ARTICLES & TIPS
On Keeping Your Balance, Sanity & Joy
While Parenting Young Children:
Commit Random Acts of Nurturing, Sensible Acts of Self-Love

By Sage Taylor Kingsley-Goddard
Copyright 2009
LoveandSpirit.org

Taylor's Conscious Parenting Blog
Copyright 2008 By Sage Taylor Kingsley


“Mooooommmmmy, I'm scared! I need you to turn the light on,” begs the littlest one, doing the “I gotta pee” dance.

“Mom, you promised you'd read to me when we got home,” says the older one, giving you the “What about me?” look.

Meanwhile, everybody's so hungry, tummies are growling, groceries need to be put away, and, oh, yes, you have to go to the bathroom.

You can't remember the last time you took a shower (let alone a relaxing bath, remember those?), read a great novel (remember those?) or had a quiet, romantic dinner alone with your mate (remember those?). “Nobody told you there'd be days like these,” the Beatles reflected. Strange days, indeed? Pretty typical days, I'd say, when you're the juggling act in The Great Parenting Circus!

We've all heard about post-partum depression. But what about just the daily frustration, the irritability, the exasperation that builds up when you don't have your needs met for years? But you hardly ever have time for meditation anymore, and the constant interruptions are driving you batty. You're not depressed, exactly. But you're not exactly bubbling with joy, either. You love your kids, love your partner, wouldn't trade them for anything. So why do you feel so… off? And what can you do about it?

I'm right there with ya. In the trenches everyday, wearing the red cape “Super Mom”! I joke that when the baby comes out, women should automatically grow six extra arms. Hey, if we were like octopi, think how much easier it would be to Get Things Done. (We could lobby to make it sexy to be an octowoman, and just think of the fun we'd have with accessories!) But seriously, I know how you feel. Let me share with you a few tips I've gleaned since becoming a parent.


TIP #1: YOU'VE GOTTA FILL YOUR SPRING: _ DAY A MONTH
“DATE WITH MYSELF”:

Being a parent, especially if you are providing a lot of the caregiving, means giving, giving, giving. If you do not make a concerted, conscious effort, which is completely supported by your spouse/significant others, your well will run dry, and no matter how much you want to be the calm, cheerful parent you want to be, it won't happen.

We all have to pay attention to the warning signs that we have been giving too much: snapping at people we love, feeling tired, stressed out, overwhelmed, sad or angry a lot with no explicable reason. When this happens, you've already crossed the line and you need to implement emergency (Emerge and See) measures. Tell your partner, your mom or sister, your best friend that you are experiencing PBO, that's Parent Burnout (although it may coincide with parent body odor if left too long). Line up a chunk of time (a few hours or 1/2 a day) to just be with yourself, doing … drumroll please … NOTHING.

This means you do not check your email, wash dishes, do laundry, call to make that needed appointment, etc., etc. That stuff will get done eventually anyway. Use your solo time to re-treat yourself. Do something that brings you peace and joy and an inner “Ahhhhhhh…. Yes!”
In fact, I highly recommend you have a place where you place a list of Random Acts of Nurturing & Sensible Acts of Self-Love. You can put it in your journal or post it on the fridge. Everyone's list will be different, and it may change from time to time, but some common self-loving, rejuvenating activities include: Taking a yummy bath, writing in your journal, reading a good book, taking a walk somewhere beautiful, meditating, listening to favorite music, dancing, painting… (Also see a more complete list of 101 Ways to Love Yourself.)

Ask yourself: What do I miss doing? Have a date with yourself, and spend your date time drinking at the wellspring of pleasure. Prescription: Date with Myself remedy must be enjoyed on a regular basis. I recommend once a week but even once a month will really help a lot.

Here's the key: You've got to SCHEDULE your special date/me time at the beginning of the month. Sit down with your partner and write in a chunk of time for each of you to do what fills your heart the most. For my husband, that's his Art Time. For me, I just think of it as my Solo Time; what you call it isn't as important as that you live it. Then, once it is scheduled, you make a firm commitment to yourself, each other and the universe that you will honor that time. If something else “comes up” to try to fill that time, you just say: “No, I've got something important scheduled then.”

In the rare event that you genuinely need to change your plan, your commitment is to reschedule that time within two weeks -- carved in stone. The universe will give you opportunities to slide off track again. You must stay on track and take care of, and love, yourself, with your most precious resource: time. If telling yourself you deserve it isn't a strong enough mantra, tell yourself you can't be of loving service to others unless you are filled. When you do this, you will be able to give from a full joyous place again.


TIP #2: QUIET TIME: 1/2 HOUR A DAY.

While the larger block of time that you devote to your Date with Myself gives you the opportunity to really settle into being with yourself, enjoying quiet (or music or nature sounds), maybe even immersing yourself in a creative project or deeper spiritual/healing practice, it's also important to just have a wee bit of time to be kid- and responsibility-free on a daily basis. (And, no, sleeping doesn't count!) When the kids are asleep is the best natural opportunity for this, however, it's too easy to use that time “doing” instead of being.

Meditation teacher Jon Kabat Zinn asks “Are you a human being? Or a human doing?” Set your intention to spend that quiet time just being. Meditate. Take a bath. Write in your journal. Do your yoga. Light a candle. Say a prayer. Do what rekindles your spirit. If you need your partner's support to make sure this time happens, ask him or her to be in charge of the children 1/2 hour a day. If you are a single parent, try trading with a friend, enlisting a family member, paying a babysitter or just waking up earlier (or going to bed later) than your kids.

Just sitting quietly, drinking a cup of tea, or lying on the floor stretching, or watching the sun rise, all of these can be a meditation, even if you do not have a lot of meditation experience. Being present, and giving yourself time to just be, will bring you back home to yourself, to balance.

I guarantee, if you get your “1/2 hour a day” and your “1/2 day a month,” you will feel like a different person: your whole self again!

_ hour a day + _ day a month = 1 whole me!


Recommended Resources:
Here are some great books that will support you in achieving balance in your life:

1 Everyday Blessings, by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and his wife, Myra Zinn

2 The Woman's Comfort Book, by Jennifer Louden

3 The Couple's Comfort Book, by Jennifer Louden

4 Gift from the Sea,by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Also, bookmark and check this site often as blogs, articles and ebooks relating to self-love, conscious parenting and relationship will be appearing here and changing.

Email me to sign up, for a private self-love/healing/balancing my life session (!) or just to connect.
Sage@loveandspirit.org

Next Blog:
“More Great Ways to Keep Your Balance, Sanity & Joy While Parenting Young Children” to learn a useful technique for deciding what to do when you're being pulled in a thousand directions (like the scenario above). You'll discover how to make the most loving choice and feel good about it, and about yourself.

In Love, Sage

“If I love you, I love myself.
If I love myself, I love you.”
- Rumi


You can reach Sage on the web or by e-mail:
LoveandSpirit.org
Reach "Sage" Taylor at: Sage@loveandspirit.org

Archangel Michael Channel SAGE is an Intuitive Abundance, Life Purpose & Business Acceleration Coach, internationally acclaimed author, spiritual teacher and dynamic speaker specializing in helping Lightworkers and women make more money by making a much bigger difference (and vice-versa!).

The creatrix of the “Prosperous Goddess” program, Sage has helped thousands worldwide leap into more joy, more love, more freedom and more abundance.

SAGE’s first book, The Radical Self-Love Workbook, is now in 9 countries. SAGE has been featured at many venues including radio, television and has shared the stage with T. Harv Eker and Marianne Williamson at Peak Potentials. Sage is also a clinical hypnotherapist, Third-Degree Usui Reiki Master and Teacher, ordained interfaith minister, mystic poet, and soul healer via Intuitive Angelic Miracle Healing (I AM Healing™) & Omnidimensional Healing Modality™ (OHM), both of which were channeled through her. She is currently the ONLY provider of these exponentially powerful healing methods on the planet.

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