“I’m so fancy, you already know. I’m in the fast lane, from L.A. to Tokyo.”
Ok, so maybe not so much. These poppy tunes geared toward youth are so catchy and exciting until we are a parent in the fast lane, and it’s not so ‘fancy’! Parenting is fast but not so fancy. It’s exhausting, messy, confusing and trying. It’s constant and ever-changing. We give it our all and sometimes that doesn’t seem like enough. We sacrifice our time, freedom, and sanity in attempts to create good-natured, healthy children. Good parenting takes effort, thought and work. But, forgetting to be ‘fancy’ or kind to ourselves may sabotage our attempts to create healthy kids.
Good parents put their children first. Guilty as charged. The next thing you know, you find yourself grouchy, edgy and out of gas. It is time to put ourselves and our relationships first too. We must model how to care for ourselves if we want our kids to grow up and be able to also. Relationships with ourselves must be first.
In order to model health and teach our kids how to live, we must take time for health. We can’t feel guilty about taking time for our workout. We take lots of time to take and watch our kids do their things. We can and should take time to give ourselves some energy back too. Take a walk, jog, class, or hike. Close the door and do that 10 minute upper body workout from Pinterest, or even crazier, that 30 minute Gillian Michaels video. It’s ok and you’ll feel better afterwards.
Take time to make yourself a meal. If you have time to make your kids lunch, then make yourself one that’s healthy and fulfilling too instead of grabbing what’s convenient.
Go to sleep. Get 8 hours. Don’t stay up until midnight doing things that can wait. You’ll be happy you did when 6 am rolls around.
Read a book or write in a journal at the end of the day. You value your kids reading and writing. We should too. It feels good to gain knowledge, about the world and ourselves. Slow down and be spiritual, whether it’s religion or not. Reflect on what’s important to you, be grateful for what you have, and work on recognizing we will never be perfect.
Next, value and feed our relationships with others. Marriage is not forever. Over half of marriages end in divorce. People grow apart, don’t talk, get too busy with the rest of our lives that we don’t continually recognize how important it is to communicate our wants and needs. It can be too late. Don’t wait until there’s a problem. Slow down, go on dates, do exciting things, and keep your marriage vital, for yourself and your kids. I promise, there is nothing your kids want more than their mom and dad to be together.
Spend time with your friends. You run your kids around. You buy that car that has the third row seats so that they’ll have room for their friends. Make room for yours too. Grabbing a coffee, dinner or a walk will help you connect with others. It’s healthy to vent our frustrations and share our joys. Do it with your friends.
Do it. Maybe we can even be a little ‘fancy’ sometime. Let’s treat ourselves and live life to the fullest. Ok, it may not be from ‘L.A. to Tokyo’ but we can take our ride where we need to go. Do one thing for yourself today. Slow it down from the fast lane; take it slow. It will make you a happier parent, and your children will reap the benefits!
Mom and School Counselor