Updated: Sep 11, 2021
For most of us, parenting is about finding the best resources and support for our children. We might agree that yes we need to take care of ourselves if we are to look after the kids at our best, but we don’t really live by this as a rule. In fact self-care as a parent is a very fancy and attractive idea, but for many of us it is simply that. A nice idea.
The reality is that when we cram our days with work and children’s activities, we start staying up later, scrolling for longer and not noticing that subtle gnawing feeling growing in our bellies. We remain oblivious to the fact that our temper is shorter, our bodies ache that little bit more, we might frown more or smile less and even experience a sliver of panic or despair each day. As these subtle signs grow we might start to become aware that something isn’t quite right, but are so busy, we just don’t have time to work it out.
And then we suddenly yell or snap, surprising ourselves. Or maybe start sobbing during a film, a news report or even at an advert. These are the more obvious signs we’re carrying unprocessed feelings and if we don’t do something now, we’ll end up burnt out and exhausted.
Or, perhaps we get invited somewhere nice by a friend. It might seem like too much effort, a waste of money or time, or we might feel guilty going to do something ‘just for us’. But then we go do the thing, and for days after feel lighter, more joyful and at peace. These are the days we restart our exercise plans or sort our finances! Even then, it can be hard to remember why we need to recharge and do something that revitalises and supports us!
We need reminding, us parents. Someone to say, over and over again, “Look after yourself first”. Someone to give us permission to pause, to breathe, to really think about what we need right now. And so, we are so happy to start providing this space for you at our parent support drop-in group. Children are absolutely welcome, but this group is focused on you! We could have made it about your children, we could have called it a kiddies play group, but we want it to be for you the parent. A space for you to come and play in the way you need. Chatting, meeting other parents, sharing stories and being heard.
This space is for you.
Mondays at Ledbury Children’s Centre during term time.