As a mother to two young kids, I find myself constantly trying to give them the world. I want them to have everything they need, everything they want, and more. I want them to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled. But as I reflect on my own experiences, I realize that the best gift we can give our children is taking care of ourselves.
In 2016, my father was diagnosed with a terminal illness that would ultimately take his life two years later. That very day he received his diagnosis, he shared his regrets with me, wishing he had taken better care of himself when he was younger. He was quite reckless in his youth, or so he said. He had always put his health on the back burner, working long hours and neglecting his own well-being. As a result, he was now paying the price. It was a sobering reminder that our choices have consequences, and that we should prioritize our health and well-being for ourselves and for those we love.
We also lost my mother a few months before my father’s passing. It was all very sudden and had a profound impact on our family. It was devastating to realize that they would never be able to meet my children, to share in their joys and watch them grow. It was a harsh reminder that our health is not just about ourselves, but also about the people we love and who love us.
As a mother, I want to be there for my children for as long as possible. I want to watch them grow, to see them achieve their dreams, and to be there for them in times of need. But I also want to set an example for them, to show them that taking care of oneself is essential for a happy and fulfilling life. I want to teach them that self-care is not selfish, but rather a necessary part of being a healthy and present parent.
It’s not always easy to prioritize our own well-being, especially when we have young children to care for. But I believe that it’s important to make the effort, even if it means carving out just a few minutes each day for ourselves. Whether it’s going for a walk, practicing meditation, or simply taking a few deep breaths, self-care can make all the difference in our physical, emotional, and mental health.
As I continue on my parenting journey, I will always keep my father’s words in mind. I will make an effort to take care of myself for my own sake, and for the sake of my children. I want them to know that they are the most important people in my life, but that I can only be there for them if I take care of myself too. The best gift we can give our children is not material possessions or worldly success, but rather a healthy, happy, and present parent who is there for them every step of the way.
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