November 17, 2010

Time Out!! You Mean, For Me?

I taught another parenting class tonight.

The topic was hidden.

The Education Board made up the flier and I appreciate it.
(Because remember, the computer and I are still getting acquainted?) 

It was titled "How to Make the Holiday Season Wonderful"
(When I read it I wanted to go until I realized that it was my class)
That was followed with a description and under that the topic,
"Highlighting the Importance of Taking Time Out for Yourself."

It just really made me think.

If the title was, "Stopping Sibling Rivalry"
Or "How to Get Your Children to do What You Want",
Or "Getting Your Child's Education Paid For",
It would have been packed!

But taking time for yourself?

Aah, we say things like,
"It sounds like a great idea and class but who has the time and energy?
And it would only serve me anyway,

Some things I learned through necessity of being a single parent:

*If you don't take care of yourself no one else can.

*Know yourself.  Know the season you're in.  Know when to say no.
Know what you can and can't do.  (Don't lie to yourself.)

*We cannot give what we do not have.  You are the emotional source.
If you are depleted where will it come from?

*Are we all output and no input?

*Maybe he/she needs shoes more than you need a haircut,
but he/she needs you and your patience and love more than shoes.
That ability to give comes from us also meeting our needs.

*When we take care of ourselves, we teach our children that we are important,
that we matter.  Isn't that what we want them to believe about themselves?

* As they mature, they will most likely follow our examples and either discount themselves,
Or find someone who will discount their own needs for our child's sake.

*An outlet is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

*When we model respecting our own limitations it teaches our children to do the same.
Something that comes in real handy when they are teenagers and young adults.

*Do not take for granted all that you do.

*Learn who you are.  It makes us 'real' to our children who then have permission to be who they are.

Ask yourself: 
What do you like to do for yourself?
What is fun for you?
What are your needs?
Do you have any hobbies apart from your family?-
Things you like to do for pure pleasure and enjoyment?
And what would you enjoy doing if you didn't have anyone else's needs to consider?

Know that all these things are spoken of in humble moderation-but you all know that- too much sacrifice is your problem.

There is SO much more, but I hope you get the gist of it. 

 Summarizing Chieko N. Okazaki,
Only you know your circumstances, your energy level, the needs of your children, and the emotional demands of your obligations.  Be wise during intensive seasons of you life.
Don't compare yourself to others-nearly always this will make you despondent.
Don't accept somebody else's interpretation of how you should be spending your time.  Make the best decision you can and evaluate it to see how it works.


  1. Excellent reminders! And you're right---that would have been the class my hubby and I skipped. Especially if we were paying a babysitter! We always pay a babysitter when we go to small group, but we don't like to pay one just so my husband and I can have a date night. Recharging isn't at the top of our list---but it should be! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Yes, this is so true. It's hard to find that balance when our children are young but it is so important. I'm trying to remember this on a daily basis. Thanks for this great reminder.

  3. I think this very on point even if you don't have dependent children. Everyone has to take care of themselves first or nothing works. Nicely said!


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