I tend to treat my dog like my child. She's my baby. Just look at that face!! I do talk to her as if she was really my child. All day, we have conversations. I swear she "talks" back with the look in her eyes and her actions.
But here's what else I notice. I feed her before I will allow myself to eat. I take her out before I take myself "out". I make sure all her needs are met before tending to mine.
This is a pattern that occurred when my son was young as well. I hear similar stories from other moms of human and furry kids alike.
Why do so many of us find it easy to take better care of others than ourselves? Why is it easier to give our time and energy to the care and feeding of the people and animals we love? Why is it so difficult to turn that care and support onto ourselves?
For many women, we are raised to give and take care of others. We're often not so great at receiving, or giving our time and energy to our own needs and desires. Sometimes even the word "desire" will get stuck in our throats. How dare we WANT something? Can't we be grateful? It's challenging. The act of compassion for a friend who is struggling is so much easier than the same compassion towards ourselves.
Do you feed the dog or your kids first, then eat whatever is around? Does it often involve finishing their food or raiding the snacks instead of a nutritious full meal?
Do you watch what the kids want or your husband wants on TV every single time, then feel guilty if you want to sit down for a minute to watch a show of your own?
Do you skip exercise because the kids need something and you feel guilty holding that time for yourself?
Does mealtime feel overwhelming trying to meet everyone's needs and then just giving up and grabbing take out?
These are things that we work through in my online Behavior Change Coaching program. Through our coaching calls, I work with you one on one to get to the root of some of these behaviors. We find out what you value most, what motivates YOU personally, and work to help you adopt permanent behavioral changes that lead to lasting healthy outcomes.
Creating the healthy lifestyle habits that you want for your life.
To look good and feel good.
To show up for yourself.
To have the energy to keep up with the kids and model healthy behaviors for them.
If this sounds like you, and you're interested in learning more, send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll have a chat about your goals.