Parents today are being pulled in every direction. Our society seems to glorify being busy like it’s some sort of social status. The less you care for yourself seems to prove something. If you are too busy to care for yourself you appear more important or highly successful. This, however, is the farthest thing from the truth. Not only is it bad for our own health and setting a bad example for our children, not caring for ourselves greatly hinders our ability to care for others.
Imagine for a minute you are on a jet, about ready to take off. The flight crew is giving their safety briefing. One of the things mentioned is to put your oxygen mask on FIRST before you help small children. For most parents, this is a difficult concept to grasp. Help myself, before my child? What kind of parent would that make me? A smart one. We can’t help our children if we can’t breathe ourselves. So put on that oxygen mask.
But what does it look like to put on our oxygen mask first? A bubble bath? A glass of wine and some chocolate? A Mom’s night out or a trip to vegas? Contrary to what you hear in most social circles, no, this is not self-care. . . This is self-soothing. It’s making a temporary moment seem better by indulging in something you lust. True self-care is not always glamorous. It’s doing what we need to do, however small, to live our best life.