The Parenting Oxygen Mask

oxygen mask, me time, relaxation, breathe, deep breathing, meditate

If you have been on an airplane and have actually listened to the safety instructions you know what to do if cabin pressure drops and the oxygen mask is required.  First you put on your own mask and then you help others.  Why should you go first? Two obvious reasons come to mind.  First, a child companion would be more likely to put on an oxygen mask if they see a parent role model it.  Second, logic tells us that we have to be able to breathe in order to help someone else breathe!

Parenting is no different.  In order to be less stressed and more effective, parents have to find their oxygen mask, put it on, and keep it on.  Follow this fundamental step, and you’ll be sending a steady stream of oxygen to recharge your spirit.  How would this benefit you?  How would a stronger “you” benefit your family?

Whether you choose a rigorous work out, read a book, light a candle and meditate, or watch a funny sitcom, carve out a small portion of your day to have your solitary “me time”.  What’s a small portion?  How about 30 minutes?  Yes.  You can!  

 Allow yourself to look forward to this time in your day and revel in it when you get there.  The mindset that accompanies your chosen activity is what makes the critical difference.  Carefully choose something that feels good deep down in your soul and luxuriate in it.  Once you’ve chosen your activity, pick a time of day in which you can accomplish it.  Then, like Nike says, “Just Do It!”  And, remember L’Oreal’s slogan?  It says “Because I’m worth it!”  Combine those and you have “Just do it Because I’m Worth it!

What do you think?  How can you honor your job, your family, and everything else, and still honor yourself?  How will you spend your “me time?”  Please share your ideas in our comments section.


  1. Keyuri, aloha. Love the analogy of the oxygen mask. That is so true. If we are not in a good space ourselves, we cannot help others.

    Though I am not a parent–actually, I am, I have a Maine Coon Cat–I certainly recognize the importance of recharging your batteries.

    When I plan my days/weeks, I put down time for my walks, lunch with girlfriends and other things that lift me up.

    Keyuri, you are so right; it is very important to note down “Me” time in planning your life.

    Best wishes for a terrific week. Aloha. Janet

  2. In line with your oxygen mask analogy (which I loved!), I imagine that parents also set an example for their children if they are overworked. In time, children may also learn to work until they’re burned out and not take care of themselves.

    “Me” time is so key, not only from children, but also from any other task that has the potential of overrunning our lives. In finding that balance, I like to spend my “Me” time going for walks and reading in the Plaza near my apartment. =)

    Thanks for this beautiful post, Keyuri. =)

    • Samantha you’re right! Parents role model self care for their kids. These days our kids are multitasking facebook with every other part of their lives. They need to have unstructured and electronics free relaxation. Parent’s can teach throught their actions. THanks for raising this great point.

  3. I agree with you. It is helpful to take a moment and recoup from daily routines and responsibilities.

    Yes, taking some time for oneself does give a person something to look forward to each day as well.

    Allowing yourself a chance to relax each day may help you feel more relaxed around others as well.

  4. Keyuri I love the oxygen mask analogy!! It’s spot on! How can you help someone else, with anything actually, if you are not breathing yourself?

  5. You should be a pitch-man, Keyuri. Well done! You’re absolutely right. As a married man, we definitely have our alone time where we can do whatever we want. I see the same habits in some married couples who have kids. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Sripriya M says:

    Thanks for another great Post Keyuri. You are absolutely correct. we need to take the time to “Renew” ourselves daily so that we could take better care of others. It should not be confused with “Selfishness”. Being a mom of two little Kids, initally I was always in the “Give” mode to the family and all the accumulated stress caused me have a chest pain and go to the Emergency one night. Yes. I did learn it the hard way!. From then on, I find ways to take better care of myself first(without the guilt!) so that I can be a better parent to my Kids and family.

    • Wow Sripriya! Thanks for sharing your personal story and shedding light on the physical consequences of stress. It’s so easy to forget when we are living our chaotic lives. Glad to know that you came out of your siutaion okay and that you keep your oxygen mask on!

  7. Hi Keyuri,

    Love the oxygen mask analogy. It is so important to take care of ourselves so we can be there for our children. It isn’t always easy to do – especially for a mother who usually thinks only of her children. We tend to forget about/neglect ourselves.

    • Julie, it sounds like you’ve been there. Mom’s neglecting themselves are often doing so because they come from a place of love. But imagine how much more they could be capable of if they were only recharged. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Wonderful post Keyuri. It is so important for us to take care of ourselves, mentally, physically and spiritually. Too often, we run around taking care of and meeting the needs of others that we forget to nurture ourselves. This is a lesson that I learned many year ago.

  9. Thank you for the reminder of this. I have my whole life always put others first. And my children are my life and have always came before me. I don’t take time for me, I don’t know what time is for me. If I do take that time it’s as if I’m still not relaxed if you know what I mean? But, thank you for the comments and ideals I will try them….

    • Thanks for your comment Theresa. Not only do I hope you’ll put your oxygen mask on, I hope you stick to it for a solid 30 days to see the difference it can make. Make it meaningful by knowing that a stronger you benefits your whole family!


  1. […] The Parenting Oxygen Mask, by Keyuri Joshi of “In order to be less stressed and more effective, parents have to find their oxygen mask, put it on, and keep it on.  Follow this fundamental step, and you’ll be sending a steady stream of oxygen to recharge your spirit.  How would this benefit you?  How would a stronger ‘you’ benefit your family?” […]

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