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Take care of yourself first! Do you believe that you should?

I feel like I’ve talked so much about showing up for your child, but I neglected to address self-care. Society has told us that we have to be the PERFECT parent at all times, or you will be judged—particularly in the black community.

The stereotypes given to black fathers that we have been so willing to accept—“they leave, they don’t take care of their kids, and they are absent even when present”. We (society) forget about the black fathers who SHOW UP! And I would bet that more show up than not. The stereotypes of black mothers have been equally accepted—“they don’t need a man, they are okay raising their kids and others, and they can do it by themselves”. We (society) forget about the black mothers who SHARE responsibilities and take time for THEMSELVES. We have been conditioned to think that mothering means ALWAYS nurturing everyone else first, and if you have a little energy left, you have permission to dedicate that to yourself.

I’m here to tell you that THAT IS NONSENSE! In order to show up as your BEST self, you have to implement self-care. You will feel better because of it, and you will be BETTER because of it.

It takes courage to break the lineage of trauma and separate from societal norms. Put down your baggage and move forward.

Parent yourself. Take care of yourself the way you would take care of your child. Nurture yourself. Have a bedtime for yourself. Be conscious of what you’re putting into your body. Be mindful of who you share yourself with. What do you let infiltrate your mind, body, and spirit?

Model self-care for your child. They should see you take care of yourself, so that they do the same—even from a young age. Show them when you make mistakes, so that they can see you have self-compassion, and then self-soothe. We show up as our BEST selves when we feel like our BEST selves. Self-care means different things for different people. It doesn’t always have to require you spending money. The little things really matter MOST.

I personally struggle with self-care and have recently made it part of my EVERYDAY life. Why everyday you ask? Because I am a better mother, wife, friend, and most importantly a better ME when I do something for myself every single day. When I neglect myself, I am snappy, mean, and resentful. When I am intentional about my self-care, I am at peace and positivity flows through my house. My husband is at peace. My children behave differently. I will literally check myself first when the behavior of my 4-year-old leans more toward defiance. 9 times out of 10, I am receiving what I’ve put out as acceptable for that day. I will then remind myself, “Brooke, you have not done enough self-care for the day. Get on it!”

I have a cup of coffee EVERY single morning as part of my self-care. I sip it slow and savor EVERY single bit of it.

2020 forced us to REALLY look at our children, their behavior (in school and at home), and our relationships with them. What kinds of changes have you made as a parent? What kinds of changes will you make? What kinds of new habits will you implement?

The Link 2 Join Hearts stimulates fun, healthy, and open dialogue between parents and their children by arousing enthusiasm to communicate and easily navigate through common challenging conversations. This not only brings parents closer to their children but also strengthens their eternal bond.

One Parent. One Child. 2 Hearts Linked For Eternity.

“Respond with an open heart instead of reacting with a closed mind.”

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