January 3, 2024
Written by Kerry-Ann McKenzie, Community Ambassador
After becoming a parent, the focus often shifts entirely to the child’s needs. Parenting is an all-encompassing role, demanding 100% dedication. Amidst the responsibility of providing love, time, attention, security, and necessities, it’s easy to lose sight of one’s well-being.
Self-care as a parent is taking time to care for your spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental health. It can be asking yourself how you are feeling, assessing those feelings and considering the reasons why you might not be feeling like yourself. As parents, most of the things that derail our self-care are internal so, we want to make sure that we are checking in with us.
Always try to remember that our children are as good as we are. They are very smart, and they can tell when we are not at our best no matter how much we think that we are fooling them. If we take the time to take care of ourselves our children will take care of themselves, each other and their communities.
My Self-care as a parent includes long walks in the forest, a path or a park. I feel like I am in my happy place when I connect with nature. I am most at peace sitting by a lake, a stream or a river. I have always gone on walks with my children, so this is a way that we connect with each other and nature. I think that self-care as a parent is more effective if your children understand that it is important to take time out to process and reflect on life situations.
I also reach out to family members and close friends if feeling down. Sometimes self-care includes going out with a close family member or friend to catch up on life. Family connections are a great source of self-care for me as a parent. We all love reggae music so sometimes we have a reggae party and just dance our stresses away.
Self-care as a parent includes but is not limited to taking care of yourself the same way that you take care of others. I am always checking on the people that I love and care about, so I need to check in on myself as well. Slowing down and smelling the air, taking deep breaths, and always connecting with yourself. Do the things that make you laugh out loud; I do things that bring me joy and happiness. This could include playing soccer, ice skating, rollerblading, hide and seek, tobogganing, and basketball. I have always loved sports because they always give me a feeling of greatness in the mind and body.
Self-care as a parent is always a work in progress as things change and bodies and minds change. If a parent takes care of themselves, they can take care of their youth and can provide physical, emotional and mental health support. This ensures a trusting relationship between youths and parents and a safer society without youth’s involvement in violence.