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Do you offer yourself a gift? For your birthday or Christmas? Do you ask your other half, your family to pick a gift from a well-chosen list?
Or are you like me, prioritizing your children, your partner, everybody else before yourself.
Then you end up with something that you could have bought yourself while shopping for the Christmas dinner or worst, nothing because you never spend on yourself.
It’s not that I want to encourage you to spend money but let’s take two minutes to recognize that as parents, we deserve to be spoiled as much as our children.
What kind of “presents” do you think you deserve? What can you reward yourself with? How much (it’s not about money) do you worth? Our job as a parent is like a life mission, a 24h/7 days job and when we could say, in a cheesy voice, that there is nothing more precious than our children and the joy they have when they open their gifts is our reward, you, Mums and Dads, you deserve more than a pat on the back!
I have some ideas for you! (again, it’s not about spending so read on!). Not sure how they are Montessori but for SEO purposes, I have to admit that I have included the word Montessori in my title 😉
What can you put in place, what can you ask to gain time? No matter whether you are a full-time working parent or not, time is precious. Can you ask for help next year? Can you ask that instead of random gifts, you will now dedicate part of your budget to a cleaner or to have one takeaway a month instead of cooking? It seems that many parents love the “dinner kit ideas” such as Hello Fresh (they always have huge discounts).
It’s so common among mothers to depreciate their bodies after they have had children. I know that you are committed to raising children who are confident and love themselves no matter what. So, you need to show yourself some love! The more you will love yourself unconditionally, the more your children will love themselves. Book a haircut, ask for a gift card for a massage treatment. Enjoy that long bath. Ask for some Lush products (or any other brands you like!).
Ask for gift cards for clothes. If you are like me, clothes are something utilitarian that I buy while I do my weekly shopping and only because my pair of jeans are falling apart. But if I receive a gift card then I will enjoy buying from one of my favourite brands!
I often buy myself a shirt with a positive message. This works very well on me to motivate me and to believe in myself. Matalan has this kind of shirts and obviously they are cheap.
These past 21 months have been hard. But even without the current pandemic, your mental health as a parent is so important. When we have children, it can surely awaken so many feelings and reactivate some past traumas. Parenting children forces us to deal with our past, our insecurities, our self-doubts, our crushed dreams and to get our life to be able to guide, support, and love our children unconditionally. One good aspect of the pandemic is that you have now so many options to choose from in terms of “online support”. I have seen “better help” https://www.betterhelp.com/ being recommended a lot. I have no connection with them, but it is worth a mention.
What about a self-help book for 2022? I am a big fan of Mel Robbin that I read cover to cover, funnily enough, 2 months before the first lock-down. Her book and her tips were very helpful to keep me motivated in the first months of the lock-down.
I am always surprised and flattered when readers offer one of my e-courses as a gift. The Montessori parenting course will give you general information about Montessori, tips to set up your house the Montessori way, room by room, and plenty of activities to try with children from birth to 6!
My discipline course is a live course + lifelong access to the resources (videos and pdfs). The next one will be live in February. I run it only once a year and you can already book it. You will learn about your child’s development, why moving from rewards and punishments to gentle and Montessori discipline. It’s full of practical ideas to try and you can ask all your questions during the 5 Live sessions.
Humour is my way of coping (watch my Reels on my Instagram account) so I encourage you to laugh every day! They say, “laughter is the best medicine”. Did you know that Laughter relaxes the whole body? A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. And if you force yourself to smile or laugh even when you don’t feel like it, your brain doesn’t make the difference and you will release endorphins which will make you feel better!
Download a comedy, buy some tickets for a comedy show and find ways to laugh! Comment with your favourite comedies to watch. I am always on the lookout for more!
I tried the Box42 last year. It’s a box to enjoy as a couple and we loved the two we had. I am not affiliated. I just found the concept so well done! As it’s harder as a parent to enjoy a night out, receiving a box with products, ideas, recipes, and even a playlist to set up the mood, was perfect!
I hope those suggestions are helpful! Let me know in the comments!
Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.
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