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Prioritizing Self Care During Parenthood

Collage of women engaging in relaxing activities with the blog title "Prioritizing Self Care During Parenthood" on

Parenthood is a beautiful and rewarding journey and every parent will not hesitate to gush about these positive attributes. But a lot of parents still aren't comfortable in also sharing how exhausting, emotional, and unaesthetic it can be. We often get caught up in the whirlwind of caring for tiny humans, juggling responsibilities, and neglecting our own needs. It's important for parents to have a safe space to chat real parenting and find support to learn about prioritizing self care during parenthood. And that's where I, and this blog, come in. Pull up a seat, get cozy, and let's refocus together.

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Acknowledge The first step is acknowledging the importance of self-care, both for yourself and for your child. I'm sure you've heard the old saying "you can't pour from an empty cup", but a lot of the time that's exactly what parents try to do. Self-care is not a luxury, it's a necessity. Allowing yourself the time to refresh and recharge means you're also investing in your ability to then be present, patient, and emotionally available to your child, as well as modeling healthy behavior for emotional regulation and avoiding burnout for your child to learn from.


To prioritize self-care, you must start with good, healthy boundaries. This will allow you the space to set aside your unending to-do list without guilt. Delegate responsibilities where you can and know your personal emotional limitations to create those pockets of time before you've hit your boiling point. Imagine your patience and emotions are an old school mercury thermometer, and each mess cleaned, fight broken up, schedule issue resolved, and meal cooked is another notch up on the degree scale. Your goal should be to keep that at mid-line or below, because once it gets over that halfway point it can be a quick snowball to feeling overwhelmed. Take the time to self-reflect, relax, or engage in a hobby or special interest to keep that thermometer down.


The fastest way to burst through the top of your mood thermometer is to start your day already at mid-line by a lack of sleep. Poor sleeping habits can quickly take a toll on both physical and mental well-being. Improve your sleep by establishing a calming nightly routine to unwind and fall asleep more easily. During your day, take short breaks to recharge as needed and able. Trust me, no other parent will be judging you for napping with your littles ones!


Humans are social creatures, at least once in a while. It's essential to maintain connections

with your preferred other humans that aren't your children. Family, friends, a partner, a social network - it's vital. Set aside quality time for these relationships, such as a date night for dinner, a coffee chat with a friend one day a week, a parenting group in your local community, or a hobby group. This sense of community will provide you emotional support that is so fundamental in avoiding the parenting overwhelm.


Incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine is a great way to gauge your thermometer, calm you mind and body, and fight off stress. Some people enjoy yoga or meditation, but after trying both I quickly learned that I was not one of them. I find my

mindfulness moments in other ways. My favorite one that I often include my son in is deep breathing exercises. Slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth help both of us release tension and gain composure when we're starting to feel overwhelmed. It can help you re-center your mind and attention to the present moment. Take a quick stroll in nature, or even just sit outside or near a window for a few minutes and let the warmth of the sun bring your body into the present. I've always enjoyed the warm sun and a breeze on my skin and hair, or even walking barefoot in grass (an actual practice called "grounding") to help me feel more rooted and solid. Another very popular mindfulness activity is journaling, but this isn't your 90's tween movie diary type stuff. Gratitude journaling to focus on the positive, your goals, and things that bring you joy is a great way to keep your mindset positive.


Moving your body has numerous benefits, from stress relief to increased energy. Incorporating exercise activities into your regular routine can be as easy as taking a short walk on your lunch break or doing some stretching every hour or so. Physical activities are also easy to incorporate your children into, such as a visit to a park, a family walk, or a bike ride. This allows you to prioritize your self care while also setting a good example for your child and creating more meaningful moments with them.

Be Kind

Obviously, be kind to other people. But don't forget to give yourself that same kindness. Self-compassion can be difficult, but it's important to give yourself reminders that you are doing your best. Give yourself the same understanding that you would give your child. Mistakes are okay, positive self-talk is vital, and doing things to help you relax are never a waste of time.

Life with children is a roller coaster. Being a parent is an ongoing journey filled with challenges and lessons, and for me so far a lot of those have been to stop neglecting myself in the middle of all the chaos. As of today, let's share the same mantra: Self Care Isn't Selfish. Self care is an act of love that benefits both you and your child. Fostering healthier habits for mindfulness, stress relief, and finding joy in your daily life will create a more balanced life for your family as a whole. Prioritizing your own self care doesn't mean you're neglecting the care of your child or family, you're simply protecting your own resilience and capacity to cope with the demands of life to set a positive example for your child and allowing yourself to be more present for them.


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