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Finding Balance as a Parent: Prioritizing Self-Care, Setting Boundaries, and Nurturing Relationships

by Nicole Ananda

As parents, when we find balance and ease within ourselves, we bring positive energy into our interactions with our children. We can engage in play, laughter, and joy, creating an environment that nurtures their growth, creativity, and overall well-being. For us parents, all of this helps reduce exhaustion and burnout. Taking time for ourselves rejuvenates our energy and allows us to approach our responsibilities with renewed presence versus agitation.

Also, if we invest in our own passions and interests throughout the day, we can re-discover a sense of fulfillment and purpose outside of our responsibilities and roles as parents. This translates into greater contentment in our overall lives, positively impacting our relationships with our children and partners.

By creating space for ourselves, we can create healthier relationships with both our partners and children. Establishing clear boundaries ensures that our relationships are based on balance, emotional health, mutual respect, understanding, and shared responsibilities. Ultimately, this creates more play, laughter, and joy!

In the journey of parenthood, finding balance is not just a luxury but a necessity.

Prioritizing self-care, setting healthy boundaries, and nurturing relationships with our children and partners are essential steps in this process. From enhancing our emotional connection with our children to reducing burnout, these actions have far-reaching benefits. Remember that as parents, we are not only shaping our own well-being but also guiding our children toward a healthier and more balanced future. So, let’s embrace the power of self-care and boundaries, creating a space where love, laughter, and joy can flourish within our families.

If you wish to explore practical strategies to help you stay grounded, create balance between work, relationships, and parenting, and maintain the vitality and passion that makes you the amazing woman you are, please feel free to reach out for a 30 min clarity call to understand your challenges, a new vision and what steps you can take to move forward!

The People-Pleasing Parenting Trap: How Our Own Need for Approval Can Create Narcissistic Children

I grew up with parents who felt they had to hide many things about themselves out of fear of being rejected and to maintain a certain societal status. I remember my father and mother exaggerating and telling lies and feeling very confused by this.

Over time, I adopted the same fears and I became a people pleaser because I felt similarly that getting others’ approval was the most important thing to do in any relationship over my own truth and needs.

When I became a parent, I was faced with the awareness of this shadow of mine. I became the enabler in my relationship dynamic in order to cover up the inherent problems that I was facing to maintain the happy appearance of new motherhood which led to a lot of resentments.

I have worked really hard to heal this aspect of myself since I had read “The Conscious Parent” book because the last thing I wanted do was create this same shadow with my child which could create the narcissistic qualities that I found my relationship and witnessed with other friends’ partners.

Many of these men were raised with passive parents who steered their whole lives around their children and came from abusive backgrounds themselves. They overcompensated to the degree that it was detrimental to their boys.

Dr. Shefali says, “Children who are raised by parents who sidestep their authenticity camouflaging their true feelings for the sake of fitting in, learn to emulate this phony way of living, watching us try to gain the approval of others, they become people pleasers, catering to the needs of others for the sake of approval.

When our children see us placed the needs of others before our own, they learn that they are to value others more than themselves. because they are highly oriented towards relationships they also base their sense of identity on their relationships but beneath such an authentic service of others, lies a simmering resentment since no one can sustain such giving, unless they have first given to themselves period.

When we please others to gain their approval, we may also begin to please our children seeking their approval we cater inordinately to their needs instead of teaching them to take care of their own needs, over indulging them, we send them a message that it’s okay to take advantage of us out of our own low self sense of self worth. We allow them to imagine themselves as the center of our world, which is an emotionally unhealthy, obsessive way of attempting to assuage our own lack. It’s also a recipe for bringing up narcissists who imagine the world just revolves around them. When we are unable to create healthy boundaries for ourselves.

Our children learn to disrespect the boundaries of others, observing us fail to claim ownership of our space and our needs. They come to believe their space and their needs are more important than those of the others because we constantly give to them without saying no.

When appropriate, they fail to learn the importance of accepting that life itself sometimes says no to us, consequently, they develop a grandiose sense of themselves.”

As parents, it is our responsibility to break the cycle of people-pleasing and create a conscious parenting approach. We must learn to prioritize our own needs and boundaries, while also teaching our children to do the same. By modeling authenticity and self-care, we can help our children develop a healthy sense of self-worth and respect for others.

It may not be easy, but it is worth the effort to create a more balanced and fulfilling family dynamic.



The Yoga of Parenting

As I sit in front of my computer with our baby in my wrap all nestled to me, I feel so much gratitude for this most epic gift. In the last 7 weeks I have not stepped foot in a yoga studio. I felt a bit worried by this, then the voice of my teacher Malachi echoed in my ear, and I realized that in this moment the art of parenting IS my Yoga practice.

While I have the opportunity to stay home with our baby I want to be as present as possible for him. So he feels safe, loved and nurtured. As my wonderfully brilliant teacher Malachi often states in her classes, PRESENCE is the real Yoga.

I recently went to a workshop by Malachi on the “Yoga of Parenting” as seen through the Yamas, which represent a series of “right living” or ethical rules within Yoga. We went on a spiritual inquiry on how these relate to parenting. Learning how to navigate the Yamas is imperative. In fact THIS IS our daily practice, not just the Asanas or the physical postures.

Here are the Yamas below. As you go through them, think about how you may or may not be practicing these in your life or as a parent. These tenants relate to thought, word and deeds/actions:

  • Ahimsa – Non-harming or Non-violence toward the Self or Others
  • Satva – Truthfulness to oneself, speaking one’s truth or with others
  • Asteya – Non Steailng (of time, present awareness, materials)
  • Brahmacharya – Reserving one’s energy, not leaking one’s energy (with Facebook for example, or not taking care of oneself)
  • Aparigraha – Non-greed or possessiveness

It was an excellent exercise to recognize where we fall asleep and where we are most aware.

We are not always very conscious, in fact as research proves only about 5-10% of the time are we operating from that space. So we need to really dig deep and find those neural pathways that are in need of change and actively work on developing new ones through our practice of Kriya Yoga: Tapas (discipline), Svadhyaya (self-study and study of spiritual texts) and Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion or surrender to God or a higher power).

As I recently read on a blog called Yoga Basics, “life presents an endless opportunity to learn about ourselves; our flaws and weaknesses give us the opportunity to grow and our mistakes allow us to learn. Examining our actions becomes a mirror to see our conscious and unconscious motives, thoughts, and desires more clearly.”

Our kids are a sponge and a pure, clear mirror. Parenting is one of the highest forms of Yoga.

Many blessings for this 2016!

May your heart be filled with peace and joy.