taking care of yourself

Needs are part of the human experience.

In our Inspiring Connections parenting classes, Robin and I teach The ABC's of Five Core Needs:

Autonomy
Basic Essentials like food, water and safety
Connection
Contribution
Creativity

We all get snarky when we go too long without getting these core needs met, and then we aren't the kind of parent, spouse or friend that we want to be. Therefore, consider yourself Permitted to find ways to meet your needs, and to help your spouse find ways to meet his/hers! Just like they always say on the airplane -- secure your oxygen mask before securing that of your child's. If you pass out, you're no help!

There are plenty of ways to take care of yourself without compromising your values as a parent, so it's not an All or Nothing situation. There's quite a range of possibilities between having baby in bed with you and letting baby cry it out alone for hours. See the sleep entry in the newborns topic for some suggestions.

Parents are giving their children a powerful gift when they acknowledge their own human needs, as well as their children's, with neutral matter-of-fact acceptance, rather than hiding them because they seem like weaknesses. Modeling has a greater impact than anything else we do as parents.

It's wonderful for our kids to experience the joy and connection that happens while we brainstorm creative ways for both parties to get their needs met. That's a major life skill that will serve them well.

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