• Family Counseling: Self-Care for the Kids’ Sake

    Leaving a legacy we can be proud of is a huge part of the mission of Vibrantly Live. An important part of our family counseling work is teaching the importance of self-care not only for us, as moms, but also for our children.

    Self-care allows you to be in the right frame of mind to handle life’s every day stressors. If you’re stressed out, exhausted or over-committed just the slightest change of plans can just about send you over the edge!!!

    C’mon – I know I’m not the only one.

    But I want you to take a minute and look what you’re teaching your kids? We teach our kids by what we do and DON’T do, no matter what age they are. We are their standard for what normal is.

    If they see a mom who runs herself ragged, trying to make everyone else happy – that’s what they’ll believe a “good mom” does. But, if they see a mom who takes care of herself, while also carefully taking care of her family, that too, will be the norm.

    You don’t want to doom your daughters or your future daughters-in-law to a crazy, harried life, do you???

    If not, then now’s the time to begin to make changes in your own self-care routines. It’s never too late to pass on healthy habits to your kids.

    So what’s this look like on a practical level?

    Evaluate what part of your life causes you the most stress.

    Is it not having enough time to get things done? Is it not being able to be present in the moment? Or could it be, you’re just not getting enough sleep? You decide. You know this answer. The hard part is admitting it, because we usually feel guilty that it’s a struggle because we have these “should” beliefs that are unrealistic wrapped around it.

    Start dreaming without judgment.

    Write out a list of at least 5 specific actions you could take, that if done, would significantly relieve your stress level in that area. Don’t worry about whether you think it’s possible or not. Don’t get caught up in trying to figure out how to make it happen. Don’t stop at 1 or 2. I really want you to stretch yourself and come up with at least 5.

    Pick the one you honestly believe will have the greatest impact.

    Notice, I didn’t say “the easiest one”. It may be! But the goal is the bigger bang for your buck here. Circle that idea from your list. Commit to just thinking about it over the next 24 hours and see what possible solutions come to mind. If you get stuck, ask some friends – you can always throw it out on Facebook. If your solution requires other people’s involvement, carve out some time to have that conversation.

    Here’s the thing I want you to remember…

    This isn’t about you being weak, needy or selfish. It’s about you committing to be the best mom you can be and teaching that to your kids.

    I want to be real clear here: If you choose to just “suck it up”, then you’re choosing to teach your kids that it’s not ok to take care of themselves. Is this the legacy you want to leave? I know changes can be hard. But the payoffs later down the road are immense. If you’re feeling a little stuck, this is one of our favorite things to support mothers with in family counseling. We’d love to help you carve out new ways of leaving the legacy you want to leave.