First, please join me and write 5 things you love about yourself (from yesterday's practice). Make an actual list,five things about yourself that make you smile. Let this become a new habit.
Your needs matter. . . our needs matter. Parenting isn't a form of martyrdom! We know that becoming a parent can completely transform our priorities, enhancing our ability to serve lovingly. A wise parent stays balanced, though, giving self-care a high priority because:
If you need more rest, actually consider how to make that work. Is there something keeping you up after your child goes to sleep that isn't in the 'need' category? Facebook? Work emails that you're catching up with in bed? Or do you have time during the day that you spend cleaning or getting caught up with bills? Your need for sleep is actually much more important than these things! Simply being conscious of the need may help you to nap before you clean or go to bed without checking your email.
Maybe you need time to talk with friends. exercise, a feeling of order in your space, or opportunities to do art. Imagine the shift from a wistful or hopeful or even resentful mentality toward this need to the sense that you deserve it. Does that help you to begin to create it?
Our needs matter and that we deserve to take care of them. Even when outer circumstances can't change immediately, let inner circumstances begin to shift to elevate your needs to a more important status than they may have had. There will certainly be days when needs go unmet, but remembering that we matter can transform our patterns into healthier ones.
My life and work are guided by the these core understandings: that all beings (including me!) are capable of transformation and joy, that healthy parenting matters profoundly, and that simple practices can support each of us.