Whether you have rosy memories of your childhood or (sadly) poor ones, there is one thing that every adult can benefit from. This little thing is something called "self-parenting"! As adults, we are responsible for making ourselves our own priority. Like a parent cares for a child, we must make sure we are properly fed, clothed, and loved.
My first easy example of this: packing snacks for yourself when you know it's going to be a hectic day. I love keeping tea bags, a giant water bottle, stevia packets, and treats like Bulletproof Collagen Bars and Mary's Gone Crackers in my work desk.
Another thing I do for myself is always carrying a cute little pouch labeled "Girlie Stuff" for...you guessed it, girly stuff! It is sort of like the equivalent of an adult diaper bag. I make sure it's properly stocked before I leave the house each day and just throw it in the purse I'm using. Tweezers, tissue, stevia packets, tea bags, lip balm, moisturizer, tiny deodorant, roller fragrance, hair tie, and other lady products. This may seem silly and slightly elementary, but I can't tell you how many times I've thanked myself for carrying it with me! It frequently comes in handy and it's just a really thoughtful way of showing yourself that you follow through, you are loved, and taken care of. It also allows you to avoid unnecessary stress. You obviously don't need a fancy pouch, but I have found that the cuter it is, the more I enjoy carrying it. (For my male readers, trying filling a pouch with some of the items mentioned above....maybe add a pocket knife to the list and store it your glove box or desk drawer.)
A very important role of self-parenting: dress properly for your day and always bring a jacket. This regards to the temperature, but, also, looking put together. When we feel polished and invest some time on our appearance, it's more likely that we'll go the extra mile-- feeling good about stepping out, being seen, and getting things done! Another bonus: having the opportunity to say, "yes, I can meet up immediately after work for dinner." We need to show ourselves that we're worth the time to look our best and be seen!
Last, check-in. I talk about this quite a bit because it's so very important and I feel like it's worth being reminded. When a child seems irritable, the parent's role is to try to figure out what's wrong. Do they need a new diaper?, are they hungry?, do they need a nap?, do they feel well? The same goes for ourselves. When we're short tempered, lethargic, weepy, or stressed, we need to ask ourselves, "What's going on? How can I alleviate xyz for you?" Sometimes, it's as easy as realizing we're overwhelmed and maybe a bath or a balanced meal needs to be on our evening agenda.
Like a child, this type of supervision can prevent burnout, illness, and breakdowns. Make Y.O.U. your utmost priority. Without you being your best you, your family, profession, and social circle will be short changed. So, ask yourself, "What types of self-parenting do I currently practice and how can I improve?" If you feel comfortable, answer below in the comments section!
For more tips on how to be an excellent parent to yourself, read my other self-care entries below!