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Every day since the first day I became a parent, I have asked myself, “Am I doing enough?” While deep down inside I know that I am, I still worry sometimes that I could be doing more.

I mean, that’s normal, right?

The main concern that crosses my mind is that my child won’t always be happy. Right now, they are so young, so carefree, so excited and so joyful about life, in such an effortless way. Every time I see them smile, I genuinely feel the happiest I have ever felt in my life. In these moments, I vow to never let them lose that.

So, I do all of the things. I feed them healthy food. I keep a routine. I indulge their interests. And I love them with all of my heart, above all. Honestly, on most days, I have to remind myself that as long as my child’s mind, body, and spirit are nourished, and they are loved, surely I am doing enough.

There is this school of thought that pushes parents to put their child’s needs first. We are shamed when we ever indulge in our happiness and are made to feel ‘selfish.’ When in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. At first glance, the notion of putting your child’s needs first to ensure they are happy sounds like the right idea. And don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to not give your child what they need.

What I am saying is that you do not have to feel like EVERY single ounce of your existence should be curated around making your child happy. Do you want to know the secret to raise a happy child? Ensure you are happy first.

Many of you, you might be thinking that sounds crazy, but hear me out. Emotions are contagious. If you are unhappy, stressed, unstable and unsettled in life, your little ones can feel that. Not only do they feel that, but they are accepting your chaos as normal. And while it’s okay to fall apart sometimes, if you are not in a good place, your child won’t be either. Not to mention the fact that you won’t be able to show up and show out as a parent if you are always unwell.

Put simply, you cannot pour from an empty cup. If you don’t put your needs first, your child will never be as happy as they should be. But let me be clear: this is NOT a ticket to go off and be a selfish parent who never attends to their child’s needs. As with all things, balance. What I am saying, though, is that you need to take care of yourself and take care of your babies, and everything else will work out as it should.