Self-care is something we take for granted when we are single or married but without children. We don’t even realise that we are doing so much self-care at that point.
However, self-care is not easy to achieve when you are a parent. Many times we also do not realise that we are not doing any self-care at all!
So where do we start? In this 3 post series of self-care, we will look at different aspects…
I would say today we will start at the very basic –
- nutrition and hydration!
It is incredible how we take nutrition and hydration for granted and not give it a self-care status… and yet that is what it is! Having children is hectic but it does not mean not eating and drinking- especially those new parents who are still struggling with getting into a groove with their newborns.
Make sure there are plenty of fruit and other snacks available at hand to grab something on the go. Have water available and make sure you drink often and not just when thirsty. Think: Do I keep water and snacks handy? What can I do to have snacks and water at hand whenever I need? Do I listen to my body about the need of food and water or am I ignoring it because I am too busy? Do I need help to have food available? Am I being conscious of my nutrition and hydration or just taking whatever comes? What am I teaching my children about nutrition and hydration by what I am consuming myself?
We all need adequate rest not just the very young children. If your child naps, do not do the dishes, cook or whatever – REST!! You can do this by either napping yourself, reading a book, watching TV or any other quiet activity that helps you feel rested. If your child does not nap any more, quiet time is an essential part of the day whether they are 4 year olds or 10 year olds and beyond. Children do a quiet activity like a puzzle, reading, using play dough while you are resting in the way that feels best for you. Any other house activity can and should be done when the children are awake and enlisting their help will not only make more sense (despite taking longer) but will keep them occupied and learn how to clean and help. Think: Are me and my partner communicating enough our needs to make sure we are both having adequate rest? How can I make sure to get all the rest I need? Can I get paid help? Can I ask a friend or family member to help out? Do I feel guilty if I sit and rest and if so why? Do I know what is that helps me feel rested apart for sleeping well? Do I make space for a breather throughout the day to gather my energy? What am I teaching my children on rest with what I am doing myself?
We need movement! Movement is the third pillar of keeping the body healthy. Whether you dance silly with your child at home, go to some class or go for a walk,run,swim etc on your own or with some one else, it is a much needed exercise! Newborns up to 3 years can be put in slings (there are even classes that you can take while baby wearing), older ones can join you with a bike or kept with a care taker till you do your bit of movement. So ask yourself, where can I add movement in my life? How much movement I currently have? Is it truly difficult to add movement in my life or am I finding lots of excuses? What am I teaching my children on movement when I look at my own schedule?
What are we teaching our children on physical self-care?