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Creating a Parent Pamper List

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Got an hour?

  • Treat yourself to a manicure.
  • Put your feet up, park the kids in front of PBS (would I ever recommend commercial TV?), make yourself a pot of tea, and read a short story or a few chapters of a novel.
  • Take a long bath with bubbles or aromatherapy oil and bath toys (borrow your kid's).
  • Take a nature walk in the local park.
  • Get a massage. Sometimes they'll come to your house.
  • Have good sex (no, not with the massage therapist!).
  • Do an art project.
  • Set the timer and take a guilt break. For one hour, refuse to feel guilty. Stop feeling guilty about still feeling guilty, stop feeling guilty for feeling guilty about feeling guilty. If you don't feel guilty, don't feel guilty about that, either.

Got two hours?

  • Take yourself out for sushi.
  • Do a more elaborate art project.
  • Try a dance class.
  • Take a trip to the gym.

Got an evening?

  • Hire a baby-sitter and go out to dinner with a friend you haven't seen in years. While you're at it, have some guilt-free dessert.
  • Take the kids to a loving friend's house and go to a concert.
It's a Good Idea!

Bumper sticker on my car: Serenitize your multitasking.

It's a Good Idea!

Use your pamper list!

Create Your Own Pamper List

You spend a lot of time in your life doing the “right” thing and taking care of other people. This is a pamper list for you! When you're in the middle of a stressful period, it's often hard to remember to take care of yourself, and when you do remember, it's hard to decide what to do. Aha! You can prepare in advance! Fill out this work sheet when you are in a good mood. When big stress hits, refer to this list for ideas. You may use some of the ideas I've suggested above, though I encourage you to make up your own, too. You are the only one who knows what will replenish you.

  • If I have 30 seconds, I'll:
  • If I have six minutes, I'll:
  • If I have half an hour, I'll:
  • If I have an hour, I'll:
  • If I have two hours, I'll:
  • If I have an evening, I'll:
  • I feel happier with myself when I:
  • I feel better about my body when I:
  • I feel excited by life when I:

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Well-Behaved Child © 1999 by Ericka Lutz. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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