquaintance who just had her third baby. “How’s it going?” I asked. “Kinda crazy,” she replied, “The baby – he’s the easy part. It’s the running around to dance, karate, playgroup and music class that’s starting to wear on me. “

 

He can sleep anywhere – but I’m exhausted!” she joked.

 

This is probably a familiar story. Many of us have been here. We want to provide every opportunity for our kids. We sacrifice our own yoga class to pay for their gymnastics. We skip out on book group and seeing friends because we are frankly too tired to go anywhere after 6pm. We skip the walk we planned because the laundry and dishes are piling up and what if someone stops by?

 

I fell into this trap of striving. And I was definitely not thriving. In fact, I began to feel resentful. And then felt guilty for feeling resentful.

 

After some soul searching (and professional help), I realized that I needed to put my own needs higher on the priority list. I discovered that when I took care of my own needs, I was a much better parent.

 

It’s the oxygen mask on the airplane metaphor: you need to put your own oxygen mask on first before you help the child sitting next to you.

 

So, how can we take better care of ourselves, how can we nourish ourselves amidst the reality of being a busy parent?

 

Join us next Wednesday, January 27th at 6:30pm as we kick off our Nurturing Parents, Nourishing Lives workshop series with The Art of Self-Care. In this experiential workshop we will be exploring how to incorporate and maintain self-care practices and healthy boundaries, so that we can show up for our kids feeling nourished and refreshed. We can do so much more for our kids when we do a few things for ourselves - so come out and join us!

 

 

Jessica Curtis, M.Ed., CPCC, ACC is a personal and professional development coach who works with people seeking growth and fulfillment in their lives. Her work is rooted in the belief that every person is born to live a meaningful life. Jessica holds a M.Ed. in Counseling as well as certification as a professional coach. She lives in Grafton with her husband, three children and a flock of chickens. You can learn more about Jessica and her work at www.jscurtiscoaching.com

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