Many parents become experts at planning in the process of becoming new parents – planning the new nursery, scheduling birthing classes, even picking out a preschool – there is a lot to think about when it comes to welcoming your new child. Unfortunately, one of...
Want to Be an Awesome Parent? Stop Stressing and Spend More Time on Self-Care
Most parents can agree that they have all felt guilty at some point for not spending enough time with their children. A huge part of this guilt comes from our culture. American parents feel pressured to dedicate superhuman levels of energy and time in caring for their children to ensure their optimal development.
This feeling is so prevalent, it has earned names such as “intensive mothering” or “helicopter parenting.” The trouble is, this style of raising a child is extremely taxing on someone’s physical and mental health. Many even believe that such obsessive control may actually harm the child’s development.
There is good news if you are nagged by this guilt. Research has suggested that worrying about the amount of time that you able to spend with your children is totally unwarranted. A study published in 2015 in the Journal of Marriage and Family found there was no statistically significant association between the amount of time children aged 3 to 11 spend with their mothers and their outcomes in terms of emotional health, behavioral health, or academic performance.
The same study did however show that teens that spent more time with their mothers experienced less delinquency. This outcome occurred not when teens committed a massive amount of time to their families, but just six hours per week. The study also showed that when parents who are anxious, stressed, and guilty spend time with their children, it can actually be harmful. Learning this now can hopefully help ease you guilt as well as convince you to free up some time for self-care.
“Mothers’ stress, especially when mothers are stressed because of juggling work and trying to find time with kids, may actually be affecting their kids poorly,” study co-author Kei Nomaguchi said in an interview with the Washington Post.
Similar to everything else in life, successful parenting includes finding a healthy balance between caring for yourself and caring for your kids. It’s important for yourself and your children to create a self-care routine that allows you to set aside a time each day to relax and recharge your physical, spiritual, and mental resources.
While there are a number of self-care methods, an easy and inexpensive option includes mindfulness meditation. This word sometimes conjures images of monasteries, monks, and mountaintops, meditation is not solely for wander ascetics and celibate yogis.
Today, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof, meditation is practiced by millions of Americans – and it isn’t just the childless hipsters who participate. Even some of the busiest parents are taking time to themselves each day to cultivate mindfulness and reduce stress. Mindfulness is described as the ability to maintain nonjudgmental awareness of your individual moment by moment experience.
Why has meditation gown to be so popular? Simple – it works. So many studies display the benefits of meditation: decreased emotional reactivity, stress reduction, enhanced memory, increased relationship satisfaction, expanded cognitive flexibility, and sharper focus.
While many of you are skeptical of adding yet another to-do to the list, meditating even 10-15 minutes per day can show results. Once you see the benefits, you’ll wonder how you made it before without it.
Shana Smith is a mother of two and the author of Meditation for Moms and Dads: 108 Tips for Mindful Parents and Caregivers. Her book explains how meditation not only kept her sane and healthy during parenthood’s most difficult stages, but also an overall better person. Not only does she believe it is possible for busy parents, but it should be mandatory.
“If I forget to meditate, I’m much more likely to be overwhelmed by parenting’s physical, mental, and emotional demands,” she said. “With meditation, these demands are more easily kept in perspective within life’s bigger picture.”
Maintaining your perspective on your big picture is a necessary part of estate planning as well. In a Planning Session with our office, we will help you assess what is most important for the well-being and security of your family and protect your assets in a comprehensive estate plan. Similar to meditation, estate planning can reduce stress and anxiety over your children’s future and allow you to take better care of your children and yourself.
This article is a service of The Solution Law Firm, P.A. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.