Purposeful Parenting – Achieving Self-Care When It Doesn’t Seem Possible

Happy “Parenting With a Purpose” Week! When I wrote about the importance of self-care as a parent last year, we discussed how your self-care sets the foundation for your children understanding boundaries, learning to express needs, and modeling emotion regulation.

And then it hit me: we all agree that self-care is important. We agree that we would love to show our children what this looks like. But what happens when it feels like finding time for self-care is not possible? When the demand on time is intense, the demand on your mental space dominates, what do you do to find regular, consistent time for your own needs? What to do when the traditional self-care plan looks like outlining your needs in all areas of life (physical, spiritual, relational, vocational, etc.)?  Let’s simplify for the overwhelmed parent.

If you, as a parent, are feeling lost and buried under the needs of others, listen here today:

Jesus sees you. He sees the areas that you are lacking and he fills them.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Psalm 23 says “The Lords is my Shepherd, I shall not want….he makes my lie down in green pastures…he leads me beside still waters….he restores my soul.”

When you are struggling with your lists of self-care items, start with allowing Jesus to see your soul.  When you are in the presence of the Lord, you are in the presence of peace. Jesus teaches us to be still and slow down.

This week, begin by opening your heart and allowing Christ to comfort you and strengthen you. When you spend time with God, it goes from self-care to God-care. You no longer place full responsibility on yourself to rest because it is granted to you.

You don’t need to make a list, unless you want to.
You don’t need to call a babysitter, unless you want to.
You don’t need to wonder where you’ll find the time, because the spiritual disciplines of meditation and prayer mean that you get to spend time in the presence of God.  This is self-care. This can happen during dishes, while rocking a baby, or drinking your coffee. You can find sacred in the most seemingly unsacred moments. Your children can witness you do this as well.

Remember when I said we would simplify this for the overwhelmed parent?  Simplicity, too, is a spiritual discipline. Richard Foster says that simplicity is the work of the inward that spreads into the outward. If you struggle with self-care, start here, with the simple inward.

One of my favorite songs, currently, is “Cecie’s Lullaby” by Steffany Gretzinger. Take a listen, paying close attention to the lyrics and learn what The Father has to say about giving your weary soul a rest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSDkn9PtQm0

Happy self-caring!

-Mary Shea