I have received hundreds of emails from listeners — parents who feel overwhelmed by parenthood, frazzled moms (and dads too) who are trying to give their children the world, but feel like their own needs are not being met. These people struggle to feel a sense of Self outside of the identity of parent, and they suffer considerably as a result.

Attachment to your children to the point of codependency or projecting your idealized version of them onto them can have deep negative consequences. Children are very attentive to the distress of their parents. If they become conditioned to act or be a certain way to appease Mom and Dad, they will have difficulty developing their own individuated sense of Self and obtaining the skills they need to be independent and have healthy relationships as adults.

The dual burden and blessing of motherhood (and fatherhood) may become corrupted into “martyr-hood” in the mind of a parent who lives, breathes, and makes unreasonable sacrifices for the children. This can result in resentment for children and spouses alike, and nobody wants that!

On airplanes, the flight attendants instruct that in case of emergency, parents and guardians of children should don their own oxygen masks first in order to assist the young ones. By the same token, parenting needs to come from a place of abundance. In this and the following episode, I will be addressing parental concerns and suggesting ways in which you can care for yourself so that you can parent from an abundance of love, practice self-care, and not feel lost in motherhood or fatherhood.

There is no need to play either/or with meeting the needs of your family. You can be prioritized, and your children can be prioritized too!

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