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Parenting: Giving Yourself Permission to Self-Care (Guilty Feelings Not Included)

Parenting: Giving Yourself Permission to Self-Care (Guilty Feelings Not Included)

I’m even more grateful for growing up with the Christmas experience of older brothers assembling gifts together for me when I was a little, especially now as a parent of a seven-year-old girl whose favorite things in the world are dollhouses. And, not your grandparents’ dollhouses that were just made of wood, paint, and glue. These 2020s’ dollhouses are fancy and, unfortunately, some need batteries to make the fancy even fancier.

Long story short, I didn’t have enough batteries Christmas Day (because stores are closed on Christmas) to come through for my excited second grader who still believes in Santa Claus, but she definitely lost some belief in her daddy that day with some of her gifts being incomplete. In that moment, it didn’t matter how many hours were put in the shopping, wrapping, and toy construction process up until that point.

At the end of the day, it’s a good thing for children to work through disappointment and find appreciation for what they do have. The gift of a life lesson in the midst of frustration so to speak. And, fortunately for me as a parent, my lesson was a lesson in self-care, which all of the above could have been avoided.

I crossed one store off my Christmas shopping list because I ran short on time – Atlanta’s own Home Depot – a checklist that included awesome stuff for me to complete somewhat of a Christmas gift to myself. The present for myself: home theater improvements that included surge protectors, power cords, extension cords, and an excess of batteries for any remotes and Pippen’s toys that were clearly listed as “batteries not included.”

So, I didn’t follow through on a gift to myself, running short on time and probably because of the guilt attached to getting something for myself while shopping for others I care for. And, as the old adage goes, “when you try to please everyone – no one is pleased.” That’s especially the case in parenting.

I’ve come to find the better I recharge myself personally (no matter how I do it on any particular day), the better I come to the plate and provide as a parent. A lesson I have to remind myself of everyday. And, your children will surely benefit from the residuals of that too, which would have definitely been the case if I followed my “self-care” instincts during this past holiday season and bought some batteries on what could have been a self-serving, yet Christmas-saving hardware store venture.