Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Balancing Henry's Needs with My Own

Being a parent is tough in the sense that it means you are responsible for ensuring that another human's needs are taken care of every single minute of every single day. That responsibility is a heavy burden to bear (while also being an immense blessing, of course).

It's important to me to keep my own needs at the forefront of my mind, so I continue to live a joyful, vibrant, and healthy life. If I take care of all of Henry's needs at the expense of all of my own needs, then I will not be a very good mother for Henry. It's a delicate balance, for sure.

Every once in a while, I think it's important for me to sit down and reflect upon what I need on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis and ensure that I carry all of those needs in my figurative pockets, pull them out as needed, and tend to them properly. I feel like we're at a transition point, now that Henry started daycare from 8:15-12:30 every day, and my time has suddenly opened up. It seems like a good time to sit down and have this conversation with myself.

So, dear Sara, what is it that you need on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis?

  • Eight hours of sleep
  • Healthy meals
  • Plenty of water
  • Quality time with my family
  • Time outside
  • Meaningful and productive work with inspiring and engaging colleagues
  • Time on my computer


  • Exercise at least four times a week
  • Time to myself
  • Conversations with extended family and friends


  • Time to create something
  • A quirky and interesting event on our calendar
  • A date night with Matt


  • A big vacation
  • A couple self-development endeavors (conferences, retreats, etc.)

When I write it out, it doesn't feel like an overwhelming amount at all!


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Kristy said...

I love that you're staying true to yourself and your own needs. So often mothers have to make the most sacrifices in terms of giving up their own needs. Two quotes come to mind:

"when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"
"happy wife, happy life"

Amy A. said...

Hi Sara
Very well said and I couldn't agree more! I absolutely believe that I am a much better mother to my daughter now that I am back at work. Work makes me a better wife, mother, and woman in general. I'm happy to go to work in the morning and happy to go home and be with my daughter at the end of the day.
I am so incredibly lucky to feel that way.
My daughter gets less quantity time with me now, but the quality is much, much greater.

Anonymous said...

a naked picture on a public blog is so risky. be careful of what you expose to the public (no pun intended). as a social worker i can tell you that there are some truly evil and perverted people in the world that can and will use this picture of your naked child for unthinkable things. you have such a lovely blog, just exercise caution!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Thanks for the reminder, Anonymous. I just changed the picture.

Anonymous said...

and a super cute picture you picked in its place! I hated to seem preachy or scolding but you have such a sweet baby and I would hate to think of anything bad happening.
And I hated to post anonymously but I don't have a blogger account!! I read your blog often and appreciate your writings.

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