Shannon is an IECL qualified coach with an MBA, who now focuses her coaching on helping mums find balance. She has 20+ years experience coaching leaders across the globe. She is also a mother to three children and so coaches from a place of empathy, expertise and experience. You can read more from Shannon at The Care Factor, on Facebook and Instagram, or attend her retreats and workshops. She also presented two workshops about self-care at the Australian Homeschooling Summit.
As a homeschooling parent, you have taken on the tremendous responsibility of educating your children yourself and, to paraphrase, “with great responsibility comes great power”.
You have the power to shape not just your children’s minds, but their biological brains too.
50% of our genes are epigenetic which means that they are affected by their environment. Epigenetic research shows that the environments in which children spend the early years of their life impact which genes are “turned on” and which genes are left dormant. Therefore as homeschoolers, you have an even greater power and responsibility due to the increased control you have over your children’s environment. How amazing is that?!
With all of this responsibility and power, homeschooling parents can feel pressure and judgement which bring hidden mind blocks to the surface. These mind blocks tend to have three core causes:
- lost identity
- burnout, and
Kids learn much more from how you act than by what you say, so the way you are living your life is unconsciously being passed on to your children. If you are struggling with these mind blocks, they will also be adopted by your children (without either of you knowing it).
So the big question is – what you are unconsciously teaching your kids by the way in which you are living your life?
As research from Brene Brown has found, two irreducible needs of every human being are to feel worthy of love and belonging. If these needs are filled then the mind blocks are dissolved.
Self-care is what we need to dissolve these mind blocks and role model to our children that we are all worthy of love and belonging.
Self-care is not self-pampering.
Self-care is not self-indulgence.
Self-care is being mindful.
It means choosing certain behaviours that balance out the negative effects of emotional and physical stressors and constructively soothe ourselves. Self-care is about showing compassion to yourself and showing yourself that you are worthy of love and belonging.
It is achieved by listening to yourself and paying attention to what you need at that particular time – and then giving it to yourself.
Self care also takes work.
Here are some self care strategies that you can use to overcome the common mind blocks.
Parents can lose themselves in their children and forget (or deprioritise) themselves to the point of “extinction”. The issue of lost identity can be triggered by the feeling of “I’m not enough”. To resolve this with self-care, practice gratitude – specifically gratitude for yourself and who you are (not necessarily what you have).
Focus on your amazing attributes and what makes you unique and special, and you will find yourself again
Mums suffering burnout tend to control everything and not let go because they fear it won’t be perfect. These mind blocks can only be resolved when they realise that they are worthy of love and belonging because of who they are, not just what they do.
The self-care practice here is to take five minutes a day for yourself and simply let the rest go – just for five minutes. Then increase the dosage.
Guilt arises from the fear of rejection or isolation because you disappointed someone else so these mums tend to do everything for everyone else. To dissolve this mind block, mums need to work on pleasing themselves once in awhile. When a request is made, ask yourself these three questions –
- Do you have the capacity?
- Do you have the capability? and
- Do you care about this?
Only say to the request if you can say yes to all three questions. If not, give yourself permission to say no – guilt free.
Remember, these are only self care strategies. You must choose what feels right for YOU. There is no one “right” way to self-care, we are all individuals. There is no best “way”. Sometimes people lock themselves into a self-care ritual of 30 minutes of exercise every day and then when they drag themselves out of bed to exercise they don’t feel the benefits afterwards because it is tainted with subconscious resentment. That is not self-care. Be mindful and your self-care will always be right for you.
Self-care dissolves these mind blocks by doing things for you so you can be the best version of yourself….and that is ultimately what you want your children to be – the best version of themselves.