Contrary to Popular Belief, My Child Doesn’t Come First

Write Night

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in West Seattle with a friend and her brother. I’m crashing their weekly Write Night, laptop in hand and not really getting much done, but feeling content. The point is not to check off my tasks, after all, but to enjoy the evening.

Juggling at Saturday Market

Justin juggles between 1-3 hours a day. People often stop to ask him if he’s practicing that much for a performance. Nope. He does it because he loves it and because it’s his time for himself.

As parents, we give a lot to our child. As we should.

We’ve invited our son into our lives, we’ve embraced the responsibility of caring for his needs and his autonomy and we treat him with honor and respect for Who He Is.

We give to him, and we give abundantly. Yet we remain conscious of one simple truth: You can’t give what you don’t have. Which really just means….

You can’t give to your kids if you don’t first give to yourself.

My trips to the coffee shop, quiet walks, or early mornings with a notebook…Justin’s nationwide juggling meetups, motorcycle rides or solitary trips to the cinema…

They are the things that bring us back to our center; they reboot us and allow us to go back into our parenting (or our partnership) feeling balanced and whole and ready to give and love and serve generously.

It’s not the cure-all for our relationships (and it’s certainly not license to be “selfish”)…it’s the preventative medicine that keeps us living connected and healthy together.

Because our child – and yours – needs and deserves the best of what we could offer.

So, what are you giving to yourself?