…myself, that is. I definitely don’t worry about falling short on nurturing my children, but lately I’ve come to realize the importance of making sure I don’t cut myself short on “filling my own cup”.
It might seem surprising, but that’s actually a tool on the list of Positive Discipline Tools, albeit a proactive tool as opposed to a reactive one; Nurture Yourself. It’s the same set of instructions that flight attendants administer along with the instructions on how to properly fasten your seat belt and where the life vests are located. “Be sure to secure your own oxygen mask first, before assisting your child.” In other words, you are no good to anyone else if you are incapacitated.
During an in-flight emergency, one in which oxygen masks are necessitated, “incapacitated” most likely means “unconscious”. But in parenting, it probably means stressed, tired, crabby, short-tempered, overwhelmed, frustrated, or any other number of emotional hardships. Being an emotionally responsive parent means being able to stay calm, act lovingly, and access our sense of compassion when interacting with our kids. If we don’t take the time to nurture ourselves, we cannot effectively nurture our children.
So, for me, that means less screen time (computer, laptop, TV, phone), more sleep, whole foods, daily exercise, and more time outside. It’s too easy to let the demands of life take over, thereby cutting myself short on the physical & emotional nurturing I need. My goal now is to make that a priority every day. I should have realized this a while ago, but it’s never too late!
Here are some recent pictures of Elia & JJ. JJ has been enjoying wearing a super hero cape wherever he goes. It’s silk, so it’s very light and blows beautifully in the wind. He loves to run and make it “whoosh”!