6 Tips to Take Care of Yourself and Your Family

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Moms take care of your heart and homes, but who takes care of her?  As a busy mom, it’s important to value yourself as a person and schedule personal time.  We all have the capacity to nurture and care for others but it can take a toll on you emotionally and physically.  Similar to a car, you need fuel to run; without fuel you will not go far.  Emotional and physical issues develop when you neglect yourself.

Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family

  1. Get up early if you have to. When you have kids, the day begins at a hurried pace. Once you hit the floor, it’s nonstop.  Waking up 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time means quiet solitude to meditate and pray, drink your coffee, read a book, or listen to music. 
  2. Turn your bath into a spa. When you take a bath, add candles, bubble bath, quiet music and an inflatable bath pillow. Your regular bath has now become a spa level experience.  If you watch a movie, turn out the lights, pop a bag of microwave popcorn and curl up on the couch.
  3. Ask your significant other for help. Kids love their mothers but time spent with dad is important too. Let them bond with dad.  Since the time is yours, do whatever you would like (nap, walk, talk to a friend, etc.). 
  4. Prepare in advance. Preparing in advance allows you to spend more time in a relaxed mode. Fix lunches the night before.  Iron clothes for the next day and place backpacks by the front door so kids can grab them on their way out.  Preparation causes you to be calmer and less likely to experience burnout.
  5. Take exercise breaks. When you get a few moments the last thing you want to do is exercise but getting a little physical activity in your day has great benefits. Exercise helps you to think clearly and stretches your muscles; also, it reduces stress as endorphin’s are released into your system. 
  6. Laugh often. Watch comedy shows on television or subscribe to a daily joke site. Laughing releases stress and can lift your spirits significantly.  The best way to take care of your family is to take care of yourself.

You can’t give what you don’t have, so fill up regularly

When Parenting Hurts…

~Loving your child when their behavior becomes unlovable~

dont compare herNot all developmental stages of a child’s life are pleasant for parenting. I am especially referring to the teen and young adult years where suddenly your child is proud of their individuality, and have decided that you don’t know anything.  Along with the new found level of independence often comes poor choices, inappropriate behaviors and the constant challenging of wisdom you have tried share over the years.  It is during this stage when showing continuous and unconditional love hurts.  Below are things I did and continue to do for my own peace of mind.

8 steps to love in-spite of your pain:

  1. Allow time to sit in.  It’s is difficult to love when you are still rightfully angry and upset.  Give yourself time and if possible space away from the situation.  Time does so much for the hurting heart.
  2. Remember the importance of forgiveness.  A forgiving heart does not let your child off the hook, it lets you off the hook.  Un-forgiveness will cost you too much by way of (stress, anxiety, tension, body aches and pains, mental distress etc.).  I also think about how many times the heavenly Father has forgiven me over and over again for my decisions, poor choices and repeated disobedience.  I am learning as I get older to be quick to forgive.  Life is too short not to.  Remember, forgiveness is for you, not them.
  3. Allow your child to experience some consequences for their behavior.  Forgiveness does not mean there is no consequences.  You certainly can have mercy on them and provide some assistance without removing all consequences.  As humans we learn through trial and error.  Allow them to experience the pain and discomfort of their decisions.  Pain and struggles will often create change.
  4. Learn to let go. During the adolescence and young adult stage, letting go, becomes more important particularly if your child appear to insist on learning things the hard way. We must learn not to personalize their decisions and behaviors, and then we will be able to better guide, coach and teach them while at the same time giving them space to learn and grow.  This is difficult because no one wants to see their child hurting, even if it is a result of their choices.  If you are really struggling with this step refer back to # 3.
  5. Don’t blame yourself or question your parenting abilities.  You may have made some mistakes, all parents do.  However, your child is responsible for the decisions they make, especially when you have taught them to make better choices.  Their poor choices are not a reflection of you. 
  6. Refuse to measure your child’s worth and value with any other child. Don’t compare your child’s insides with someone else’s outside. Every child has their own struggles they are dealing with, just because you don’t know what they are, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
  7. Pray and ask God to restore your relationship with your child. 
  8.  Repeat all of the above as often as necessary.

 

“At least I got a man”

I got a man…” Every time I hear these words I cringe. Something goes off on the inside of me as I wonder what type of impact this comment has on the minds of both young and seasoned women.   Although usually said in a playful tone, there is an underlining belief beneath those words… “There must be something wrong with you.” These words leave emptiness at the inner core of many women and girls.  We live in a society that places more emphasis on couples than singles.  In fact, helping singles find a relationship has become a lucrative business. Don’t get me wrong, I love the institution of marriage and all that comes with having a soul mate.  What bothers me are the subliminal messages that says being single is somehow a handicap that puts one at a disadvantage. Being single does not mean damaged, broken, lonely or needy.  Allow me to take a moment to encourage all singles, young and matured to embrace every stage in your life, love yourself, get to know yourself, and get to know the gifts you bring to this world.  Don’t rush into a relationship thinking it will complete you and make you happy. You are already complete and I suggest you find your happiness before you get into a relationship. Take your time and wait for what you desire.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t make any adjustments to your expectations of a mate, but continuous compromising leads to settling and long-term unhappiness.  I can tell you from experience there is no worst place to be than in an unhappy relationship. The loneliness felt in a bad marriage will exceed any type of loneliness you experience being single. So, don’t allow society to tell you what you need to be worthy.

Also, contrary to what some may think, just because you haven’t crossed paths with your soul mate doesn’t mean you can’t advise or help those who are experiencing challenges in their relationships. The insights you have to offer others and the world at large is not determined by a man or the lack of one in your life.

Now that you know how I feel, I would love to hear your thoughts. Share your comments below.