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 Acceptance and Enjoying the Moment

The holidays are almost over, and I’m sure you are exhausted. I also know that many people look to New Year’s Eve as a day to come up with a new plan for their life and change either something about it, or about themselves. Well, I’m going to encourage you to do something a bit different. I want you to enjoy the moment. Stay in this moment, and enjoy the gift of acceptance.

What do I mean by this? Well, instead of coming up with a plan for how you can change the way you look, for example to lose weight, I’m encouraging you to give yourself the gift of accepting yourself—truly accepting and loving who you are, just the way you are, right now. I want you to not only enjoy your kids, but to enjoy yourself.

Being happy is about enjoying the moment, and accepting the moment is a great way to enjoy it.

Look, I know this sounds a bit “woo woo,” but it is true and it works. So, for at least today, and tomorrow for New Year’s, can you accept and enjoy your life just the way it is? I would love it if this was your new year’s resolution.

If you give this to yourself as a news year’s resolution/gift, you will experience a huge shift of happiness in your life.

It’s not that you won’t exercise, but you will do it for better health, because you love yourself—not because you feel you should look or be different.

Let me give you an example from my life. I did not plan on my son having a brain tumor, and this one was hard to accept. It took a lot, and I mean a lot, of tears, coaching, and healing for me to get to where I am now. But when I shifted into acceptance, true acceptance—meaning that I stopped asking why this happened and thinking about how unfair it is— then my time with my son became much sweeter. It was much more fun, and I was able to stay in the moment, rather than thinking about how I wanted it to be different. We are doing well, having fun, and truly enjoying our holiday.

So, my new year’s focus (I prefer this word to resolution) is to enjoy life with my son more. This means that instead of asking “When will this stop?” I ask myself how we can enjoy where we are.

Connection Time – The Game of Asking and Receiving

This game is my fourth gift to you.

The holidays are the perfect time of year to play this game. Most of you are with your families, and there are lots of extra people around to practice with, so here is a fun “asking and receiving” game.

First, take a few minutes—lock yourself in the bathroom if you have to—and close your eyes. Take a couple of deep breaths. Full inhales and exhales. Feel your body relax and visualize the breath moving from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Do this 3 times.

Then, ask yourself: “What support do I need today? How would support feel good to me today?” Let the answer come.

Lastly, put your hand on your heart and thank yourself for giving you the answer. Then get up and go ask one of the “extra” people in your house—it’s the holidays so I’m guessing there are at least a few extra people there—to support you by helping you or taking care of whatever came up for you.

Then—and this is most important, and for many of you the hardest—allow yourself to receive the support. Let them do what you asked them to do.
Happy receiving support.

As always, I’m just an email or phone call away. If you need my support with this exercise, or anything else, contact me.

The Gift of Receiving and How to Get Support

This week we are going to talk about asking for support. This is a tricky one for many people. I have struggled with it myself often, and still have to watch my mindset and energy around it.

Asking for support can be challenging for many people, and there are many reasons why. Sometimes it is a learned behavior from their parents, other times a habit they created themselves, or something innate that they did not learn.

Most often the issue is that they feel they should do it all on their own. This is the case for most parents. I call this the “Super-parent Complex.” Not the wonder woman/super mom that I was for Halloween :-). I’m talking about the parent that feels they should do it all and holds themselves accountable to do more than they can actually handle. You see, we often—me included—push ourselves further than we really need to. I’m not talking about stretching your boundaries and growing. I’m talking about always pushing yourself day and night and living sleep deprived. When you do this, not only are you not taking care of yourself, but you can’t receive help or support.

Take a deep breath and listen. You have to take care of yourself in order to be able to receive support. If you are exhausted, you don’t have time, and frankly are not enjoyable to talk to. If you do not take time to breathe, sit with yourself, and discover what you need, then how is anyone else going to be able to give it to you? They can’t. You all know this, and this may seem a bit more blunt than I normally say things, but I really want to help you. I know this is a huge issue for most parents. I want to help you get the support you need, because I know what a difference it makes. I’ve parented both ways, and the supported way is much more fun.

Connection Time: Giving and Receiving Tree

My son and I like to keep our minds and focus on gratitude. So, this is something we do every year, and sometimes a throughout the year. It’s called the giving and receiving tree.

True happiness comes from giving, but also from receiving. Most people are really good at one of the two, but struggle in the other area. So, here is a fun exercise that you can do with your kids that can help you reset your energy and mindset and help you get better at both giving and receiving.

We use a small tree, and each night we put one one piece of paper in its branches about r something we gave, and another about something we received.

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?