One of my favorite weeks of my Lovespace Parenting Foundations Course is Week Three because it is about Self Love and Self Care. I love that week because that has been My foundation for Life. As an 'alternative' healer for over a decade and a half, going into healing mode is one of my most comfortable places to be. A component that is important to find out about yourself to make sure you're caring for yourself Before you 'break,' is knowing your Self Sacrificing Breaking Point.
What is your SSBP? Well, it's how long you can handle giving so much of yourself before you just lose it! Before all of your patience goes out the window and you are no longer the giving, loving, joyful parent you are when things are flowing and it feels good to be giving.
We all enjoy feeling needed and worthy on this planet but in parenting, we are often needed more than we ever anticipated to be plausible! Add being a conscious or attachment parent, and the list of demands can feel never ending. This is why it is important to fill our own tanks. To make sure we are feeling healthy, and loved and running on full (or at least half full) instead of empty. Once we lose so much of ourselves, or give too much, we begin to harbor resentments, and it becomes easy to lose our patience with those we love.
So, how do we determine our SSBP? Each person is going to be different and it's an 'inside' job. Put simply, you just pay attention. You can see if there's a pattern, such as 'after a week I start to feel cranky when I don't get to _________ (take a shower, meditate, do yoga, play video games....). Or you can simply pay attention to each day as it's own entity. Take moments to FEEL.
Feel what emotions you are having. Typically the moments when you Feel stress or overwhelm, are the moments when you are getting close to your breaking point or you could already be at it! For me personally, I start to feel like things are going really fast or are never ending.
An example is: dear daughter 1 needs me to help set up paint, then number 2 suddenly needs to pee, the significant other is asking me a question, I want to start making myself some food, then number 1 wants me to help pick up the paint as number 2 spills her tea. I haven't started my food yet. And I've hit the point of "whoah, I'm feel overwhelmed."
In that exact moment I Breathe, and I slow things down. I take One thing at a time. Then when complete, I check in again. Have I regained my peace or am I still harboring some ill feelings?
Here is where I know if I've reached my SSBP. If I still feel "off," then I am needing to fill my tank. If I have found "peaceful," then I may be OK. However, I still check in, because it could simply be the next thing that happens that tips the scale to overboard. So, sometimes I do some Preventative care- and fill my tank.
Common thoughts that may appear just as you're nearing your SSBP or as you go past it:
I can't do this.
I can't handle it.
I'm so over this.
These are all symptoms of depletion.
Take time to breathe. Savor a piece of chocolate. Do whatever you can to fill your tank until you can really full it. This may mean waiting until bedtime and the breathing in bed with a babe on your boob and another whining. Simply breathe. Breathe until you feel your calm, your center. From this place you can fill your tank with energy and love.
Parenting pushes our limits but being aware of them as they approach can help prevent them from turning into hatred or resentments.
The main objective for determining your SSBP is to prevent freaking out. To notice when those feelings are creeping up so that you can prevent a break down or saying/doing something that doesn't resonate with the loving person you are deep down.
Once you determine your SSBP you can ride the wave a bit more easily. You know that is what is happening (that you've been sacrificing too much), so you can find some 'in the moment' peace. And then you can remedy the situation at your earliest convenience.