Parenthood & Self-Care
As we look to the remainder of the year and ongoing restrictions and limitations, it continues to be unclear what life will look like a few months from now. With schools now returned, but with bubbles and distancing in place, and the possibility of whole classes being sent home, for parents, walking through the uncertainty can feel overwhelming. And this is without potentially simultaneously navigating; redundancy, co-parenting, vulnerable health, a demanding career…
Maybe you’ve seen some of the blog posts and resources we’ve been sharing on social media and here on our website, but perhaps – if you’re a parent like me, – you’ve also felt inundated with articles and information over the past few months on a whole range of topics, to name a few; how to homeschool, top tips on working from home, how to survive video conferencing, doing church at home, the list goes on…
While this undoubtedly all has its place and use, as restrictions continue, I wonder how, as parents, we can best care for ourselves during this time.
I was interested recently to hear someone reflect that when an airplane is experiencing turbulence, passengers look instinctively to the flight attendant for reassurance, and how similarly, in times of difficulty and stress, children look to parents to gauge the ‘temperature’ of the situation.
While there is great privilege in setting an atmosphere in our homes, it isn’t always easy, and is near impossible to sustain without authenticity, just like there is only so long a flight attendant can fake a reassuring smile before leaving passengers unconvinced.
For anything we would wish to model for our children, for it to be authentic for them, it needs to be authentic for us. For example, do I feel self-acceptance or is it easier to just talk about it?
According to an article on self-love and acceptance on the Fegans website, “Self-neglect seems to be among the few universal trappings of modern-day living. But the foundation of a strong relationship begins with self-love.”
I wonder how self-love and acceptance feels for you at this time?
If it feels like a struggle, I hope these final words from the Fegans article encourage you to begin the journey to self-care:
“When you feel good about who you are and you feel worthy, you naturally take better care of yourself and self-nurturing is the biggest part of self-care. Take a close look at how you’re living. Are you taking time for the things that bring you joy? Are you eating and moving and feeling healthy and energetic? Are you sleeping enough? If not, it’s time to make some serious life changes. Finally, repeat the following statement out loud: “I am enough. I have enough. I am worthy.”
Kayte Potter is a part-time Administrator at the NPI, and a mother of three.