The Art of Self Care as a Parent

The first step to happier parenting starts with you and your level of self care.
Is self care a priority in your life?

If not, would you like to learn how you can take better care of yourself in just three minutes a day?

To help you be a happier parent, I have created a new program: The Art of Self Care as a Parent.
Through it, you will learn techniques, strategies, and gain tools that will allow you to feel more balanced, in control of your life, and happier. As a result, you will be a better parent!

Through this program, you will learn:

  • How to make self care a priority
  • How to fit it into your busy schedule
  • How just three minutes a day can have a huge impact on your happiness
  • How you can show up as the parent you want to be
  • How to increase your connection with your kids
  • How you can feel more balanced
  • How to reduce anxiety and guilt
  • How to feel happier!


Click here to find out more  —–>    - The Art of Self Care as a Parent

The Gift of Giving to Yourself

The gift of giving to yourself is self care, moms and dads. It is about discovering, knowing, and honoring what you need. The old saying is true, if you don’t take care of yourself, no one will. The truth is that we teach our kids how to care for themselves by how we care for ourselves.

Do you take time each day to just “be with you”? To ask yourself what you need, and then honor it?

If you don’t, please start now. As you know, I teach this is to my clients because I believe this is the most important thing you can do for yourself—the best gift you can give to yourself, and to your kids.

Right now, I am sitting beside a beautiful lake watching the water gently ripple. This is a gift to me. I just meditated, and am now working in a place that makes me feel good. Why am I giving myself a gift? Because life has been pretty stressful recently, and I am tired. When I checked in with myself, I discovered that I really needed peace. So, I am sitting in a very peaceful place and doing something I enjoy—writing to you. Then, I have scheduled some time off today to enjoy some quiet.

Gifts to yourself do not have to cost money. They are about being with yourself, listening to yourself, and then honoring what you hear.

The Gift of Guilt Free Parenting

The holiday season is now in full gear. Happy Holidays!

To honor this time of giving, each week during the month of December I will write about one of four gifts of self care. Don’t miss the newsletters this month. My hope is that they enrich you, inspire you, and help you take better care of yourself.

This week we will focus on the gift of guilt free parenting. Do you believe there is such a thing? For the most part, I do. Let me explain. Since guilt is a strong human emotion, I don’t believe we can keep it from occurring—but, I do believe we can get out of guilt quickly and move on to a more desirable emotion.

As a parent, I know that leaving your child when you go to work hurts, that your child asking to spend more time with you feels bad, and that not being able to give your children everything and protect them from everything possible brings up that yucky guilt. I also know that the more you feel guilty, the more you give to others and take from yourself. This sets you up for the ultimate guilt trip—losing your temper. When you do this, you feel even worse, and now guilt has taken over your emotions. Double yuck!

This is a scenario that most parents face, and the way out is through self care. One of the best ways I know of caring for yourself is to get in touch with your emotions and work with them. By taking the time to notice that you feel guilty, and then to discover the real root of your guilt, you give yourself the gift of living and honoring what is most important to you. You also discover how to release the guilt and live a life that feels better, that feels happier.

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how guilty I felt when I left my son at day care and he was begging me to not leave him there. By taking the time to talk to my guilt, so to speak, I was able to discover that I really did not want to leave him, that he was expressing a feeling that I also shared. I also discovered that I really needed the time to get work done and regroup a bit, since we were about to move.

This was a quick process for me that took about 5 minutes. I used one of my breathing exercises and meditations and felt so much better. In fact, the guilt was gone after 5 minutes. I was then able to get tons of work done, and make a plan for the next 6 weeks with my son, and that felt really good. You see, finding a way to feel good releases the guilt. I figured out during that time how to free up lots of time over the next 6 weeks for my son and me to really enjoy the holidays. This makes me super happy (as my son would say), and my guilt is replaced with excitement about the many activities to come.

This holiday season, give yourself a huge dose of self care. Please learn ways, either from me or someone else, to release your guilt. Learn to work with and honor your emotions, and learn how to turn them into emotions that feel good.

Connection Time

Here’s your first gift! Here is the recording from the last free call I did. I got great feedback from this call, and wanted to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful.

The Art of Self Care as a Parent – FREE Webinar

Happy first day of giving!

My Gift to You

Only my private clients know this, but my son was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

The past two months have been an emotional roller coaster for both of us. It’s been a time filled with doctor visits, huge medical decisions, scary but real statistics, and lots of emotions! It’s been one of those hard times that there’s no way out of, only a way through. It has also given me an to decide how to work through it.

Initially, I have to admit, I cried a lot. Then, I started increasing my self care, and asking myself deep questions like, “What do I really want? What is most important to me? How do I want to handle this? What feels right to me?”

When major life-changing events like this happen, it is important to not just go through the motions, but to really sit down and discover what we want and need. And then, to find a way to honor the answers.

The answer for me was to restructure my business, open up my schedule, slow down our lives, and make room for more togetherness time. So, I am in the process of moving to a much smaller town, I have increased my support from others, have put self care as a even greater priority in my life, and have decreased my number of private clients so I can be with my son more.

I know for certain that the very most important thing to me is to be with my son and support him in his healing. I also know that in order to do that, I needed to get in touch with what I need the next year to look like, and how I am going to make time for self care. So, I have come up with a solid plan, that also allows room for any bumps that may occur. I have boosted my support system, and made many changes that feel good to me.

By the way, this is one of the ways that you know you are showing up for yourself and achieving self care–you DEEPLY feel good about it.

Since I am not planning on doing as many free classes for awhile, I have decreased my personal clients. I am sad in a way to do this, as I love working with and helping my clients; but it is what I need to do in order to get in touch with what matters to me most. It is also still very important to me to give to and help other people, and so to thank you for reading my newsletter and seeking to improve your parenting, I will be giving you a gift in each newsletter throughout the month of December. That’s four gifts of self care for you.

You guessed it–I am going to participate in the 12 Days of Christmas/giving to myself theme that I talked about in last week’s newsletter. Yes, I sing the song a lot these days, because it is so catchy, makes me feel good, and is fun! I need things right now that lift my spirits and make my life a little happier and smoother.

I don’t want to overwhelm you with emails, so instead of 12 gifts, I will just do one each week, which I’ll include at the end of each newsletter this month. Each will be a small gift of self care that I hope will help you make this holiday season one that is filled with love, peace, and joy.

Celebrating love, peace, and joy!

Phil DentonAs we head into the busy season of holiday parties, traditions, traveling, and visiting family, it’s important to remember what the holiday season is really about.–It’s about love, peace, and joy.

Before you get too busy, I think it would be valuable to take a little time to explore what love, peace, and joy means to you.

Does it mean getting together with those you love, laughing, playing games, and eating a great meal? Does it mean going on a great vacation? What does it really mean to you? What matters most to you?

By identifying what love, peace, and joy means to you, you can head into the holiday season with a plan to thoroughly enjoy it. This is part of self care, moms and dads–knowing what you need and honoring your needs and values.

Let me give you an example from my own life. As I have mentioned before, my son has been having some health issues, so we are spending a lot of time at the doctor’s. So, when I did this exercise–sitting down and asking myself what love, peace, and joy mean to me, and how I want to bring that definition and value into our holiday season celebrations–I came up with laughter, fun, and time with my son doing things that we both enjoy.

What did I do with that? I planned our holiday activities with this insight in mind. I made a motto for myself for the next month or so. I am planning activities that we can do together and that make us both laugh. Our goal for this month is love, peace, and joy–which for us means lots of fun time together.

Take time to identify what love, peace, and joy mean to you and your family, and plan your holiday activities with that insight. If you love to be around people, fit in lots of time doing just that. If you prefer to be on your own, do more of that. If you love to travel, or attend holiday celebrations, then do that.  The whole idea is to take better care of yourself, honor your needs and desires, and do more things that bring YOU love, peace, and joy.

Feel happier, parent happier, be happier!

Connection Time: One Hug at a Time

One Hug at a Time

This week, I’m going to let you guess what the activity is, and then I will write more about it within the next couple of weeks. I want to see what you come up with! In fact, I’ll make this a contest.

The goal of the activity is to increase your relationship with your kids one hug at a time.

Send me an email with your guess as to what the exercise is, and  if you are correct—or close to correct—I will give you one month of The Art of Self Care as a Parent for free. That’s a $97 value for free, for guessing how to improve your relationship with your kids. Doesn’t that sound like a win-win?

No One Said Parenting Was Easy

dr seussThose of you who are parents know that parenting is not the easiest thing you have ever done, to say the least! It takes a lot of physical, emotional,  and mental energy. Parenting is also fun, of course; and if you let it, it can be the best teacher you’ll ever have as well as the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do.

True enough, parenting is hard for most of us, but you can do it and even enjoy the ride. You just need to give yourself the tools and support you need.

How do you do that?

I tell you this all the time—take better care of yourself.

Look at parenting like anything else you do in life that you want to achieve and be successful at. You get educated about it, you get support, and then you do what you have to do, including take care of yourself, so you can achieve your goal.

If your goal is to pass a test, you learn the new skill—meaning you study and practice, and maybe get some teaching or tutoring, and then the night before a test you eat a good meal and get plenty of sleep.

If your goal is to be a great parent (which I’m sure it is), and you’re struggling a bit (which most of us do from time to time) then help yourself toward that goal by taking better care of yourself.

Most parents take better care of themselves when preparing for a test than they do when preparing to succeed at  parenting. This seems kinda crazy to me. Parenting is much harder than taking a test. You are learning new skills every day, and need to do what you can to be at your best to be able to learn.

The first step is to know yourself and what you need. Don’t sacrifice yourself if you don’t have to. One of the skills I teach is allowing yourself to quickly notice what you really need, and then finding a way to fit it in that works for you and your family.

Let me tell you a personal story. 

My son has been having health problems, and has been spending more time than usual with me. So when I dropped him off at daycare today, he begged me to not leave him. He wanted to stay with me. I’m taking about uncontrollable crying. This ripped my heart out, and made me feel sooo guilty. We all want to make our kids happy, and often sacrifice ourselves in our attempts to do so. I struggle with the same things as any parent.

I almost took him home. However, I took a couple of deep breaths, and used one of the techniques I teach my clients, and was able to ground myself and make the best choice at the time. I made sure that nothing has happened at the daycare that would be putting him in harm’s way, and then I was able to realize that I really needed the time to write this letter and do many other things that I would struggle with getting done if he was around. I am so glad I made that choice.

He is having fun (I have to admit, I sent his care provider a couple of texts to make sure of that), and I took a walk, meditated, coached a couple of clients ,and got a lot of work done. Now, I am on my way to pick up my son. And I feel great because I took time to give myself a bit of self care. I took care of my guilty feelings, and was able to realize that this was coming up for me because I am worried about my son’s health and just want to snuggle him and watch him to make sure he is okay. However, the truth is that by taking time to give to myself and keep up with my work, I feel renewed and can better care for him.

By the way, I didn’t have to spend a long time on my self care. Recognizing that I needed it, and then doing one of the  five-minute exercises that I teach, was more than enough. Self care doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of time on yourself. It’s about learning a technique that works for you, and using it—regularly.

Somedays We Need Extra Self Care

5588_575011085908907_429576576_nYou usually hear from me on Wednesdays, but I had an extremely challenging day with my son, and thought sharing about it might help you. My son, as you know, has some special needs, and sometimes he wakes up in … I don’t even have the words for it other than a funk. Yesterday was one of those days.

He was defiant, mean, aggressive, and the list goes on. Days like this happen with him, although not as often as they used to. But here is the part that is different. I was in a bit of a funk myself, and lost my temper with him—multiple times. Now, if you yell often, please don’t feel bad. I’m not telling you this so you can feel more guilty than you already do, or judge your parenting. I am sharing this with you because most days I am patient and can help my son, but yesterday I had just had enough. I needed a time out, some sleep, and really, some help.

Can you relate? Have you had a day like this?

Well, we got through the day, but it was just barely getting through it, and the night went the same. It was long and emotionally draining. So, today I have taken time to nurture myself. I have been sitting outside and am outside while I am writing this. I’m doing A LOT of breathing, I did a little yoga by myself in a nearby park, and am completing all the work I need to before I pick my son up from his camp.

See, I know that yesterday was just a bad day. I am not proud that I yelled at my son, or really hit the end of my rope emotionally, but I know that today does not have to be like tomorrow and the first thing I need to do is give myself a little self care.

By doing some things to nurture myself, I am able to bring compassion to the guilt I feel and embrace it. After that, I am able to see that yesterday my son was very difficult, and as a single parent I did not have anyone to help me. My son was also up the night before, so I had little sleep and just did not have energy for the battles that he was starting. So, I got sucked in. Which really I think we all do at times. Today, I’ve repaired my relationship with him by first saying I’m sorry and talking to him about it. Then I took time to nurture my relationship with me. Because I know that my mindset and energy is what is going to create a different day than yesterday.

So, fellow parents, when you have days like I just did, make sure you repair your relationship with you. This is a step that most of us often forget.

As always, if you need help, support, or get a bit stuck, I am just a phone call or email away.

Happy Parenting!

Connection Time: Hunting for Acorns

I thought I would share one of my son’s new passions. It’s acorns! I’m not joking. He loves to collect acorns these days (along with sticks and rocks, of course). So, I decided to join in on the fun.

We compare sizes, shapes, and colors of the acorns we find. I know there is not huge variation, but there is more than you might think. It has been a great bonding experience for my son and me. It has also helped me to get more in touch with the moment and notice what is. I had never noticed the variation in shades of brown and green, and the many difference in sizes that acorns can have.

Take a walk and try it. This exercise will help you be more in the moment, and it’s fun!

Noticing What Is

Have you noticed how kids–especially young ones–are excellent observers?

Kids tell you exactly how they feel and what they see. When they are happy, they let you know. When they are mad, they tell you. When they are hurt, they show it. They live in the moment, state what they notice, and express how they feel.

How often are you living and seeing and feeling in the moment, like a young child? When was the last time that you slept when you were tired, ate when you were hungry, and went outside to play when you wanted to have some fun?

I know that as adults you have many responsibilities, but don’t you think you can at least occasionally allow yourself to be in the moment and just notice what is?

As you know, one of the key things I talk about is parents needing to take better care of themselves, and this is one way you can do that. This is one of the basics that I teach parents who I work with. This is a hallmark of self care.

This week, take a couple of minutes a day to just notice how you are feeling, what you are thinking, and what is going on around you. Keep it simple, like a young child does. Just notice.

Happy noticing!