A dirty little secret.....


After caring for my lovely grandson Max last week,  I found myself sitting in my chiropractors office this morning.  While I was waiting for my turn, I picked up a copy of the Ladies Home Journal. I could have chosen Science Magazine, People, or Rifle Monthly, but I was in a Ladies Home Journal mood.  Besides all of the articles that talk about how to find your best self, and the really important ones about what not to wear, and then of course, what to wear :), I found an essay section written by outside sources and submitted to the magazine. The winning articles were published.  The article I chose, was written by a woman who was discussing that the "Empty Nest Syndrome" can be harder than people think.  I read along, because I was interested, and when I got to the part where she admitted that she wondered "is this the end of my real life?" I looked around to see if anyone else noticed my mouth gapping stare.  After trying to nonchalantly gaze around the waiting room to see if anyone had noticed my strange expression, I thought someone else knows my dirty little secret!

Ok, of course life does not end after your kids grow and go off to college and their own worlds beyond that.  Because, honestly, that is what we are suppose to do!  Helping our children become who they are suppose to become is the goal and mantra, in my opinion, of parenting done well.  After all, how many times have I talked about creating kids who know who they are and what they want and follow their paths, not the ones we may have designed for them.  Yet, as I read the article this morning, it made me realize that in the process of trying our best to parent well, at least for me, there is a Catch-22 component.

When you spend 20+ years, at least, and many more if you have more than one child, thinking about someone else and doing your best to meet their needs, you can rightly and without intent, loose parts of yourself in the process.  I think this is true for men and for women, yet I wonder if it is more of a female issue than male.  Now that both genders choose to stay home with their kids, or become the primary caretaker, this idea may apply to all people who are parents.

So, I am thinking that this part of the story can be a cautionary tale!  While loving your kids well, and spending all the time needed to help them become great people, remember to take good good care of yourself along the way.  I know at times that is hard, and it is not an all or nothing process.  We don't have to give our kids everything of ourselves all the time in order for them to turn out well.  We actually serve them even better by making sure we evolve well.
 Figure out what you need along the way, and nurture that part too.  If you do, than maybe everyone will need less therapy!

Today, celebrate who you are and go out and do something really nice for yourself.  It is not selfish to take care of you and remember who you are, or design new parts of yourself.   As your kids grow, you can too.

Help them find them and help you find you....

My father in law use to say "reach back grab your ass, you've found yourself"!  Obviously he was not into brooding over the whole "Who am I" question.

Today, grab something, or someone, or some new idea, experience or adventure.  Do it just for yourself!

Go for it!  You will love yourself for it and so will your kids.

Until next time,