Calm Parenting – Take Care of Yourself First

I speak with so many moms in our workshops and lately a common complaint is they are “running on empty.”  Moms comment they aren’t getting enough sleep, aren’t eating well and feel increasingly stressed.  Basically they just aren’t taking care of themselves.  Some cite the time crunch others the effort after taking care of everyone else in the family.  Whatever the cause, feeling empty is such a difficult way to come at parenting.

  • Sleep – It’s suggested that most adults need 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night.  The National Sleep Foundation provides this article on sleep needs: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need.
  • Nutrition – I’ve never been one to count calories or limit foods but as I am getting older I can feel food choices impacting my mood and energy levels.  HelpGuide.org provides this interesting article on nutrition guidelines for women: http://www.helpguide.org/life/healthy_eating_women_nutrition.htm.
  • Stress – When you can directly manage the stressor, all the better.  Best if you can cut back on work hours or better design your schedule and relieve stress at the source.  if not, here is an article with so many great suggestions for managing the stress the is http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/parenting/stress.shtml.
  • Exercise – When I can fit in exercise, I feel great.  It is so hard to find the time and energy.  I am inspired by one of our preschool teacher/moms who fits exercise in in small ways throughout the day.  She lunges to take out the trash and stretches before she sits for each meal.  Apparently a littleat a time adds up in beneficial ways.  For lots of great tips about exerciing read http://exercise.about.com/od/fittinginexercise/tp/stayathomeexercise.htm, and visit a great blog at  http://www.exercisingmom.com/.
  • Relax – Do whatever it is that helps you relax.  Read, run, sing, dance, wine with friends, walks in the park, nature hikes.  The more you can refresh and recharge before you take on parenting, the better!
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