I’m writing this because I need for somebody to say it.
On days when I feel too much that our world is a crap-hitting-the-fan scenario, this is what I will read to remind myself that things are not hopeless and I am not helpless.
Dear parent raising a child in a sometimes hostile and scary world,
Remember that you are important. Your children depend on you and your spouse for EVERYTHING. Their shelter, food, clothing, and love. Even their world view and faith is shaped by your example and what you teach them. They are your world and you are theirs.
You need to strengthen yourself so that you can pass that strength on to them. I promise you, they will need it.
How will you strengthen yourself?
Here are 8 ways I choose to be happy, hopeful, and strong for myself and my children:
1. I will strengthen myself by turning off the media
Turn off the news. Turn off social media. Maybe not forever, but get a break when you need it. Be aware enough to protect your family and make wise decisions, but there are so many things already in your own personal life that you are juggling and worrying about, you don’t need to dump the world’s crap on your shoulders too. Especially when the media is DESIGNED to be eye-catching, fear-mongering, and distracting.
2. I will strengthen myself by helping others
Help out. Volunteer. Love other people. It’s easy to fall into fear when you sit at home with your littles and don’t socialize or get yourself involved (even in some small way) in your community. I know that when I become reclusive my mind goes into a scary place where every stranger I see is a potential harm to my family. I allow myself to become inundated with fear the media projects and my spirit crumbles. BUT when I turn that down and get out in real life and love those around me, I remember that the world isn’t all bad. It can actually be pretty great.
3. I will strengthen myself by practicing self-care
No, I don’t mean spa days and girl’s night out. I mean regular check-ups, eating healthy, and exercising. I mean flossing. I mean drinking the right amount of water. I mean steering clear of the latest fad diet. Truly caring for my body.
I also mean caring for my spirit. For me, that means strengthening my bond with the one who gives me His strength. Increasing my faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ, puts the world’s problems and my problems into an eternal perspective. This makes me the most hopeful of all.
4. I will strengthen myself by having good friends
Got drama from making bad life decisions? Then I will not be your BFF. I will love you and care about you, but I will not invite you into my home or nurture friendships between our children. I simply do not have the time to become entangled with unhealthy drama, real or fabricated.
I will nurture friendships with people who are kind and courteous. They love to listen and share. Their children are good friends to my children. I go out of my way to be there for them and they go out of their way to help me.
5. I will strengthen myself by having healthy relationships at home
My husband is the person I am completely devoted to. No question about it. I will nurture the love we have for each other every chance I get and remind him how I feel about him and help him be strong and happy too.
My children. When am I not thinking of how I can be a better mom? When am I not considering their next milestones, goals, and struggles? When am I not holding them, sharing with them, teaching them, loving them? I will remind myself that there is only so much I can do. But I will do my best.
6. I will strengthen myself and my family by having a clean home
My purpose for cleaning my home is not only to get rid of harmful bacteria, but to make my home a haven and a rest from the outside world.
I am capable of creating an environment with pleasant smells, somewhat tidy rooms, and uplifting music without striving for perfection at all times.
7. I will strengthen myself by being prepared
I will create emergency plans for my family and do all that I can to help my family be safe. This will bring peace to my mind and help me ward off the worries that come in.
I will not allow my mind to dwell in horrific “what-if” scenarios.
8. I will strengthen myself by finding balance
I cannot do all the things all the time. I need to ask for help more often and be kind to myself. I need to not compare myself to others with an eye of jealousy.
I can set priorities and pace myself. I will focus my time on what truly matters and be at peace with letting the other things slide.
When I do these 8 things, my worries are less, my hope for the future is bright, and I am a stronger woman and better example to my children. Not to mention- HAPPY.
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What do you do to strengthen yourself? Let us know in the comments.