There are so many reasons why self care is important, but one that I touch on a lot, is how it is important to model self care for our children. If we do not show our children how we take care of ourselves, how will they learn. Our kids are learning from us how to be busy, stressed and overwhelmed. Parents want to teach their children how to self soothe, so why shouldn’t teaching them how to take care of themselves mind, body and soul be as important?
I know that my daughter is watching my every move (that can be a good thing and a VERY bad thing lol). She talks like me and acts like me on many different occassions. I can already tell how she picks up on my mindset issues and my beliefs. This weekend was a great reminder of how my words and actions are modeled to our kids.
Me and my daughter went to Columbus for the Showstoppers Dance Competition. This was our fourth year and it’s always so much fun. It’s a girls weekend for us. We get a hotel with an indoor pool and turn it into a mini vacation. It’s also a trip down memory lane for me since I went to Ohio State for my first two years of college.
Well this weekend we decided to go to Polaris Mall before we drove home. Polaris Mall is a more upscale mall than we are used to but it’s beautiful and has a lot of great stores. I love taking Alyssa to new places and exposing her to different experiences. Well, Miss Alyssa, like most 9 year olds, is obsessed with YouTube. I guess one of the videos was talking about Gucci and she’s obsessed. She talks about it all the time, not knowing anything about the brand. So they had a Saks Fifth Avenue at the mall and I knew they would have some Gucci items there. I thought it would be fun for Alyssa to be able to see in person the purses and shoes she was so obsessed with. We got in the store and you could tell that Alyssa was a little uncomfortable. We are very casual, laid back people who do a lot of our shopping at the Dollar Tree and Walmart. Target is a treat in our life. But I have been working on my mindset, especially my money mindset. I am trying to watch my language around money and not be so quick to say, “We can’t afford that” or “That’s too expensive”. But you could tell that’s what was on Alyssa’s mind. I find her saying that something is too expensive. Or I know mommy, we can’t afford that. It breaks my heart when she won’t let herself dream that she could have something one day. I’ve unintentionally convinced her to play small. It is so hard when you are struggling and have to tell your kid no. Even to simple things like a candy bar. But today, I saw it so clearly what I’m modeling for her. I don’t want her to have the money mindset that I have. I have had a very long struggle with money and it’s something that I am now working on. I don’t want Alyssa to have the same issues when she grows up. So I need to model for her how to think about money. She is going to learn from me. And these things are imprinted on our kids at a very young age. Way before we actually think about teaching them.
So that was a very long story to explain why it is important to model self care to our kids. Right now your kids are watching you. And what you do day in and day out is going to stick with them. Years from now, when they are raising their own children, they will unconsciously remember how you parented and model that. The good and the bad. It’s already imprinted in their heads of how to be a good parent. If you never make any time for yourself, your kids will believe that good moms sacrifice everything for their families. And they will believe that everyone’s needs are more important than their own. Sound familiar? How much do you want to bet that’s what our moms did? Not because they were doing anything wrong, but because they thought they were doing what was best for their families. And also because it was what was modeled for them. Mothers for years have been sacrificing themselves for their families. Your family is important, don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you to become a completely selfish person and neglect your family. That is swinging to the opposite side of the pendulum. What I am suggesting, is to start taking baby steps to taking care of yourself. While your kids are at soccer practice, read a book you enjoy. Wake up five minutes earlier than your kids and do a quick meditation. Instead of using your commute to make phone calls, listen to music you enjoy or listen to an audiobook. There are simple ways that you can start making time for yourself. But it starts with a small step in the right direction. And if you can’t do it for yourself, think about your children and what you want for them.
Ready to make a change in your life? Join my 5 Day Mama Me Time Challenge and learn how to find time to carve out for yourself and get off the struggle bus! Starts Monday, May 6th!