January 11, 2013

YOU First

One of the hardest things for parents to do – especially moms – is to prioritize their needs over the needs of their child(ren).

In fact, many parents feel tremendous guilt just thinking about doing something for themselves.

Well if you’re in that camp or struggle with tending to your needs in any way, this video is going to completely shift the way you think about and understand self-care.

I don’t want to be over-dramatic, but the truth is that if you aren’t taking care of you every single day, you could be on a collision course for derailing your health, your partnership and the relationships with your kids.

Yeah, it’s really that big and really that important.

But not to worry, because I’ve put together an 8-minute video that is going to give you a crash course in self-care PLUS a sweet little gift that I know will come in handy for you.

Go have a look right now and BE SURE to download the free gift after you make a comment on the blog.


FREE GIFT: I put together a 1-page outline of self-care ideas that you can easily implement into your daily life, instantly. There are 30-60 second fill ups, 10-30 minute fill ups and hour-day long ideas. Download the list and jump in!

So: how are you going to start taking care of yourself more often?? Your first step is to DECLARE that you’re committed to self-care. So head to the blog RIGHT NOW and let the world know what you’re going to do for YOU!

Oh, and if you know of anyone else that can use some self-care – parents, grandparents, or even friends or colleagues without kids for that matter – send them a link to the blog. They’ll thank you for it and you’ll be spreading some goodness and love all around you!

Take care.

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  • I'm grateful for time to watch your video and read your blog

    Hi Carrie. I am an LPC and educator. Most of my time is spent with parents and children. I always share with parents that they cannot be the best caregiver to their children if they do not take care of themselves first. Love your idea of micro, mini, and large fill-ups. I enjoy so much the offerings you place on your website, blog, videos. You are a truly a gift to parents.....and professionals. I am making a commitment in 2013t to share your website with parents as an additional tool in their parenting toolbox.
    • Hi Joan, Thank you! I am so grateful to know that people like you are out there supporting families and spreading the word. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. My very very best, Carrie
  • I'm grateful for the kids happily playing together giving me enough time to watch this video

    I agree it is so very important that we take care of ourselves first. After watching your video I realized I already do a lot of this. But I will be working on making it a daily thing where as right its only a last resort. When I can feel rage/anger building I will put the kids fav show on and take my drink and snack into a separate room. I explain to my kids (4 and 8) that mommy needs some alone time. Sometimes it lasts for 5m other times I have had an hour but its enough to shift the direction of the day. Thank you for the videos they are a constant source of support.
    • I love when something I share helps parents realize that they are already doing just that. Music to my ears! This is a great example, too. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Tabitha!
  • I'm grateful for the back massage my husband is giving me right now!

    Watching this video made me feel better as I'm already doing a lot of these things and didn't realize it. I am going to work on big fill ups though by trying to do a weekly yoga class.
    • Oooh, a back massage. Nice. Just as I said to Tabitha above, I am so glad this video affirmed that what you are already doing to take care of yourself is valuable. And, glad it inspired you to do more! Thank you Rebecca.
  • I'm grateful for how much my family enjoys being together, even with 3 teenagers and 2 younger ones in the house!

    It is so hard to do things just for me, just because I want to, an to think of it as "need" rather than "want". Thanks for the reminder! "
    • You are welcome. Stop back and re-watch this video anytime you need help remembering. It's not a luxury, it's a necessity!
  • I'm grateful for realizing that focusing on connecting to my daughter was the key to her being ok with our house move

    I'm going to sign up for a weekly yoga class and get back to daily meditation!
    • Yahoo! Go mama go!!!
  • I'm grateful for quiet early mornings.

    Just a few weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon at the end of a very long work week, I was telling my mom how I just don't understand why P (my toddler son) was having meltdowns and whining and 'taking-taking-taking' when it felt like all I was doing was giving-giving-giving. Then I bursted out in tears. .... It took me a bit but I realized that *I* was having a meltdown, I was feeling whiney, I was crying, and what I needed was to take-take-take :) Take care of myself, that is. :) Since that revelation hit me, I do more medium-sized self-care things...sometimes it means that I sleep instead of making lunch for the next day, or it means that I read up on my RSS feed instead of folding clothes, or it means I veg out with my partner and watch a show on NetFlix instead of finishing up something for work. And the thing is... those chores can wait, but my taking care of myself first....can't. Not if I want to be the kind of parent, partner, and person (employee, boss, etc), that I want to be. (side note: i also found that having a small healthy snack and a toy from home on hand during after-daycare pick-up really helps the little guy stay chill until dinner! :))
    • You wrote: "And the thing is... those chores can wait, but my taking care of myself first....can't. Not if I want to be the kind of parent, partner, and person (employee, boss, etc), that I want to be." YES YES YES YES YES!!!!! Thank you for sharing your wise thoughts and insights, Nolli. I also agree that having a healthy snack and toy for pick up can make a world of difference. Well done and thank you!
  • I'm grateful for a silent house and, thus, the chance to check off now completed to do items!

    This year, I've committed to plan my week each Sunday. I have a checklist for everything that I need to include, and I make sure to schedule time to work out and "me" time, whatever that might be. Thank you so much for the videos, blogs, and various support you provide, Carrie. I share your resources all the time because I'm certain they have helped me to be a better parent and for my husband and I to parent together.
    • You are so welcome, Amy. I appreciate your comments. I know it's super helpful for other parents out there to hear how folks are taking care of themselves. And thank you for sharing my stuff. I'm grateful.
  • I'm grateful for my family being over last week's flu/bronchitis/sickness

    Once a week I write down 5 things I'm thankful for. Most of the time, they are not profound--just something I look up and think--yep, thankful for that right now. What happened is that it started as a silly practice, but after a few months really changed my overall outlook. For me, the power of suggestion has been the best medicine.
    • Having a regular gratitude practice is life changing. Actually, the video I'm sending out on Thursday expresses that exact message. So glad you have found it beneficial. Sometimes, in the midst of family life, 10 seconds to rattle off 5 things that are positive and working is all you've got. Glad you are rockin' it, Donna.
  • I'm grateful for air conditioning

    This idea of self care has revolutionized my world. seriously. i used to always give all of myself to everyone else first; i never had anything left over for ME. But that's all changed. in fact, without being selfish about it, i know come from the perspective of "how can i give myself what i need and want in this moment and then have others around me (wife, kids, colleagues, friends) get what they need as a result?" It's served me very, very well. I now have more energy than ever to achieve my wants and dreams. thank you carrie! oh, and here's what i'm going to do for myself TODAY: eat a really healthy lunch; make time so i have a lot of time and space to cook a great dinner for my family (b/c I LOVE to cook); i'm going to watch another episode of my new show that i like "breaking bad." and i'm going to ask my wife if she's up for some "fun" tonight! psyched.
    • Thanks for this Marc! These are great examples. Good luck tonight;)
  • I'm grateful for i am grateful that we enjoy spending time with our amazing adult children and they feel the same about us!

    i started to follow you through slow family living website and love your work! i am a retired family therapist who specialized in early childhood development and issues. i wish i knew about you when i was practicing bc you have an amazing way of explaining and reinforcing the things i used to try to convey to my clients!! many of my friends never understood why my husband and i had a standing babysitter for date nite (even when sometimes we just did calendars or bickered!) let alone help families already in distress try to think about self care! but your logical approach and soothing voice and upbeat attitude are just what parents need! BRAVA!! my desire at this point in my career is to effect change through legislation so that we have more (and more accurate) parenting info available for families (the copious number of books doesn't cut it)...most of the parenting programs nationally are aimed at families at risk or already in crisis but i would love to see your concepts and validated info be the kind of thing all families could take advantage of!! thanx for your fine work!
    • Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to write, Marianne. I so appreciate your kind words and your commitment to making big changes that help families. I would love to hear more about your work. Please stay in touch!
  • I'm grateful for dear friends who fill me up and inspire me to be a better human

    One of my dearest friends sent me this video after many long talks about how I feel like so often I find myself feeling like I am just barely hanging on...and just basically a mess. I'm tired of being exhausted and therefore very impatient, yelling at my kids, getting really angry that they won't just do what I say, and feeling very guilty and judgmental about it all. I have been lost in the "old way" of thinking :) So I am grateful for another perspective on self-care--that it is not selfish but absolutely necessary. I know it will be a process to change my thoughts and behaviors on this, but I am so grateful for beginning it! To start, I plan to give myself 20-30 of quiet time each day, take a short nap if I feel I need it when my kids are napping, continue to exercise at least 3 x/week, and GO TO BED BY 9:30 each night. Thanks so much for the inspiration!
    • That sounds like an awesome plan, Shannon. You've got this. Even if you do one of those things a day you will be doing more than enough. Have fun with it. And stay tuned, I've got more goodies coming.
  • I'm grateful for eyes to see

    thank you so much for all your helpul suggestions. I continuously suggest your site to friends and family who are doing the parenting tango! I believe I can incoporate more of these "boosters" into my routine to make my life easier which in return will make everyone in my family happier and recycle that back to me! Thanks!!
    • By George I think she's got it!
  • I'm grateful for Sitting in front of a warm fire listening to music with my husband

    I needed this very much today. For no reason at all I found my batteries losing charge faster today than usual. This really strikes home at just the right moment. Thank you
    • You are most welcome. Come back and watch anytime you need a reminder.
  • I'm grateful for kids on the mend and a good morning.

    After your awesome Best Year Ever workshop I was ready to ramp-up the self care. My New Year's resolution was to spend less time with my family this year (in only the best sense of the way--more "me" time and more "husband and me" time, since I'm with them all their waking hours), but as soon as I got back from the workshop my kids got sick and then I got sick. This is our 9th (!!!) day homebound (not helping with my resolution). Both of the girls had flu-like symptoms and the 3-yr-old has had pneumonia to top it off. I, literally, came down with aches and fever when I was taking them to the pediatrician and spent the week sick too but HAD to focus on taking care of them: breathing treatments, doctors appointments, carrying the 3-yr-old because she didn't have the strength to walk, cleaning up puke , keeping them hydrated, trying to keep up with everyone's medicine intake and staying up two nights with my oldest making sure she was breathing okay. BUT, I've tried my hardest to 1. say YES to any one who will watch TV (and not feel a bit guilty), 2. not worry about any cooking/cleaning, 3. put my feet up and read a book or closed my eyes while they watch movies, 4. try to make sure I took medicine and drank fluids too so I'd feel better and could take care of them, 5. sleep whenever I could, 6. put my New Year's resolution on hold and not worry about it, for now. This is the best I've done (no freakouts!) for an extended drain on me and I know the thought about self-care, if even in the back of my mind, has helped me not lose my mind and I think it (and the TV) has made a rough 9 days a little bit better.
    • Oh Lisa, oh oh oh. What a week. And, it sounds like you did an awesome job of staying mindful of your need for self-care. Even i the midst of illness mayhem. Well done! And now that everyone is on the mend be sure to take a little (or a lot) extra for yourself. Fill 'er up!
  • I'm grateful for the luxury of the first-world problem of how to be the most awesome possible parent

    Your message is so helpful--especially reminding us to de-link FEELINGS of failure from BEING a failure, and instead use them as a cue to become more aware. Lately I've been picking up the ukelele and singing when a sense of overwhelm comes on. It's a great way to laugh at your own sense of things being an emergency. I call it my practice in absurdism.
  • I'm grateful for YOU! Carrie...

    I am very thankful for you Carrie. I have learned so much from watching the small video clips about self care, coupledom, etc. I am at the bottom of my battery life and you are re-charging me. I have begun looking at things positively (even the things I hate doing like laundry), taking time out of the doing-doing-doing for some "me" time. I can't thank you enough! warm hugs for you Carrie.
  • I'm grateful for Finding Your Extraordinary Life!

    …and through it, connections to other wise, helpful, caring minds, and back to you, Carrie, and the Holiday Challenge. I was feeling pretty at wits' end. The insight and compassion and ring of truth and sense of fun are helping, as are the practical exercises in getting grounded.
  • I'm grateful for having found professionals like Carrie to help me parent my twins

    I loved this video and the concept of the fill ups - the recharges as this makes self care so so easy to understand and to fit into our lives! I currently am running a diary of self care and I am pretty good about the mini recharges but need to plan some larger ones regularly. I loved the pdf page of ideas too - Carrie you are a parenting treasure!!! XXXXX
  • I'm grateful for Calm quiet mornings

    When school first began the entire family had to adjust to having a kindergartener. School starts early! Both my daughter and myself are not morning people. At first I was setting the alarm with just enough time to get up, get dressed, and then get her up. Mornings were so rough and I hated them. It took about a week of this before I realized this was not going to work!!! Thanks to some insight ( Credit Evolve...) I figured out that I need some time and space to get myself grounded in the day before I wake up the little person that plugs into my battery and stars draining it. I now set the alarm so I can wake 45 minutes before I have to be on for the day. I have my coffee and enjoy the quiet of the house while I check email or spend a few indulgent minutes on Pinterest. It was hard to decide to give up the extra 45 minutes of sleep but it has made all the difference in the start to our day. I actually lay in bed at night and look forward to the morning, especially now I start the day with the Extraordinary Holiday Challenge. ☺️
  • I'm grateful for the smell of my christmas tree

    I just sent this to 3 awesome moms who work really hard. :) I am gonna go to bed and get a good night of sleep. I love your suggestions. Also, you are so beautifully normalizing and validating and relatable. I'm so so glad I found your blog.
  • I'm grateful for yoga!

    I go to yoga at least twice a week, sometimes 3. My whole family notices how I return in a better space. On days that I am trying to hit the early yoga and my boys are lagging behind, I just ask if they want yoga mommy to pick them up today and they hustle:) I didn't start yoga until we decided to homes chool part-time. I realized that I needed to do something for me consistently or I would seriously lose. my. mind.
  • I'm grateful for sleeping children!

    I'm so thankful for all of the tools I've discovered at the parenting workshop (at Covenant last month) and through your website/holiday challenge- thank you! I'm following you on Pinterest and would love to pin some of your videos, your ideas for self-care pdf, love cards, etc. but didn't see them. I think that would be awesome way to reach more of my mama friends about you, if you're so inclined. :)
    • Kari!! I loved that talk at Covenant. It was truly a wonderful time. Great suggestion about pinterest - I went ahead and added some videos for you to share. Thank you! Hope to see you at Best Year Yet!
  • I'm grateful for Watching this a few times!!

    I've watched this video and read this page a few times and it is almost reassuring me that I need different amounts of self care during different times. I'm learning what requires more of my energy and that recharging myself ahead of time helps the little people around me be able to handle they're stress and frustrations better. It's giving me the energy, love, patience, and compassion to understand that what they are experiencing is a real stress for them and how can I help provide them with tools and ideas to manage the stress. For my school age children this has been amazing! Even just teaching them to assess they're own needs and feelings has been amazing. Thanks for all your teaching!! It's been life changing!!
  • I'm grateful for YOU!! :)

    I recommit to self care!! When I don't have time for large fill ups, I will add reminders on my phone today (I use the any.do app) to remind myself to deep breathe, jump, dance, sing etc (with or without my 2 year old). Yoga is a priority everyday during nap time but I am ready for more hour long hikes in the woods or around the lake (my medium fill up) when it is not so cold outside! And scheduling date nights with my hubby (my supercharger) once a month (at least!!) once we get settled into our new home and after the busy holiday season! Thanks for all you do, Carrie! These reminders & suggestions are so super helpful!!

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