You’ve heard it before. After childbirth, you need to take care of both yourself and your baby. Parents generally do a pretty good job with the baby part.
Or do they?
If your own health is at risk, so is that of your child. No apologies, folks. If a child is totally dependent on you for everything, the best care comes from the healthiest parent.
If you’re totally convinced already, no need to read any further.
Let’s say you have a young child. You’re thinking you’ll make time for “me-time” after the toddler years. Honestly, now. What are your chances of taking care of you when junior is seven if you can’t do so when he’s two? Realistically speaking, research shows that 90% of parents just won’t, despite their best intentions.
2. Poor role-model?
What kind of lifestyle is your child observing? Remember, they learn more by observation and imitation than anything else. What is the script you are putting in their little heads with the lifestyle you have?
3. Poor time-management
Grumpy parents are no fun, even when they find time to play with the kids. Few things are more important than having fun with young children playing peek-a-boo or whatever. Irritable, listless, or distracted parents are closer to “losing it.” Sometimes it’s just about getting more organized. Whatever your reasons, are you the only one who ends up babysitting your own children 100% of the time? PTT would highly recommend that you re-think that. Doing so will get your child better quality care from YOU.
4. Misplaced priorities
Does your job force you to work so many hours you feel tired all the time? Do you accept this as unfortunate but unavoidable? Don’t you buy it? Where there is a will, there is a way. Google it; network and search; think, discuss; share and generally just keep hammering at finding a solution. Chronic fatigue is a no-no for both children and parents.
5. No old-school
Nothing ever stays quite the same. That’s a good thing. But certain traditions are with us precisely because they have always served humanity so well. Sitting down as a family to eat at a very bare minimum of once per week is one of those traditions. In fact, in an age where more and more interaction is taking place via a little rectangular screen, sharing a family meal is even MORE important for learning social skills… and for just learning how to BE with close ones. HUGE deal folks! Start cultivating the tradition as part of your family’s “signature” as early as possible.
6. Spouse alert
This one is for all you new and expectant fathers, grandparents and other extended family members out there. If she’s expecting and has this problem, she won’t be able to do much about it herself, so it’s up to you. And the harm is devastating for children if you don’t take proper steps. Learn the symptoms of postpartum depression. If you don’t take care of Mommy, the baby will suffer the effects far into late adulthood. Don’t allow your own lifestyle to prevent you from taking care of what’s yours.
7. Not enough
You’re not getting enough healthy meals. You’re not happy; life is no fun. You’re not getting sufficient exercise, solitude, or relaxation time. Change something. Change quite a few things if you need to.
Just remember that too much self-care is just as harmful as not enough! But that’s another story.
One parent asked in the last training session, “Just how do you know whether or not your lifestyle is on the right track for being the best parent you can be? I thought that was a great question. This information should go a long way. More important, however, is to have live dialogue among a group of parents. The comments box in a blog is a perfect opportunity to do so (hint hint). Your child deserves it.