It was posted for women and men everywhere, and we felt that it applied perfectly to moms and dads, too – especially those of you who use your kids as an excuse NOT to take care of yourselves. Enjoy!
1. Be more selfish about your time.
“When you take time for yourself you recharge all the things that make you wonderful. When you’re all charged up and your best self, oh how easy it is to adore you!”
To do starting this week: Identify what your kids can do for themselves, and then get out of the way and let them do it. Then, each week, identify one thing your kids can’t do, and teach them how to do it. Keep adding each week, until finally, the morning has become your coffee break and all you do is hug and kiss your kids before they head out the door.
2. Belittle more imperfections.
“If you’re like other fabulous people I know, you’re very, very good at belittling your (and other’s) finer points. Maybe the things that feel like imperfections are actually things that set you (and others!) apart from the crowd. Make a point to belittle the things that deserve belittling. The paltry, annoying, meaningless idiocies we all encounter but spend too much time on. You know what I’m talking about.”
To do starting now: Start replacing mean thoughts with nicer ones. It’s a bit like singing when your sad just to turn things around inside. Now, take a look at your kids. Is what you are getting all hot under the collar about going to make a difference in the long run. Really? Start looking at those little imperfections as strengths that your kids can develop over time.
3. Be more present whenever possible.
“We love you, we need you, we adore you, we’d like to spend more time with you! But it doesn’t feel like you’re actually with us much of the time. You’ll get more out of conversations with friends if you’re not checking on your digital posse quite so often.”
To do starting this evening: Shut your smartphone down and keep it in your purse whenever you’re with your kids. We say our kids are the most important people in the world, but damn how can that be if they come second to your facebook friends and your smart phone.
4. Be more available for friends (and family.)
“Real-life friends are a lot like Farmville in that you only gain points with lots of time and careful tending! If you make a point to add just a few more touches per week, you’ll see the love pour back in greater volume than you dished it out.”
To do starting this week: Ask your kids specific questions about their day and listen without judgment or comment. We all ask, “How was your day?” and most of the time are met with, “Fine.” This happens for two reasons, 1. Your kid knows you are not really listening OR 2. If she gives you any information, you are going to offer your unsolicited opinion. Try asking these questions instead. “What did you study today? What was one thing you learned that you did not know before? Did you make someone laugh? Did anyone make you laugh? If you could do one thing tomorrow, exactly the same as you did today, what would that be? If you could do one thing differently…?”
5. Be more willing to say not right now
“Saying no to people is never fun. It sucks to disappoint others, particularly when you really care about them. But we both know you’ll crash and burn and be of no use to anyone if you try to do too much.”
To do starting today: When your kids ask you for help, ask your kids what specifically is tripping them up. Let them show you how much they CAN do and then teach them or help them with the one aspect they are stuck on. This will lead to more confidence for them and less requests for help from you.
“Do you have any additional points to add? Share this post with a friend and let them know what you’re doing each day to be more alive!”
And go back and read the real zest post and if you have tips and pointers that apply to your life outside of your kids, post on their site, I am sure they would appreciate it.