Guest Post by Dr. Chisato Hotta, DSW, LMFT, LPCC | Therapist Mama Bear and 2 Ausome Cubs | @Therapistmamabear
As a parent, it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves. As our days are filled with taking care of others: our kids, possibly our parents, friends, significant other, etc., we tend to put ourselves on the back burner.
As a licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed professional clinical counselor and doctor of social work, whose background has been working with children significantly, one of the things that I am passionate about is making sure that the parents are doing ok. Why? Because if the parents are not ok, the kids are not either.
And trust me- I get it. As a parent, it is easy for us to say, “I’m fine,” when we aren’t. It’s easy to forget about ourselves and say, “Oh, I’ll just take care of me later.” or “I don’t have time to take care of myself!”
I am a mama to twin boys on the autism spectrum. They are 7 years old and are my world. I also work full time and part time, and also volunteer. I tend to be asked, “um… do you SLEEP?” often. It can be a lot to balance, at times. One of the things that used to go to the back burner, was- you guessed it- me!
That changed when I realized that I was becoming the very parent that I used to work with. I sat down and evaluated my life: What was really important to me? And then, I sat down and thought about… ok, so how can I make sure that the things that are important to me are going to get the best parts of me? I didn’t want my family to get the scraps of me. If I was over exhausted or stressed, they were not going to get the best version of me (or even a good version of me! ) And that was not okay.
So… I started to think of ways to take care of myself. I am not talking about going on weekly vacations. I am talking about doing things like…
Taking a bath after the kids have gone to bed
Taking 5 minutes to sit in silence and listen to my breath
Taking 10 deep breaths before transitioning to something else
Schedule a chat with friends
Find things that make me laugh
Name 5 things that I am grateful for every day
…And so on. Something that I could do on a daily basis.
So… now I ask you: What can YOU do to take care of you?
You are important. Because if you are not okay, then your family will not be ok either. You are still important, so, so much. Please go to the mirror and tell yourself that! Then… think of what you can do to take care of you.
Dr. Chisato Hotta, DSW, LPCC, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed professional clinical counselor and a doctor in social work. She is currently a senior program supervisor at a mental health non-profit where she works with a small but mighty team to provide trainings, implementing changes as needed and providing support to the agency. Dr. Chisato also works part time as an adjunct professor, and a therapist, and gives training on mental health, autism, commercial sexual exploitation of children and more. Her husband, Yuki, has a master’s degree in statistics and is an associate risk and data analyst.
Dr. Chisato is a mom to twin boys, Yuri and Akira, who are both on the autism spectrum and are her world and light. She tries to blend being a mental health provider and being a mama in her Instagram and Facebook. Dr. Chisato has a blog where she talks about mental health, autism and balancing roles and gives weekly tips. She is also a self-published writer of a children’s book on coping skills.
Book link: https://www.amazon.com/Go-
Another book and journal coming up soon!