Parenting and Self-care
Parenting can be very challenging and rewarding at the same time. How do you take time for yourself? Self-care is not selfish, but it’s one of the best things that you can do as a mother or father. Taking a break from the normal routine helps us to reflect and re-energize you so that you can take care of everyone else. Maintaining day to day activities often leaves very little time for mother or fathers to be able to relax, have fun and rest.
Parent must be ready at all times for their children which often causes burnout and makes things that could be everyday treasures feel like everyday chores. It is so important that parent start taking time for themselves which can be difficult if you cannot afford to do so. Parent may need to ask a family member to watch the kids etc. Whatever you need to do, make it happen.
In my home, I do have a hectic schedule which is flexible at times. After taking my daughter to high school, I take some time to schedule some me time which may include going to the nail shop, reading, meditation and simply listening to nature. My husband who is retired from the army often was away for weeks at a time and that we didn’t even see each other due to his demands at work.
It’s not self-fish to take some time for yourself, know that parents need self-care the most. Parents push themselves to the limit and often have no more energy for anything which causes a variety of issues that includes depression, anxiety and insomnia. So before you take a day off focus on sleeping, eating well and moving your body. At times, I would just schedule lunch with myself, yes by yourself and read in the coffee shop. Sometimes, we go the beach and just enjoy ourselves. It’s all about reconnecting yourself with nature and its various healing properties. Give yourselves permission to get away from the kids because kids will wear you out.
Some suggestion on how replenish your energy
- Know your limits- It is okay to say no without feeling guilty. Set your boundaries and say no to things that are not important. Say yes to things that are rewarding and replenishing. For example, it’s okay to say no to another volunteer opportunity. (Yes, I am guilty of saying yes.) But, say yes to a lunch or dinner with a friend.
- Get therapy- For me, I felt overwhelmed close to christmas and I just had to talk to someone to keep my sanity. I made the effort to get counseling while helped me to overcome my anxiety.
- Find a new hobby – For me, I took up loom knitting with was fun at first or simple attending a cooking class. I also love to paint and color.
- Set a firm goals Instead of setting a short-term goal why don’t you think about competing in a walk-a-thon that forces you to practice every week.
- Ask for alone time in the house – Yes, this may seem to be difficult, but just lock the door and let everyone know that you are taking sometime for yourself with no interruptions. (Side note- this worked for me for sometime and then I had several interruptions)
- Take some time to be with your spouse- Previous in the past, every Friday I would schedule a dinner date with my husband without the kids. Of course, in my situation my children are older, but get a sitter and go out and enjoy yourselves. This will force you to focus on each other which can be challenging for me at times. But, this is so important for your marriage. Remember, your kids need it, and you need it as well.