I need to begin this post with a confession. I didn’t realize I had lost myself in my strive to be a better parent until my oldest son was 15. It was the same time I realized he was getting older and would one day be on his own, my younger one soon to follow.
What did that mean for me and who would I be if parenting didn’t take up my entire life?
It is because of this moment of panic that I write this post.
Hopefully, by utilizing these steps you can still know who you are when that moment arrives for you.
I am forever grateful that this realization came for me, before my sons actually left home. It made their adventure out on their own a time of celebration, rather than despair.
As a single mom with two boys, my time was limited. It is from this space of understanding that I’m supplying powerful time effective strategies. Of course, if you have more time you can use them for longer or more often as you see fit.
1. Daily Check-in
Self connection is one of the three pillars to unshakable confidence in who you are. It’s a beautiful way to start your day, even if it’s on the toilet or while brushing your teeth. The shower is also an awesome time for self check in. Allow the water to literally wash away all that isn’t serving your highest good in the moment (stress, overwhelm, disappointment, etc) and take a moment to turn inwards. What is it that YOU need? What do you feel in your body? Take a moment to really appreciate all that you do.
Even if you don’t have time in the moment to address what you need, the awareness allows you to squeeze it in down the road.
Bonus points if you schedule one self-care act a week like taking up a hobby.
2. Get Grateful
This one sounds so simple and yet I had a difficult time with it in the beginning. Frankly, at the end of a long day I was tired and ‘lazy’.
I would run through a list by rote: friends, family, food, house, blah, blah. There was no power behind it. I would then lay awake for hours thinking about all that I ‘should’ have done or that I ‘had’ to do the next day.
It was when I started thinking about specific things (prompts) that I generally took for granted (ie. What convenience are you grateful for? Running water! That not only can I turn on my tap and get water, I can drink the water from my tap! 80% of the worlds population doesn’t have that luxury) that the power came to life!
I realized how well taken care of I really am and that I am always provided for. The energy that was once stress and insecurity became one of abundance and support.
Try this exercise while laying I bed at the end of the day and notice how much better you sleep (extra bonus).
You can access 10 days worth of free prompts here: www.rocksolidlove.ca/10Xgratitude
3. Control Your Energy
If it’s not going to matter next month, it’s not worth your energy. Oftentimes as parents we get caught up in what we ‘should’ be doing in order to be ‘good’ parents. NOTE: anytime you are hearing the word should, it is coming from a source outside yourself (that’s a whole other post).
Expending your energy on trivial things (that may seem important in the moment) leaves you feeling frazzled, exhausted and overwhelmed. Take your energy back by asking if it’s really going to make a difference this time next month. Let go of the issues or circumstances that will naturally eliminate themselves. Sometimes the best consequences are the natural ones. After all, you don’t learn how to get back up until you fall down. I believe as a parent it is my job to raise self-sufficient, productive members of society to the best of my ability.
As a former child myself, I know that the lessons that stuck were the difficult ones I had to learn myself (talking didn’t work so well for me or my children). At some point (in my case the early teen years) it is about gradually releasing the parenting ‘control’ and moving into a navigator and coach role.
Consciously decide what is and isn’t worth your precious and somewhat limited energy. You will find a lot less worry and a ton more freedom.
I see you. I feel you. I love you.
You can find more about Michelle Evans at www.rocksolidlove.ca