Project Description

How to return to your authentic self after becoming a parent

4 Life Changing Self-Care Tips

You are the heartbeat of your family!

It took me ages to learn to treat myself as well as I eagerly treated my loved ones: with mindfulness, empathy, and tender compassion.

With each group parent coaching session I host, I hear time and again that I wasn’t alone in this struggle. So many participants don’t know how to take good care of their individual needs, how to be gentle with themselves, and how to appreciate the gift of their daily endeavor.

In fact, they often don’t even know what their needs or parenting skills are. And if they do know their needs, they struggle with how to communicate and honor them.

With the following 4 Self-Care Tips I intend to help you on your unique parenting journey, to be kinder and more respectful with yourself, and to love yourself the way you are!

Self-care tip # 1

Understand parenting is a life-long self-awareness process

91% of the parents who recently took our Parenting Quiz felt inadequate as parents, especially when things went differently than they expected.

When I saw that large number, I realized how important it is that we parents stop judging or blaming ourselves. We can look at the bigger picture rather than focusing on the moments when we didn’t live up to our own expectations. We can look at parenting as a lifelong process, a process that gives us the chance to develop and grow every day.

Parenting is a chance to get to know yourself better

Being a parent is your chance to get to know yourself better: You can learn about your own needs, emotions, trigger points, beliefs, habits, and more.

Only by becoming more self-aware can we better distinguish our own need’s from those of our children. So being a “good mom” doesn’t mean putting the needs of your child/ren first. It means paying more conscious attention to what’s going on inside yourself, to mindfully observe when your energy is low, when you get more easily triggered, when you just copy what others are doing – doing what you think is the “right thing”– rather than being aware what feels right for you and your child.

Your growing self-awareness is the key to an easier, calmer, more confident and fulfilled family life. It’s the key to living as your authentic self – not just for your own well-being, but as a healthy example for your developing child.

Self-care Tip # 2

Recall moments that nourished your spirit before you became a parent

I realized while working with parents that often we get so absorbed in our parenting life that we forget what it felt like to be a free spirit. We forget what it felt like to not have the 24/7 responsibility we now have as parents.

It is fundamental to our well-being to feel free

How would you respond if I asked you: Before you became a parent, in what situations or activities, did you feel truly yourself, free of any duties or thoughts about the future or the past, simply BEING who you are in the present moment?

When you have recalled such a moment, close your eyes and think about when and how you can bring some of that activity back into your daily life now.

For me, the answer is easy – Salsa dancing! When I hear the music and feel the rhythm, my heart starts to dance, and my whole body moves on its own. As soon as my body starts to move, my thoughts about what to do next or what I might have missed completely disappear. I simply feel free from one moment to the next, and there is nothing that can distract me or hold me back.

Sometimes it’s enough to take a breath and recall those moments in your mind. Sometimes we have to actually take action, like I did when my daughter was little.

I decided to take Salsa lessons in our living room, because I was not able to go to clubs anymore, since my new bedtime was before they even opened their doors at 10 PM.

When I added these lessons into my life, that old joy came back, and I FELT LIKE ME AGAIN!

Sometimes it is easier for us to experience these moments of freedom on our own before we can feel them with our family. That’s ok! It doesn’t make you a bad mom. It makes you human.

Self-care Tip # 3

Check in with your heart — your deepest wisdom

Do you ever find yourself going through your day on auto-pilot, paying very little conscious attention to what is going on within you?

You’re not alone. It’s so common for parents to just go through the motions of their day—just checking off the “have-tos” on their mental checklist.

More often than not, we act automatically — responding from the rational mind, rarely paying attention to what our heart is telling us.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing bad about doing the things that have to be done. I just want you to become more aware of who’s in control of your inner decision-making process.

Please answer the following questions. Don’t think about it, just answer the first thing that comes into your mind:

  • What are you having for breakfast tomorrow?

    I would answer: A boiled egg, bread with marmalade
  • What would you do differently at breakfast if you let your heart speak?

    For me, I imagine a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. The breakfast table would have at least one flower, a lighted candle, some moments with my family without anyone being in a rush, and no distractions from TV, phone, or radio.

Can your heart feel the difference between my two answers?

When I get in touch with my heart, the moments in my life feel more restful, nourishing, and fulfilling.

This is a very simple example, but it’s an important one. It clearly demonstrates the difference between responding with your rational mind versus adding nourishment for your soul, body, and spirit, which happens when you connect with your heart.

Take a few minutes to reflect

What would it take for you to make breakfast time a heart-centered feast for you and your family — even on a Monday morning?

We often underestimate the benefit of those little daily self-care actions and how much they refill our cups. You simply have to take one second to just ask your heart.

Self-care Tip # 4

Make yourself dispensable

When my daughter was little, I always thought no one could care for her the way I did. I had thoughts like: “My husband can’t put her to bed like me,” or “He isn’t able to feed her as healthily as I do.”

Of course that’s true. No one can do it the way we do it, not even our partner, co-parent, grandparent, or nanny.

But if we keep thinking this way, we make ourselves indispensable. If we are indispensable, not only will we never get a minute for ourselves, but we’ll also deprive others of the opportunity to find their own way and make their own connection with our child, and we’ll deprive our child of connecting with and having new experiences with other important people in their lives.

Get to know yourself better

To gain inner clarity, I’ve found reflecting on the following questions to be helpful:

  • How much do you want to be needed as a parent?
  • What opportunities & challenges can grow out of you being more dispensable?
  • How much control do you need?

In the end, finding a way to let go of control will serve our desire to raise independent and self-confident children while also experiencing inner freedom ourselves.

Things to remember:

Step #1:

Parenting is a lifelong process of self-awareness. Look at the big picture instead of beating yourself up over the little things that don’t go the way you want them to.

Step #2

Recall moments that nourished your spirit before you became a parent. If remembering isn’t enough to nourish you now, figure out an action you can take to bring back those feelings of pure joy and freedom.

Step #3

Check in with your heart: What does your heart long for to bring more inner ease, pleasure and warmth into your life? It only takes a moment to find out.

Step #4

Make yourself dispensable. Find out for yourself:
How much do you want to be needed as a parent & how much control do you need? You might experience new challenges but also new opportunities that everyone will benefit from.

Allow yourself to experience the freedom to be YOURSELF again. You will be surprised how much your inner joy will spill over into the time with your child!

Raising your child can be easier for both of you!

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