Help Yourself, TooJun 04, 2020 07:54AM ● By Tara Knobloch, MSW, LCSW-PIP at Sioux Falls Psychological Services
Airplane safety procedures inform us to put our own oxygen masks on first before assisting others. In a situation like that, it is necessary. However, this is not the typical way parents and caregivers function in relationship with their children. They take care of their child’s needs first, which makes sense, right?
Some might suggest that helping yourself first is selfish, when your child has needs or wants. Others might say that always assisting your child first fosters a sense of dependence over time. Is there a happy medium here? What if mental illness exists within the family? I would suggest this: help yourself, too. If you are depressed, anxious, exhausted…… help yourself, too! It is okay to ask for assistance. It is okay to not be okay. I’ll repeat: it is okay to not be okay. Your needs and mental health are just as important as your child’s.