Mother’s Day Musings – What Are We Really Teaching Our Children About Self-Care?
Mother’s Day seems like a good day to reflect upon some of the many ways in which we teach about self-care to our children, both intentionally and unintentionally.
In a busy world with many demands and distractions, self-care can seem like a selfish indulgence instead of a foundational human need.
We know that actions speak louder than words, but sometimes our actions are unconscious, or our words do not reflect what we really want our children to learn.
If we are so busy being mothers, spouses, professionals, and [insert multitude of other roles here], that we don’t stop to take care of ourselves, not only do we risk our wellbeing, we also teach our children that self-care is not all that important.
If we often say yes when we should be saying no, we may be teaching our child that setting boundaries is not as important as pleasing others.
How much more powerful it is to show that we can say no while still being kind, that we can find ways to “not say yes” if saying “no” feels too abrupt. We can then have room in our lives to say yes to those things that really matter to us.
If we frequently give voice to our concerns about weight and appearance, we may be teaching our child that what the world sees of us is more important than how we feel inside.
How much more powerful it is to speak about fitness goals, good nutrition, and what it means to feel good about ourselves, both inside and out.
If we stay in an unfulfilling relationship, our unhappiness can’t help but shine through to our child and she will learn that our own emotional needs are less important than those of the person we are with.
How much more powerful it is to show that being alone can be preferable to being together with someone who isn’t meeting our needs.
If we grumble about work, but stay with the same job year after year, we may be teaching our child that complaining is preferable to changing our circumstances.
How much more powerful it is to set goals to improve our independence and marketability so that we can make the changes we want to make, and then take visible actions toward meeting those goals.
If our child has skinned her knee, and we say “oh, you’re fine” instead of reaching out to soothe her, we may be teaching our child to ignore signals from her body that she should seek comfort, rest, or medical attention.
How much more powerful it is to show that listening and being there for others is worthy of both our time and our attention, no matter how small the hurt may seem.
Today as I reflect upon my roles as a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and an entrepreneur, I know that I still have much to learn about how my own self-care. My life continues to be a work in progress and I embrace my evolution toward better boundary-setting and relationship fulfillment.
My daughter Cassidy is now a beautiful young woman and she continues to teach me that my learning will never stop and that wisdom has nothing to do with age. My beautiful mother Kirsten continues to inspire me to be a better person, to be forgiving of others, and to demonstrate unconditional love.
My sweet sister Lisa helps me to remember that just being there and listening can be more important than anything else. My badass best friend Roxie inspires me to have the confidence to persevere in spite of fears and doubts.
The amazing coaches I’ve gotten to know through Teacup Wellness inspire me to be the best that I can be as a business woman and a creative leader, to help us realize our vision together.
We must take time for bubble baths, naps, walks in the woods, and other mindful self-care activities. Only then will we have a deep enough pool of resources from which to draw upon to give of ourselves to others.
Happy Mother’s Day, and enjoy those bubble baths…