Parenting and Balance: Is Self-Care Selfish?

imagesLet’s just get it out there… Is taking care of yourself as a parent selfish? No! In fact, not taking care of yourself is a disservice to a child.

I’m a parent. I have messed up in small and big ways. However, I will continue to learn and grow in that capacity which I consider to be of the grandest importance. It is my deep desire to keep my focus in life more clear, and in order to do this I cannot live in my shortcomings as a parent. Teaching my children through example and love is imperative in my desire to be a better parent.  That said, perfection is not even a thought nor should it be for any parent. In contrast, showing our children that we are human and that one day we can totally suck but the next day we will show up again and be a rockstar is important! I want to express that as parents we need to be easy on ourselves. I stand in no place to judge another parent. I simply want to share what I’ve learned since working with kids/teens and their families.  I see children today are crying out “mom , dad, somebody look at me… I want to be heard. I want to be seen.” And, kids will go to great lengths to get attention not because they are a messed up generation rather because humans need connection. Foundational connection is indispensable at the parent-child level. We are busy but our kids need us … desperately! They can’t be on our priority list, instead, they ARE our priority and the list comes after them.
Does all of this mean we just don’t have a life and follow our kids around until they are 18 and then enable them and not allow them to move out? Nope! I’m suggesting we get our priorities straight and included in that we remember that we , the parent as a living/breathing human , have to be healthy and balanced. We are also the priority and not on the priority list. Yes, we sacrifice as parents but we also exemplify to our children that when they are adults their happiness and needs are equally important. If they don’t learn this from the adults who they see everyday (aka their parents) then they could really struggle. Well, everyone will struggle but those struggles could be exacerbated.
So, what am I suggesting? Just be perfect! Yeah right. I’m suggesting we focus on 4 fundamentals in our own lives and this will show our children that we are caring for ourselves and will significantly increase probability that the vitality in both your life and that of your child’s will be greater! The 4 Fundamentals are :
1. Sleep
 2. Movement
 3. Nutrition
4. Spirituality
Family-exercise
(Incorporate family time with self-care!)
Now before you go yelling at me saying , ” Drew not everyone is spiritual.” I am not saying everyone is religious but I do argue that we are all spiritual beings and neglecting your spirituality is harmful. This is the science…. I’m not sharing opinion! That said , these 4 Fundamentals are also part of what I teach to people trying to lose weight!
Over the next week I will go in depth giving helpful tips for the 4 Fundamentals.
Am I saying an obese, overweight, or physically unhealthy parent is a bad parent? No!!! I am saying that taking control of your health is a good example.
When it’s all said and done our children need connection. They don’t need money (although teaching the value of money is helpful). Our kids need to feel safe which includes physical and emotional. They need to learn to manage their lives and they need that example from those to whom they look up the most.
Don’t give up! Just because your kid does a lot of crazy things and sometimes very scary things doesn’t mean you’ve failed. We all continue to screw up. I invite you to join with me and continue to learn and grow. Accepted stagnation is failure. Continued learning and growth breeds success.
Take care,
Dr Brazier

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