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    Balancing Parenthood: Prioritizing Self-Care for Happier Family

    Parenting! Nothing has brought me more joy, pain, and questions than parenting. My kids are my pride and joy; I love being a mom! Nothing brings me happiness more than seeing my kids doing activities they enjoy, having fun with their friends, relaxing in our home after a long week, and comforting them when they have a hard day. However, providing all that for them takes a lot of work on my part as their mom and my husband’s part as their dad! Parenting is hard work regardless of family structure, marital status, and number of kids in the home. 

    So what do we do when we, the parents, feel overworked and overtired regularly? When we have spent so much time pouring ourselves out to our partners, our kids, our friends, and our jobs. Oftentimes, our busyness, schedules, and tiredness become the trophy we carry around, trying to validate why we are more exhausted than the person next to us to justify to ourselves that we are doing okay. We find our escapes in social media and entertainment that display the value of exhaustion in a way that can often make us believe we must always strive for more to meet this so-called ‘status quo.’ And in this exhaustion, it is easy to start reacting negatively to our families, thus continuing a cycle that many of us have so desperately wanted to break. In comes the conversation of mental and emotional health. 

    Our mental health is intricately interwoven with our emotional and physical health. This is why somatic-based therapies can have a significant impact on people. We cannot be the most effective parent we can be when we are not caring for ourselves. Think of being on an airplane and the airline employees doing the pre-flight checklist. They remind passengers of the emergency exits and protocols and to always put on their own oxygen masks before helping someone else with theirs. This is protocol because how can you help someone effectively when your oxygen mask is not on? Taking care of yourself as a parent is not selfish but necessary. 

    Mom exercising with daughter demonstrating self-careI would venture to say many of you reading this have heard the saying, “More is caught than taught.” Imagine your children seeing you taking time to go to the doctor, exercise, practice self-care, and prioritize your needs from time to time. They are learning from your actions and behaviors more than from your words. By modeling healthy behaviors, you are teaching your children valuable lessons, and there may even be an opportunity for shared interests to grow! What are some practical steps we can take?

    1. Set Boundaries: Learn how and when to say no when feeling overwhelmed. 
    2. Practice Self-Care: Make time for the activities that recharge you mentally and emotionally. 
    3. Seek Support: It is okay to ask for help! Ask your partner or a friend for help when life feels out of balance. 

    These are just three practical steps we can take as parents that are beneficial not only for you but also for your children and your family. By prioritizing your well-being, you are ensuring that you have the energy to be the best parent you can be. If these are steps you would like help developing and would like to grow your support system, please reach out to us at New Heights Counseling! We have therapists who are ready to support you on your journey. 

    New Heights Counselors Available

    Fort Walton Beach Counseling 32547At New Heights Counseling, our therapists foster a supportive and non-judgmental environment where you can delve into your emotions and embark on a journey toward healing. Offering a comprehensive array of mental health services, New Heights Counseling is equipped to address a diverse range of concerns, including but not limited to anger management, trauma, anxiety, depression, stress, abuse, PTSD, self-esteem, confidence, body image, and eating disorders. With our compassionate counselors by your side, we are steadfast in our commitment to helping you achieve your personal goals.

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    Schedule (Last appointment – 4 PM)

    Person scheduling new heights counseling session on iPadSunday Closed

    Monday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Tuesday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Wednesday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Thursday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Evenings/Weekends by Appointment

    About the Author:

    Steph holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Crown College and is working towards a master’s degree in Counseling. With a background in higher education, particularly in administrative work and athletics, she discovered a passion for supporting adolescents and young adults. Steph’s professional experience in higher education fueled her interest in the mental health field. As a New Heights Student Intern, she is committed to learning and gaining experience to assist individuals in healing from trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.