sourcing parent within

We live in a fast paced world, even on Maui. I know many moms, both stay at home moms, and working moms that find it equally challenging to make time to nurture themselves. Sourcing the parent within means that we not only take care of our family, but that we must take care of ourselves. We must remember that to take care and to nourish ourselves is taking care of and nourishing our family.

When my son was a baby through early toddler years I found it easy to adjust to him, to be totally present, and move slow with him. As he grows older, and more and more independent, I am gaining more independence again. I find that my fast paced tempo, and driven nature has come back full force. I know that when I get out of balance, so does my boy. I have to watch myself to make time special with him by not constantly checking emails on my iphone to catch up with something, or folding that last load of laundry, or whatever distraction it may be. I am aware that his need for intimacy, and presence, is equal to mine. I am aware that his sense of security relates to a large degree on how I am doing.

I remember the first time I felt that I needed to be aware of my presence with my boy. It was after I had gone back to work part- time after a maternity leave, and I was multitasking FOR SURE. Basically a phone addict since birth, I decided it was time to leave the phone behind for a few hours and just be together at the beach this day. As I was watching my boy chase after bubbles, I was reminded that my happiest and most peaceful moments are always like this one, coming from the simplicity of being exactly where I am. Slowing down and nurturing my connection with my son is certainly a priority, and that day on the beach I realized that in doing this I was nurturing myself too.

I was also recently reminded of how important it is to take care of myself, and the impact that this has on my parenting. A few months ago I was rear-ended in my car two days before moving house. I pushed on and on, until I realized that I needed to take proper rest to maximize my recovery. My chiropractor would ask me every time I saw her if I was taking time to rest in small increments. My answer was always no. Without this rest, I was less available for my son when I was with him, and I am sure I was also less patient. Now back on track with rest, exercise, and not making house cleaning important, I am available to be the mother my son needs.

Whatever it is you need to do to nourish yourself, go for it today. Do one thing a day that is self-nourishing. Last week I forced myself to take time alone to walk on the beach instead of some project on my to do list taking over, and I was amazed at how much this nourished me. I remind myself that taking this time without my child actually helps him as I came back to him as a mother centered and at peace ready to give him my full attention.

Photograph courtesy: Infusion Yoga Maui

Image Credit: Cadencia Photography

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Andrea Giammattei has a Master of Science in Special Education from Fordham University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Oneonta State University. She is a seasoned learning specialist, educational therapist, and counselor with over 25 years experience. She has worked in public and private schools, as well as in private practice. Andrea has a diverse interdisciplinary background, experience leading teams, and many years of experience working closely with students and parents in partnership. In private practice she performs educational assessments and designs individualized curriculum for students with varied learning differences including ADHD, dyslexia, Math disabilities, visual and language based challenges, sensory challenges and spectrum disorders. Andrea is passionate and clear that students need to be taught skills for emotional intelligence as well as cognitive intelligence, and that these skills are easily integrated. She believes the kids greatly desire to work hard and be successful. Students are creative and inspired to be their best in the right environment, and will expand to their unique potential when given the chance and with people who believe in them. As an innovative educational leader, teacher and counselor, Andrea strives to inspire motivating learning environments full of curiosity, the courage to take risks, and development of positive self-esteem. She believes that the relationship between a teacher and her students needs to be one of trust partnership and creativity. Andrea is the owner of Open Minds Learning. You can reach Andrea at 808 280 0535 or at andreagia2014@gmail.com . She is currently residing in NY City.