The Three A’s – 3 Ways to Best Take Care of Myself and Others

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My daughter had some minor surgery this week. It made me think about some discoveries I’ve made about how I care for others. I used to be in the habit of tending to them in the ways I thought they needed to be cared for, rather than making myself available for what they were truly asking for.

When it comes to need in our home, I’ve observed that there are, what I’ve come to call, The Three A’s. We each require all three but I’ve noticed one often stands above the rest for individual family members.

  1. Attention: Each of my children seem to thrive when they get one-on-one attention from my husband or I. More than any new toy or perfectly folded basket of laundry…Just playing cards, listening, laughing or reading out loud seems to have a huge impact on their overall happiness.
  2. Affection: I’m a hugger, but not so much a snuggler. My husband, however, seems to really appreciate that closeness. It’s important for me to remember this because, after a long day, my nature is to get away from everyone around me.
  3. Appreciation: This is the A that pops up for me the most. Sometimes it feels like everyone is just sitting back loving up the music without any regard to the conductor. Do you think your pillows and blankets for the long car ride walked into the vehicle themselves? Do you think that cooler packed with snacks and drinks comes with the car? Do you think everyone gets to games, practices, rehearsals, birthday parties, field trips, tournaments, jamborees, lessons, friend’s houses, concerts, doctor’s appointments and school because I’m ‘going that way anyway’? Ok. I’ll stop.

I’ve found that if the energy in our house is ‘off,’ we often just have to think about the A’s. Calm can be restored if we just spend a little extra time, show a little tenderness, or express a little gratitude.

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