The Heart of a Parent

story by Noelle Martin MScFN RD of Meals for Me and my Minis

There is something that happens to a parent’s heart the day that their child is born. There is a new found love….one that you cannot put into words and one that you have never experienced before. You will do anything for this new tiny human. You are their advocate, their source of nourishment, their safe place. And as you do everything in your power to protect, nurture, and care for your precious little ones, your heart and mind can become weary.

This month, along with thinking of all the ways that you care for and love your child, I want to ask you to see if you are also loving and caring for yourself. Are you taking time to nurture your own soul and heart so that you have the energy and reserve to keep on giving? We live in a fast-paced world and it can be hard to guard our hearts and find time to rejuvenate. Here are 5 ways that you could consider filling your own cup this month without taking away from your time of being a fantastic parent!

  1. Create an appointment with yourself each day for 15 minutes when you can do something you love in silence. Whether it is taking a bath, enjoying a HOT cup of coffee, reading a book, praying, stretching, or walking….it is a time set aside for you to gather your thoughts and care for YOU
  2. Use your village. It has been said that “it takes a village”, but it can be hard to reach out for help. However, when we let our pride go and are bold enough to do so is amazing how great it feels to let go of one piece of the load we are carrying. And the most interesting part that we often do not think about is that the person helping us has the opportunity to feel wanted, needed, and helpful!
  3. Make time to connect with other parents.  It can be very difficult to take time away from the “need to” moments in life and make time for the “want to” moments in life. Realizing that socializing with others could quite possibly be a “need to” for connecting and coping may help you create this into a priority. It could be as part of a neighborhood playdate, a parent group at your local library, church, or community center, pick-up soccer or hockey, or the opportunity to step out for coffee at a time your children are cared for. However, it works best for you those “friendorphins” can go a long way!!!
  4. Allow yourself to have fun with your kids. I don’t know about you but when I take time to set aside my tasks, put my phone and computer away, and get down on the floor to create with Lego, playhouse or school, build a fort, or make a craft, I find that I feel so connected with my children and my heart fills with gratitude. Children have a way of making any situation so much fun and as moms, I think we need more fun in our daily life.
  5. Find a way to move. The endorphin release that comes from the daily activity is a great stress reducer. Finding ways to fit exercise in either with or without your children is a really great way to keep your heart and brain healthy…both physically and emotionally.

From one parent to another, a huge hug and high five. You are doing SO great! Just remember as you care for those sweet children to also value and care for yourself. You are incredibly important too!