TAKING CARE OF (ALL OF) YOU
BY KAELA LAROSA
So this goes in order and I think the older I've gotten (and more) kids I've had this has proven to be truer and truer. If YOU (mama) aren't on top, you can't keep your relationship strong and you can't parent at your best. Love is separate of this, you know that, loving your little one is the easiest part of it all.
1. TAKE CARE OF YOU - WHATEVER THAT MEANS FOR YOU
For me it's a grand balance. I like to do yoga, I like to bake cakes, I like to go to the grocery store alone and browse and read labels and not have anyone hanging on me asking what Star Wars cereal tastes like, I like to go meet my girls for a trip to the sauna and drink too much sake first so we can't even go. I mean this list changes daily but you get the idea. Exercise, see your friends, be ALONE so you can recharge and refresh and be excited to see your kid(s) and partner.
2. TAKE CARE OF YOU TWO
You and your partner that is. Have sex! Seriously, make sure you do that. Even though it's what got you into this situation to start, it's fun, it makes you happy, confident and helps you sleep :-) But in addition, semi regular time to hang out, to eat, to talk, even (and especially) about the kids makes such a difference. Sometimes we just make a deal to turn off our phones and not watch TV, make a nice dinner and open a bottle of wine and it's amazing what we manage to talk about and flirt a bit and just feel like US again which is who we still are, just a little covered in snot and squashed bananas sometimes.
3. TAKE CARE OF YOU ALL
You and your partner and your kid(s) being a family, it's something amazing. Including them in the everyday stuff, from laundry to baking, makes them feel good and makes you feel good to have them help. Take time to do new things, go away for the weekend when you can, even it's just swapping apartments with a friend across town, etc. to change things up, keeps the kids super happy and engaged. Seeing you and your partner happy and excited also makes them feel happy and secure and confident and goofy. And that is just such an wonderful thing to see.
It's not easy but if you keep it in mind and make the effort... don't get me wrong, I still have days I don't manage to shower let alone do any of the above but when I do, when I make this way habit and real life, it shows in how I feel about myself, my productive output, my coordinating of the kids and home etc.