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What Does Self-Care Even Mean When It Comes To Parenting?

Written by: Jennifer Wert, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


It’s pretty challenging to prioritize self-care while living in the go-go-go norm of American culture. For parents of young ones, it’s just that much harder. Your attention is naturally focused on the needs of your children and providing for them the best you can. It’s too easy to let yourself fall to the very bottom of the list.

And yet, proven time and again is the need to reconnect with ourselves in order to best parent. We need to remember that we have our own experiences, our own emotions and our own limits. Certain things make us feel good. Others less so. There are activities that inspire us and some that drain us. We’ve got to tune in. I remember the time when my daughter was seven years old, my own therapist asking me, “So, what do you want?” I was literally confounded by the question. “Well, what's funny is that what Tate really needs is quite different than what she wants …” (nervous giggle) She interrupts with: “No, what is it that you want?”

“The thing is, Dave always says …”

Repeat: “Nooo, what do you want, Jenn?”

“Tate wants …”

She interrupts again, looking at me patiently but with eyes wide and eyebrows up. “I want to hear what YOU want.” Humbled by not being able to answer these simple questions, it became clear I hadn’t asked myself this in years. I’d completely forgotten how to utilize this muscle. I find myself, today, doing this very same type of questioning with many of my coaching clients. Parents easily forget themselves in their altruistic pursuit of being a good parent. Checking in with yourself is a skill you can lose sight of when all of your attention is on your kiddos. Not only checking in but also hearing yourself can become difficult. And we all know selflessness is not healthy leadership. Rather, having a strong sense of self leads to better, more meaningful relationships.

It may mean asking for help from a family member or friend when you need a break. Hiring a babysitter so you can work out or take a long walk with a neighbor. Saying no to your kiddo sleeping with you when you need alone time and space. Cutting back on your commitments in order to make room for activities that feed your soul ‒ being with a good friend, writing in your journal or attending a class you've been wanting to take.

Your children need you to know yourself, to listen to yourself, and to be yourself. If you’ve lost touch with who you are or have forgotten what makes you happy just as a human being, it’s time to have a look.

When you do things that please you, not just that you have to do, you ultimately recharge your whole system. Reboot. Reset. And your children will be as delighted by this as you. They may not want to give you the space, however, once you insist upon it, and return to them having taken time for yourself, they’ll be happy to re-meet you.

In my parent coaching practice, this is a common theme I hear from parents across the country. To be a conscious parent, you’ve got to make room for yourself in the precious relationship you hold with your children.

You can also get connected to her social media accounts; Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn! Read more from Jennifer!


Jennifer Wert, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Professional Parent Coach, Jenn Wert, serves parents of young children around the globe who are looking for support in their conscious parenting. With a Master’s in Education, educator, and doula experience along with post-graduate social-emotional training, Jenn knows how to counsel parents who want to authentically communicate with their children. After decades of her own therapy, while concurrently working with many different family types, she brings honesty to her conversations and discernment to her listening that allows clients to grow. Jenn inspires parenting that is nurturing, true and transformative.



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