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          Health

          Four-Step Priority Plan for Mothers

          August 27, 2002

          Are you stressed out from running the household, packing lunches and being a PTA mom? If you’re mentally exhausted and out of balance, you aren’t being fair to yourself or your family. You’ll be a happier person — not to mention a better wife, mother and friend — once you stop putting your own needs last.

          Make yourself a priority with Dr. Phil’s tips!

          1. Get over the guilt.

          • Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself. It’s not selfish to make yourself a priority.
          • Redefine what it means to be a “good mother.” Instead of using society’s definition, create your own measure of success as a parent.
          • A good mother is not one who only sacrifices; a good mother is also able to give of herself. If you don’t have passion and happiness in your own life, you can’t give it to your children.
          • Give yourself permission to be more than half of a couple, more than “just” a mom.

          2. Make yourself a priority.

          • Don’t confuse the quality and quantity of your time. They simply aren’t the same things. Focus on the impact that your time does have, and give yourself the same attention you’d give someone else you love.
          • Don’t do everything for your children. They are able to do some tasks on their own. Take the time to teach them how to do things for themselves.
          • Learn the art of saying no, the ability to delegate and the capacity to accept help without feeling guilty.
          3. Discover your passions.
          • Find something that you love to do. What gives you a sense of pride, accomplishment or enjoyment?
          • Think back to when you last felt this sort of passion. Now, ask yourself: “What would it take to put that feeling back into my life? What can I do to recreate that feeling now?”
          • When you’ve found your passion, make time for it in your regular schedule. Don’t allow yourself to treat this “me time” as an option. It should be as important as anything else.
          4. Gain the support of your family.
          • This isn’t always easy, but it can be done. Let your family know how and why you need to do things for yourself — so you can be a better mom and wife.
          • Compromise with your family. Help them to understand that while things may change, you won’t be abandoning them.

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