As the world celebrates the month of romantic love, the month of roses and sweet chocolates…I’d like to step backward a little and turn towards another kind of love.
The kind of love that others may label as selfish. But one, that everyone would agree (I think) is the most basic of all. Love of one’s self! Selfie love, perhaps… but never selfish!
As a mom, and just like any other mom I know, my 24 hours will always need a little overtime for the “to-do list” and all the “to-do lists” after the first to-do-list-boxes have been ticked.
So what’s with this selfie love, anyway ?
Paul Ogden, author of the book, The Silent Garden, Raising your Deaf Child, explained this in the second chapter of his book and termed it as:LIFEBOATING – i.e caring for yourself. He said: “With your child depending on you for direction and guidance, you cannot do better than by first turning your attention to yourself.”
And I agree. I believe that a happy, healthy and optimistic “me” is the best advocate that my daughter can have as she constantly prepares to be a happy, healthy and optimistic advocate of herself.
Here is my own selfie love checklist:
- If most Hollywood celebrities have OOTD or Outfit of the Day, I have an “Oh! Exercise Of The Day”. This can be a bunch of sit-ups, a couple of stretching routines, jumping jacks, Zumba, Aero… or whatever physical activity I can squeeze within my morning ritual. It can be a stress reliever for me and I have thanked myself countless of times for the stamina I have unknowingly developed.
- Schedule tweetups! I meet up with people regularly…schedule coffee sessions with friends, lunch dates with mom-friends in my child’s school, spa sessions with my high school or grades school buddies or relatives. Or movie-dates with my hubby, leaving my kid with her grandparents, relatives or friends/sitters I trust.
- It is okay to heed a BRB… a Be Right Back sign. I learned that it is okay to pause once in a while. When the therapy schedules, hospital trips, assessment deadlines and everything else, all get piled up, it is but okay to take a quick break. I take a nap, hear mass, meditate, or take a walk in the park. After I have breathed in a little fresher air, I can go back to scheduling and carrying out tasks more relaxed and much more productively.
- Block negativity. It is important to be realistic, but more than anything, blocking negative thoughts helps me stay sane. This can reinforce my belief that something good may come out of any situation.
- Repin optimism. When I get eaten up by doubts and fears, I think about good thoughts… If Peter Pan can fly just by thinking good thoughts, this must be something powerful indeed.
- Learn to followback. Keep a list of contacts. I always do. Friends and acquaintances. I am actually amazed at how many friends I have gained through every happy and challenging circumstance. Yeah, some may be virtual in essence, but virtual friends still count as friends, indeed!
- Play your playlist. I listen to music I love. Read books I enjoy. Watch movies I like. These keep me in a happy mood…I believe they release endorphins- the “happy hormones”. (And did I mention I munch chocolates while doing these?)
- Research on #hashtags. I try, (try, being the operative word…) to widen my knowledge on my daughter’s hearing condition. I join forums in the internet, groups in school, and other activities that help me learn more about how to become a better advocate of my child. The more knowledge I get about my child’s situation, the more empowered I can be. My skills boost my self confidence too. I get to be informed, not just opinionated.
- Be generous with shout outs. I feel it is best to be honest with how I feel. If I think a certain strategy will not work for my child, I say it out to the doctor, therapist or teacher. I voice out my thoughts and explain why I feel that way. This helps me erase my doubts about procedures, school tasks and plans.
- Fill timeline with love. Being a mom to deaf/HOH (or any other child with special needs), just like every other parenting task is already a tough job. I believe it is okay to have a hobby, a time of the day when I get to do something to make me feel happy and accomplished. It does not mean that because I’m busy, I need to crash out on my list the activities that will develop my skills, talents, or beautify my inner and/or physical self, etc. If an activity is not harmful to my health and my safety, can make me better a wife , better mom, and a better person then, this something is worth doing!
- LOL!!! LAUGH OUT LOUD! Everyone deserves a good laugh!
Happy Love Month Everyone…Go ahead! Take a selfie! #click!
__c”,) Anna, 2014__