Aha! Parenting Blog

Practical solutions for real parenting problems

How To Nurture Yourself While Nurturing Your Child

"Dr. Laura, I know I can't raise healthy kids if I'm always flying off the handle, but do you have any tips on staying centered with two kids? I just don't have time to do the things I used to do to take care of myself, like going to the gym. I'm so tired all the time!" - Emily

"Dr. Laura, I'm great with my kids on vacation.  But most of the time, I'm just so stressed out, my default is yelling!" - David

These comments sparked the series we just finished, Nurturing Yourself while Raising Your Child. I promised to compile the links all into one post, so they're listed below.

I hope this series has inspired you to notice your own needs and take better care of yourself. I'm not suggesting that you binge on cookies or go on vacation without your children. Our kids depend on us to regulate them emotionally, which means that we have an obligation to regulate ourselves emotionally. If a cookie will help you do that, by all means, go ahead. But my hope for you is much more profound. 

My hope is that you'll find habits that support you in staying more peaceful and centered. If you can use your love for your child as your motivation to do the hard work of learning to regulate your own emotions and moods, you’ll be giving your child a tremendous gift. But the gift to yourself will be even greater, because you’ll end up happier and more emotionally healthy.

The bottom line is that once we're old enough to have kids, we're responsible for who we are and how we show up in life. If we had a rocky start or a bad hand of cards, it's up to us to find a way to heal those wounds and play the heck out of that hand. The only way to do that is to love ourselves unconditionally. 

Not easy, right?  In fact, it's the most creative work there is:  Creating love where there wasn't any before. I personally believe that work is our purpose here.

Just like our children, we can only “act good” when we feel good inside.  And while cookies and bubble baths have their place, what we really need is something much deeper:  an internal “parent” to love us unconditionally so that we can discover our own unshakable inner happiness.  That's the secret of keeping our cup full.

And that is my wish for you: That you find a way to offer yourself all the love and nurturing you so deeply deserve.  There is no reason to wait.  There is nothing that has to change for you to love yourself deeply.  I know you have faults and have made mistakes -- join the club.  That's why it's called unconditional love!

If you take nothing else from these blog posts, please seize this Aha! Moment.  YOU are more than enough, exactly as you are. 

Posts in this Series:

#1 - The Secret of the Full Cup: Self Care

#2- 10 Stress Busting Strategies for Parents

#3 - Let's Get Physical: 20 Exercise Ideas for Parents and Kids

#4 - 5 Ways To Nurture Yourself while Nurturing Your Child

#5 - As Simple As Breathing

#6- 5 Steps to Get Re-Energized

#7 - If You Don't Feed Your Hungry Heart, How Can You Feed Your Kids?

#8 - Want to Feel More Alive? Take the Stone Out of Your Shoe

#9 - How to Transform What's Draining You

#10- Nurturing Yourself While Nurturing Your Child (this post)

 

Related posts:

Life Out of Balance? Put Yourself Back on the List

5 Ways To Take Care of Yourself Emotionally While Raising Your Child


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