PARENTING PAUSE 101
What is a parenting pause? A parenting pause is self-care, it’s a moment away, or time off from your life as a parent. Parenting pauses are hard to take whether you have a two-week-old, a two-month-old, a two-year-old, or a twelve-year-old. It can be inconvenient or even chaotic, like a juggler suddenly abandoning six balls midair. But those balls are easily scooped up and tossed back into the air upon the jugglers return (you’re the juggler in this scenario). Taking a parenting pause doesn’t mean you don’t love your life as a parent, it just means that sometimes it is OK and important to put your own wellness first.
Why is it important to take time for yourself? It is important because you are important. You must value your own self. From day one, modeling is a powerful parenting approach (a strategy in which the parent demonstrates a behavior and children learn that behavior by observing it frequently and over time.) If you show your children that you value yourself, they will learn to value their own self. It’s healthy for them to know their parents are individuals with their own wants, needs and passions. Self-esteem refers to the way an individual feels about him or herself. The two major components of self-esteem are the sense of personal worth and sense of personal ability. If you are burned out and running on empty you cannot attain feelings of worth and ability, let alone model them for your children.
Recharging your own personal battery allows you to teach your kids about the concepts of empathy and identity. These two important components develop over time with multiple experiences. In general, the more positive the parents’ self-esteem is, the more positive the child’s self-esteem will be. Your children watch and copy how you react to your successes, failures, and mishaps. Building your own self-esteem will reflect in the life of your children. Show your children that like you, they can have control over how they feel and think of themselves. Just like you name and identify when your child is struggling, name and identify when you are struggling and what you are going to do to help yourself. Pause and ask yourself: Was I kind to myself today? Could I use a break to be my best self?