Andrea Davis Pinkney is a vice president and editor-at-large at Scholastic Trade Books and children’s book author. Like most women, Andrea has a lot of people and things vying for her attention. So she’s developed a self-care philosophy that keeps her grounded and helps her course correct any time she feels overwhelmed.
One thing that is very helpful as a mother is pausing. At every moment, even in joyful times, I remind myself to slow down so that I can really experience what’s going on.
I need quiet time at least three times a day. And the kids know that now. They don’t ask, they don’t question it.
I say, “I’m going to bring down my chi now.” That means, “I’m going into our bedroom for a little bit of quiet.”
I do that in the morning, and I usually do that every day around 3:00 p.m. in my office to get centered, and it is imperative when I walk in the door at night because I am tired. I use a philosophy, which the kids have heard me talk about: “H.A.L.T.”
Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired.
I know when I’m in H.A.L.T. I have to address those four concerns before I can interact with them.
My kids know to wait before they ask me something like, “Can I go over to my friend’s house?” They know I first need to take some deep breaths to come out of H.A.L.T.
Then I emerge with the same letters, which are now Honesty, Acceptance, Love, Tolerance.
As my husband points out, you always have to have your root structure down. What that means is you’ve got to stay grounded and focused on what is important.
That three times a day of quiet has revolutionized everything.