Being a parent is tough work. Managing schedules, meeting new financial and emotional needs, adjusting to changes, the list goes on…
As people who often put in a lot of footwork before their children are even conceived, we sometimes find ourselves over planning for each minor detail in our child’s life, which can be a huge gift and also a dramatic shock when the inevitable surprise need pops up. We can plan and plan and in the end, our children will get sick, choose an unexpected path, and have needs we did not plan for. As parents, we must adjust to ensure our children’s needs are met – and we will do so unquestionably.
When addressing the needs of our children begins to challenge our own self care, how do we find balance?
Here are The Three Golden Rules I have gathered from my queer parentage community:
1. Take care of your body: Work exercise into your schedule by walking your kiddos to the park, watching a yoga video during nap time or finding a gym that has a great childcare center with video monitoring. Try to eat healthy with your kids to support your immune system and set a good example. Remember – Everything you do is WAY harder when you and your kids are sick, so take preventative measures.
2. Take care of your brain and heart: Integrate into your day things that make you happy. Talk to your partner on your drive to work, leave love notes in your kids lunches, find a fascinating podcast that you can listen to during your day. Do things that remind you what you love about the world and why you wanted to bring babies into it.
3. Simplify: As much as possible. Simplify. If those eco-fabulous cloth diapers are making you miserable and time sucked – Don’t feel guilty if you go disposable. You’re already a superhero as a parent, you don’t need extra credit. Simplify your finances, your schedules, your communication so management is as easy as possible. If you need tips, check out our friends at Practically Postpartum for help.
We all know the speech when you get on an airplane and the attendant reminds us to place the oxygen mask on our face before assisting others – It’s because if you’re unable to breathe, how are you going to help someone else. The same rule applies to you parents out there. Take care of your kids – but make sure you’re also on the “to care for” list. For their sake as much as your own.
As marginalized people, practicing self care is an act of radical resistance and self preservation. Teach your children well. Teach your children self care.
Fertility Source Companies LGBT Blog Maintained by Assistant LGBT Coordinator Skye Bigari
Email him at: [email protected] (he, him, his)