What comes first?
Sometimes when faced with a puzzle we are left pondering a question where the answer isn’t always clear. For example, what comes first, the chicken or the egg? It is thus type of question I don’t spend an awful lot of time on. However, there has been one question that I have a definite answer to. Who do I look after first, me or my child? Not to say I don’t look after my children because I always have and do. But the one thing I have come to realize, is that if I don’t take care of myself, I will have nothing to give to my children. This appears to be a bit of a challenge for some. And for some they feel they need to focus on their children and not worry about their own needs. Yes, I said “needs”.
I’m sure you have heard how the flight attendants always tell parents to put the oxygen mask over themselves first and then their children. It is the same story of the mom who goes to the well for water. If there is no water in the well, she can’t offer any to her children. The well must be full. As parents, and especially single parents, we need to ensure our “well” is full so that we “have” to give of ourselves to our children. Think about yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking time to think about what fills you up, brings you joy, gives you that burst of energy to keep you going.
When I first became a single parent, I was so drained – drained of hope, faith, spirit. The struggles of my relationship and having stayed in it for too long, left nothing for my children, except for a mom in survival mode who was grieving for a relationship she thought she had, anger for all that was done to her and fear that she may not be able to provide for her children. Survival mode will drive you to protect your children but thrivor mode is life changing. As adults we need to keep growing, finding passion and joy. When our children see us happy and thriving, they also are happy and thriving, because we have so much more to give.
The first step towards exiting “surviving mode” and entering “thriving mode” is taking time to ask yourself a few questions. First – what makes me happy? sad? joyful? mad? If you can’t answer these questions, don’t fret, I couldn’t answer these questions either. Can you? We need to know who we are and what we believe, feel, need and want. The beginning of my journey started as I worked through a workbook called “Finding your WAY” – I call it the Who Are You manual.
Do you know who you are? What makes you happy? sad? joyful? mad? Let me help you create your own “owner’s manual”.
Interested in joining our Successful Single Parents Facebook group by clicking HERE
Liz M Raymond