My last post was in July 2017 and we have had many, many changes since then; we had a whirlwind experience with The Kids and World Taekwondo, my health has been more challenging, we have a new addition to our family and we now have a teenager and pre-teen in the house.
I have wanted to blog again for a while but circumstances just did not allow me so I am taking the time tonight, in the last few hours of 2019, to carve time for myself and it feels really good.
This is not time designated for me to rest or time I am too unwell to do anything else; this is time for me to spend some of my limited energy doing something just for me. I have had to remind myself (again!) that spending time on me is not selfish or inconsiderate but actually an important part of my own mental healthiness.
Mental Health has been a hot topic in 2019 [and this is a positive step forward for everyone] but implementing what we know to be good for us is not always easy or straightforward. Aside from the stigma attached to ‘mental health’ we all have so many things on our To Do lists that our mental healthcare is pushed further and further down the list: kids need to be cared for, laundry needs to be done, groceries need to be bought, meals need to be cooked, house needs to be cleaned, pup needs to be walked- and that is without jobs and studying getting in the mix. Throw in a chronic illess/disability and it becomes even more challenging.
Single parents are especially vulnerable to the lack of self-care because they often feel they need to do everything by themselves; that asking for help means they are not managing or being good parents.
Self-Care should be at the top of the list. Many of us still do not have this prioritised when in fact this is probably the most important task of all.
How can we care for others if we do not care for ourselves?
We have so many things pulling at us that it is easy to lose ourselves; when we start losing ourselves everything begins to unravel and things that were previously easily manageable become difficult to achieve. This spirals into a deep, dark pit and it is not so easy to climb out.
For the parents among us it is a vital part of helping our children to become healthy, balanced, productive individuals. We are creatures of habit and one of the most difficult things to do is to break a habit. I all-too-often prioritise The Kids over myself. This is not healthy – either for myself or for The Kids.
I have been reflecting on myself and my family recently and I realised that I often discuss self-care with The Kids. We talk about emotional safety plans and healthy ways to manage their feelings. B and I provide the support they need to practice their own self care.
I do not practice what I preach. I need to do better [for myself].