As parents, the days are full. The nights are sleepless. And the free time is practically unable to be seen. Time for building and maintaining friendships? Can’t see it. Time to relax by yourself? Impossible. This is just what parenthood is and it is the reality that you should expect, master, and adore for the next 18+ years of your life. Because if you don’t love every second of this crazy merry-go-round, then you’re a selfish person who shouldn’t have had kids.

Well, I disagree. Tremendously. I think you can be a parent AND your days can be less full than they are right now. You can find sleep for yourself. And that free time can be rediscovered. I believe friendships are important and that self care should be on your priority list. I don’t think any of this is out of the realm of possibility and I think it will make you a better parent in the end.

This month, we will be talking about 4 ways that you can be more intentional in your relationships and with self-care. Here’s a little preview of what’s to come…

Be Mindful.

I’ll never forget being pregnant with my first child and starting to experience the crazy phenomenon of ‘Mommy-brain.’ Until then, I thought it was some silly joke made up to make pregnant women feel better when they found themselves forgetful and you didn’t want to hurt their hormonal feelings. But no. It’s actually real! And now that I’m a mother of 6 and 8 year old boys, I’m not sure if it’s ever left. As parents, we carry so many responsibilities that our mental load can be overwhelming. It’s in that fog that relationships and self care begin to slip away. But friends… it doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways to add more mental space in our days for ourselves, and for those we want to intentionally stay connected to.

Be Generous.

One of the things I’ve found most freeing in friendship is to live with a spirit of generosity. The best thing that comes from this is that it keeps me from worrying about who owes who what. Maybe it’s picking up the tab at dinner, buying their coffee, or always being the one to host the parties. No matter what it is, if I’m doing it from a heart of generosity, then I’m not waiting for someone to pay me back. It’s a beautiful thing that really eliminates a potential source of contention between friends.

Be Available.

This day in age, I believe loneliness is stronger than ever. The highlight reels of social media prime us for jealousy and our busy calendars keep us from feeling like we can ever make room for those fun social activities everyone seems to be attending without us. We feel like we can’t keep up, so we don’t bother trying. But friends… I think the real relationships are built in the one-on-one time, not in the fancy nights out (although those have their place and time too!). While getting together in person for a cup of coffee is ideal, technology has given us so many creative ways to connect on a daily basis through text and video. If you haven’t checked out the app, Marco Polo, yet… do it! It has been a game changer for me and I’ll be talking more about it later this month.

Just Say Thank You.

When someone helps you out or offers you an opportunity for rest, just say thank you. Take that guilt, ball it up, throw it on the ground, and stomp on it. You are worthy of some peace and quiet and you are allowed to enjoy it without feeling one ounce of guilt.

I hope you’ll join us this month as we talk more about each of these ideas in more detail. Follow us on Instagram to get all the goods. We’ll be sharing daily tips to bring these practices into your life and we’ll be going live every Thursday at 2:00 EST on both Facebook and Instagram to chat live with you on each of these topics.

In case you missed it, here’s the first live video where we kicked off our January Challenge – #areyouonyourlist #oldnewandyou

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