Balancing Self-Care and Parenting

As any parent will tell you, raising children is the most difficult yet rewarding job there is in the world. I mean, when you think about it, you are basically being held responsible for the future of humanity. It can cause a lot of pressure, especially for first time parents.

Sometimes, that pressure creates what you could call an expedition on your spiritual journey. For me and Bryan, this was very much the case.

After having Kenny, we realized we had to start really moving towards the future we wanted. And in order to do that, we both felt the first step was to finally have our own space to call home. So we put in the time and the work to make that happen. Within weeks, we were moved into an apartment with the few bits of furniture and other belongings we owned.

Once moved in, I went back to work, and so began Bryan’s and my perpetual exhaustion. Since we couldn’t find any daycare that we could afford or trust, we worked opposite shifts. That way, one of us was always with our son. This began a cycle of work, caring for Kenny, and a little sleep here and there. Our days off of work together was spent cleaning and grocery shopping.

This shift on how often Bryan and I were seeing each other really made me feel that we were living our lives separately. There were days where I would be asleep before he’d get home from work, and then the next morning I would be leaving for my work before he was up for the day.

All in all, it was an emotional struggle for me. And I know it was a struggle for Bryan as well. He ended up going into therapy, while I was just barely getting by.

As a first-time mom, the thing I struggled with the most was my faith in myself. I felt like, no matter how much I did in one day, it wasn’t enough. But at the same time, I felt too exhausted to even do as much as I was. Plus, the changes in my body caused me to reach my lowest point when it came to my self-confidence.

There were even times when I would panic, thinking that Bryan and I were going to fall apart and I was going to be left on my own.

During this time, I really had to find a way to be okay with where my life had taken me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have always, no matter what, felt nothing but love for Bryan and Kenny. But I wasn’t showing any love towards myself, and that was affecting how I showed my love for them. Funny enough, it was that love that put me where I was and pushed me to where I am.

I should note here that if you ever find yourself struggling with your mental health, it is always best to seek out professional help. If you feel you cannot afford a therapist, there is no harm in asking any therapy center to start speaking to their intern. Most centers have one, and because they are still in school, their services are free.

I did not do this, as I should have. But, luckily, Bryan was seeing an intern therapist, and he asked me the hard questions that helped me change my mindset.

I found myself thinking about my childhood a lot. It was a constant that I would be comparing it to Kenny’s, and found that there were a lot of similarities. The differences, though, outweighed that.

Personally, I believe this is mainly because Kenny is getting that personal one-on-one time with his parents. I did not truly receive that special time because my mother found herself pregnant with my first sister when I was barely two months old. But I don’t blame my parents for that, and I am grateful for all of my siblings.

Still, I decided that I should make his life better than mine was.

All of these revelations I was having helped me to find my center again. And in that center, I rediscovered my spirituality.

As we faced obstacle after obstacle, Bryan and I found ways to take better care of ourselves. With each step forward was also a strange occurrence that would bring us gifted money and much needed items and time. It was as if the universe was rewarding us for good behavior.

And so this trend continued, and we soon realized our one-bedroom apartment no longer suited us. After all, Kenny was getting to the age where he really needed to have his own room. After some research and phone calls, we bought our first home.

I will admit that this brought about a great pride in me.

It was at this move that we found all of our ceremonial and spiritual items, and our interest in the mystical was once again rekindled. This was the stepping out of our souls’ wintertime and into our spiritual work.

And through finding our Source, we incidentally started being better parents as well. We began to understand each other on an entirely different level, and our bond as a family became stronger than ever.

Looking back on it, I feel a lot of that has to do with how we healed ourselves first.

I have come to the conclusion that it really is true what they say; a good parent takes care of themselves first. Because if you can’t even take care of yourself, how can you expect yourself to take care of anyone else?

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