You can't give what you don't have
I recently listened to Brene Brown's audiobook "Gifts of Imperfect Parenting". In it she reminds us that it's more about what we model than what we say. We can tell our kids that they are perfect as they are, but if we put ourselves down and complain about our shortcomings – that is what sticks.
As parents we want to do our best as caretakers, providers, and nurturers. But are we being our own best caregiver?
In the past I've definitely hidden behind the excuse that because I have to take care of my family there's no time left for me. Now I call BS on that. I've shared about the necessity of self-care ad nauseum and I think we all know instinctively that if mama's not happy – ain't NOBODY happy!
Yet we continue to put ourselves last and put our family's needs ahead of our own. After a recent survey on the challenges of parenting – the number one complaint I received is "not enough time". Not enough time for self-care, play, being present with kids, and getting everything done.
The reality is – there is enough time. If you look at "successful" people who have accomplished a lot in their lifetime – what they all have in common is routines and rituals that create structure to their days. By streamlining our lives with consistent daily routines we enable more time to be present and play. By automating our self-care habits we become more efficient and productive.
As adults we have an incredible amount of freedom. Aside from our work hours we can spend the rest of our waking hours any way we want. Unless we are intentional about how we spend that time, a lot of it gets frittered away and then we complain that "there's not enough time".
We know that children thrive on routine. We sometimes don't realize that adults do too. Human beings need regularity in order to stay grounded, healthy and steady.
In Ayurveda, lack of routine and regularity causes vata imbalances. According to Ayurveda, vata imbalance is the cause of 80% of all diseases. Just like our kids, we also need to go to bed at the same time, eat at the same time, and wake up at the same time. We need to ritualize our evening routines to prep for a good night's sleep and we need morning routines to start the day right. When we don't we feel scattered, overwhelmed, and depleted.
If we want to spare our kids from the same predicament we are finding ourselves in of feeling frustrated with our lives and not in control of our time, we have to lead by example. We need to become our own best caregiver. We need to instill healthy habits for taking care of ourselves so that our children grow up to do the same.
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