Parenting is exhausting. And that’s an understatement. Not only is it unpaid and relentless, it comes with a somewhat unspoken burden that parents should be utterly selfless. Reality check, the always-on approach is not going to end well. Even the most positive and amazing parent is going to get burnt out eventually. That’s why it’s important for parents to take time for themselves. Taking care of yourself will make you a happier person and a better parent.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we recommend neglecting your children. Of course not! But there is a way to find time in your day for you. Here are some tips for being mindful about “me time”.
- Date Night – Even when you have a new baby, it’s important for you and your partner to spend alone time together to continue to nurture and grow your relationship. Schedule a date night once a month and get a sitter. You have to be mindful about scheduling this time or it won’t happen
- Exercise – Exercising is great for the body and the mind. It’s a good stress-reliever and a way to fight post-partum depression too. Many fitness clubs offer childcare services, which makes it easy for parents to fit in a workout
- Quiet Time – When your children are little, you get used to having a break during nap-time. Once your child outgrows his/her nap, consider continuing the theme with “quiet time”. This may only be an hour, but it gives you a break and encourages your child to be independent (playing or reading for example in his/her room)
- Bedtime Routine – Most parents are totally exhausted by the time kids are in bed. Give yourself some time to yourself before you go to bed by committing to a regular bed time for the kids
- Create Time – If you are an early riser, perhaps you could enjoy an hour to yourself in the morning before the rest of your family gets up? A quiet house with a cup of coffee and good book might be all you need to get your day off to a great start
No-matter how you choose to find and spend “me” time, the important thing is that it should be guilt-free. You work hard; your life is busy; it’s wrong for anyone to say that you should be a martyr for the sake of your children. A healthy and happy family is one that considers and supports the needs and feelings of each and every family member.