It is important to look after yourself
01-12-2017 11:01 PM - last edited on 01-13-2017 05:05 PM by Ngaio-RO
When things were pretty desperate it was really hard to take any time to look after my own emotional needs. I didn't even want to think of my own needs, as I thought I had to be 100% focussed on my child's needs, and that it would be selfish to think about myself. I then realised that I had 3 children and not just 1 and that there were 5 people in the family, and we all needed as much stability and emotional support that we could get. If I fell apart from stress it would make things harder for all of us.
So I'm interested in how other parents view this and whether they have good ideas about 'care for carers'
Re: It is important to look after yourself
01-13-2017 04:29 PM
hi @Elena Welcome to ReachOut Parents! So lovely to have you posting here. I hope you hang around.
I think that guilt is such an easy trap for parents to fall into that we start to believe it's NOT OK to do anything that only benefits us. I think, historically, men used to be better at it (I'm thinking back to when men spent all Sunday playing golf etc.) but unfortunately I think they've joined women in the 'it's too selfish' camp.
Which is bizarre because I completely agree with what you say about "If I fell apart from stress it would make things harder for all of us." That is so true for the families I know. We don't have extended families like we used to so we don't get the same breaks, child care is so expensive I know families that can barely afford it when it's used for work, let alone to cover some 'me time'!
And now so much of the research about healthy teenagers is that we need to be present and available.
It's hard to know how to fit in self care. But it's essential to find it, to build our resilience.
My favourite solution is to find things that check several boxes at once like exercising with friends, or doing something fun my kids can come along to, or socialising with study or work friends. This way I can do a couple of things for me without taking too much time from the family. ReachOut Parents is like that too. Checks a few boxes at once.