Oxygen Mask: You need to care for yourself before others

I’ve been reading snippets from Respectful Parents Respectful Kids over the past year. I’m especially mindful of parenting these days— as parenting during Covid is HARD, we have an adorably-active two-year-old, and also, I’m very very pregnant (expecting baby girl any day now). Among other things, this workbook so kindly and firmly highlights the importance of… taking care of yourself.

Let’s take a peak:

The bottom-line reality– that your needs matter and that you must first care for yourself before others– is demonstrated by the airlines when they direct parents, in case of emergency, to first place the oxygen mask on themselves, and then place the mask on their child. It is easy to see, in this case, that parents will be of no use to their children if they themselves can’t breathe… Parents’ needs do matter, and they require more attention and resources than most communities presently offer.”

Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson’s Respectful Parents Respectful Kids, pg. 28

As Hart & Hodson so clearly point out, our needs matter. And, in order to keep showing up to parenting — or, anything that takes time, energy, and a lot of effort(!) — we have to care for ourselves. If we don’t, we’ll probably lose steam, be far less present, and perhaps become resentful and mad.

As a gentle, loving reminder: self-care is NOT selfish; neither is it weak. Of course it may look different from one person to the next, or one season of life to another. But, self-care is needed to help meet our needs, to re-invigorate us, and to give us the strength to even be available to care for others.

Life is so nuanced and can be so hard, for so many reasons. How can you stay committed to parenting, to yourself and to others? Taking gentle and deep care of yourself is one answer.

Warmly, Robyn

One activity that is deeply restorative to my soul is hiking. Though this is obviously not a (pregnant) picture of me, I absolutely could see myself jumping with joy if it were me hiking when this photo was taken at sunset. Though you could potentially hate the idea of hiking, the point here is to– find what works for you! 🙂 Photo by photo-nic.co.uk nic on Unsplash

For More:

  • I highly recommend Respectful Parents Respectful Kids. I learned about this book from my colleague, Dr. Ben Russell, an expert in child development and parenting and the Clinical Director at Positive Development.
  • Check out 5 Reasons Why Self-Care Matters. My colleague and great friend wrote this blog post.
  • Check out this great self-care article. A colleague originally shared it with me; it turns the idea of self-care as only “bubble baths and chocolate” on it’s head.
  • For more ideas, I have a self-care resources tab on this blog!

PS As mentioned above, baby girl Broadus #2 is expected to arrive any day now!! Stay tuned for when I’m back online again. I hope and pray the theme of this post will warmly envelope you, so that not only you can take deep care of yourself but also so you can stay committed to your values and what is important to you. You are cherished and matter. xoxo

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Olivia says:

    Thank you for sharing!


    1. Of course! Thank you for reading!! Looking forward to corresponding with you over WordPress- as we are mamas together! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. DAVID BROADUS says:

    Hey Robyn
    That baby not here yet? I’m amazed you are still blogging the day your baby is due! What a trooper! I know you will post pictures as soon as she arrives!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course! You know, writing is something that is so life-giving for me– it’s self-care for me. And with this unexpected free time that I have where I don’t yet have a newborn, it’s been fun to think about and dream about how I’d like to use this site more if/when I’m able to! Thanks!


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