“Putting yourself first is putting your kids first”

Today, I discovered that I fundamentally disagree with an aspect of our “Induction Norms”.

Scratch that, I disagree with several aspects.

During Induction, we were given three “norms”. Key word–given. We did not create them as a group. We did not discuss them as a region. Three norms were put in front of us and it was established that “this is the way it is and the way it will be”.

That is the first thing that I did not like.

The three norms are as follows:

  1. Put the kids first.
  2. Commit to dialogue
  3. Be leaders and learners

The second, and fundamentally jarring aspect that I can not see eye-to-eye with is norm #1. 

Ya, ya. Sounds selfish right? Well guess what… You’re right. It’s selfish and that is exactly my point. I strongly believe that in order to put your kids first, you must first take care of yourself. Not once have we discussed wellness and self-care at Induction thus far. Granted, it’s only day two. But still. The very first norm screamed at us to be totally selfless and sacrifice time, energy, sleep, and our own well-being to “put the kids first”. AND I’M FEELING BAD ABOUT IT! I’m feeling guilty for questioning it because its our “norm”.

I expressed this during a small group sessions and a beautifully insightful girl, Elizabeth, put it into a context that changed my perception.

“You see though, putting yourself first is putting your kids first”

But still, I want someone on staff to say that to us! I want someone to articulate the importance of our health and well-being, because today I have seen four people cry. It’s day two and people are having little breakdowns left and right and no one is talking about wellness yet. People are talking about alcohol and drinking a bottle of wine last night to unwind but no one is talking about wellness.

I want to re-write Norm Number One to read put yourself first so that you can put your kids first. 

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