When I was a new mom for the first time, one of the strangest things I had to figure out was what it meant to be the absolute center of another person’s universe. Babies and children and even teens rely on their parents for everything—their survival, emotional stability, first social cues, a sense of values, and so much more. Their world is a reflection of ours. That means that when we become parents, our emotional stability is more important than ever before. If we shift out of orbit, we remove the center of our child’s universe and spin them out of control, as well.
So how can you make sure you don’t send yourself and your kids out of orbit in such a complicated and crazy world? Read how you can here.
Center Yourself First
If you have ever flown on an airplane, you’ve certainly heard the safety spiel about what to do in a case where the cabin loses pressure: oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling, and you must secure your own before assisting anyone else. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you will suffocate and won’t be able to help anyone.
There have been several times in my life where I feel like I’m metaphorically suffocating. You may have felt this way, too. The best thing to do if you ever feel yourself spinning out of control is to stop. Stop everything and anything you can until you are centered, your life is balanced and the oxygen is, once again, flowing freely to your brain.
My husband used to get so mad at me because I volunteered for everything. I felt I had to do, but I would complain that I had too much to do. He never bought it, he said to me over and over, “you act as if you have no control, but you do. Just say no.” I never learned to say no, but I did learn to say this and it was a game-changer for me, “Thank you for thinking of me, I would like to do that for you, but I can’t right now. Maybe next year.”
Align Your Priorities
Are your priorities where they need to be? It’s incredibly easy to allow priorities to change when they shouldn’t. I want my priorities to look like this:
- My kids
- Family and friends
Unfortunately, things shift around all the time without me wanting them to, and sometimes without me even noticing! When my kids were young, they would often become priority number one. Coming back to work full time has sometimes meant that my job leapfrogs other things when I don’t want it to. Make sure the priorities you want are the right ones, and then fight to keep them in line.
Learn from the Past
At different times in our lives, we all spin out of orbit. We make mistakes, take on too much, lose focus, get discouraged, exhaust ourselves, forget what’s most important, and allow our lives to become unbalanced. When this happens, figure out what went wrong and be intentional about not doing the same thing again.
And the important thing to remember is that you are the center of your child’s universe. It’s an awing responsibility and privilege, and we can’t take it likely. Keep yourself centered so your actions don’t send your child out of orbit, too.