Once our children are born we spend all of our time taking care of them. This is good and natural. We are raising tiny humans, this takes up most of our time and ALL of our energy. But what would you think if I told you one of the best things we can do for our children is to take care of ourselves as well!
Making time for yourself may seem impossible! You are responsible for your child’s every need, you have a house to run, maintain, bills to pay and there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day. Trust me all parents know that struggle! A parent who doesn’t take care of their needs will become quickly frustrated, are more likely to develop depression and can end up resenting all the time you have to put into your family.
The most common responses when I ask people if they make time for themselves are: “I don’t have anyone to watch my child,” “I cannot afford to spend money on myself,” “I wouldn’t know what to do with time for myself.”
“I don’t have anyone to watch my child…”
I understand it is hard these days to to find trusted babysitters. There are so many stories filling up our newsfeeds about the dangers of child care and they are down right scary! Have you thought of relatives? The child’s other parent? A close friend? A trusted family member of that close friend? If all these don’t work I will say the best babysitter I have ever used was a 15 year old high school student. She wasn’t old enough for a “real” job but was ready to make her own money. She was great with my daughter and always went above and beyond when she came over!
“I cannot afford to spend money on myself”
My reply to this is always, then don’t. Pack a lunch and go for a walk. Go to a park or the library and read a book! When you kid(s) are asleep, instead of cleaning or stressing over to-do lists, soak in a hot bath. Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to cost you a dime. Catch up on your TV shows, read, write, give yourself a spa night, call a friend you haven’t had the time to talk to, talk to your spouse. You need something that relaxes you and you will be ready to tackle the day tomorrow!
“I wouldn’t know what to do with time for myself”
Okay so Grandma (or whoever) took your child for the night… now what? First let me say this, you will miss your child(ren), every parent does. Now I have listed some things you could do but don’t worry I have a few more. When was your last date night? Go out with your spouse, Significant other, friends, or siblings! Enjoy a meal that you aren’t rushed through. Stay in and grab your favorite snacks (you won’t have to share) and watch your favorite movie! Be lazy! Parents never get the chance too!
Making time for yourself isn’t selfish. Just because your a parent doesn’t mean that you are YOU anymore. Once or twice a month having a time out for yourself will improve your mental health and that will result in a happier, healthier parent for the kids to enjoy! Plus on those rough days when you just don’t know how you’re going to get through, you will have something to look forward too. You are a great parent! Just don’t forget to be good to yourself as well!