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Focus on giving instead of getting: A lesson for parents.

One of the most difficult parts of being a mom is the constant demands day in and day out. Whether from the kids, spouse, work or other obligations, there is that feeling that no matter how much you do it is never enough and it never ends. You feel warn out and totally depleted. At the end of the day, you may (if you are lucky) sit back and think, “I can’t believe I have not stopped all day and I am exhausted.”

Been there?

I bet you have.

We see ourselves as wanting it all and trying to make it happen. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting more for yourself and your family, but at what expense? If you are feeling depleted and not taking care of yourself, how much do you really have to give to those you care about? Everyone is getting cheated!

Are you actually feeling fulfilled or just filled to the rim? Don’t get me wrong, I am sure you have moments of joy in your life. Maybe it is when you see your child doing something kind or sweet. Maybe it is when your spouse says something really nice to you, or when you have accomplished something you didn’t think possible. These moments are important to snapshot in your mind and be grateful for, but feeling fulfilled as parents goes beyond these joyous moments. It is about being grateful more often than not.

Can you feel joy if you are not grateful? You may try, but I believe the two go hand-in-hand. Gratitude helps us to feel open to the experiences that come our way, to embrace the uncertainty of life, and trust that you will find the strength to persevere. Gratitude shifts our state and allows us to be in a higher spiritual place giving and receiving love. This is where you want to be as a parent and lover.

Be a person of love and share your gifts with others. But first…

“Secure your own mask before you assist others.”

If you travel by air, you have heard this advice given on every air flight before take-off. This is a great metaphor for how you can start to think about your own life. I am not talking about moving into a world of selfishness and focusing on what you don’t have or more of yourself. I am talking about self-care and love. Believing that you deserve love and care is vital. See, if you don’t believe you deserve it, then you do not believe you can have it. If you don’t believe you can have it, you will not seize the opportunity to take it.

If you don’t love and care for yourself, how can you give it to others? To your kids? To your spouse or lover?

You will, eventually feel depleted. The demands will drown you.

You require self-care. This means scheduling time into your day and life moments where you tend to your own needs. It needs to be a priority so that you feel fulfilled with love for yourself, and can give love to those around you. This is not a focus, but a must and needs to become part of what you do.

You do this for you because you love yourself and deserve it. Take the focus off of “me, me, me, or I, I, I,” and shift your focus on to “how can I be of help to others.”

You are lucky to be a parent!

What I love most about parenting is that there are so many opportunities in a given day for you to grow. This is such a great opportunity for you to say, “I want to be a better person/parent. I want to have a better life. I want more for my family.” This is a perfect time to decide to be a leader in your own life and a model for your kids.

Seeing each moment as a gift, something to learn from and grow as a person, and to give to others are all key to living a more abundant life. If you can live with gratitude for all the good and bad, see challenges as an opportunity for growth, and not move into despair, you will positively change your life and those around you. Imagine what this will do for your children? Imagine the love you will be able to give them and to your spouse/lover?

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” – Tony Robbins

So, today when you feel those demands on you, and you notice yourself shift into a state of frustration, anger, doubt or despair, move yourself into gratitude. Find thanks for this opportunity to grow. Take care of yourself. Decide if you need to take breaths, a break, or make a date with yourself for some self-care, and then give to your child your unconditional love and attention. Help your child to meet his or her needs.

Although this may seem like a lesson in self-care, and it partly is, more importantly it is about stepping into that person you can be, was born to be, and sharing all that you have to give to those you love. This is about shifting your focus from your problems and focus on gratitude and helping those around you. Make loving yourself part of what you do rather than what you focus on. Instead, focus on what you can bring to those around you and what will help you be the best you.

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