From the moment you become a parent, your whole world changes, in wonderful and totally unexpected ways! Suddenly all your attention is focused on taking care of your children and providing for them. Remember those quiet moments at a coffee shop or an evening walk with your partner, where did they go? It can certainly feel like they’ve become a thing of the past! Your schedule will be brimming with your childrens’ activities and appointments. While parenthood is an exciting adventure, we understand that it can be overwhelming at times! And how many of us, truthfully, feel the urge to dive for chocolate or ice cream in those moments? Instead, how about you create some valuable ‘Me’ time to pause and revitalise, so you can really enjoy the journey? ‘Me’ time allows you to focus on your own self-care and recharge a little before returning to your bustling routine.
Time for Yourself: What Does That Even Mean?
Juggling family life with work and social commitments can feel like a huge task. Most of us crave some ‘Me’ time but, Oh, how guilty we can feel about leaving our children with someone else so we can focus on ourselves! We all know too well that our children will not be young forever (how many times have we heard those words ‘They grow up so fast, enjoy every moment’?!), and you want to spend every breath-taking waking moment with them, however your emotional well-being is critical. It ultimately shapes the input and attention you give to your family. If we stop and think about that, doesn’t looking after yourself seem rather important and even make perfect sense? Well, yes! Setting aside a few hours doesn’t make you selfish; you deserve some breathing space, a moment to catch your breath and rebalance. When you are anxious and tired, you are unlikely to savour the time with your family. You – and your children – will benefit tremendously by enjoying and cherishing those precious moments instead! Tuning in to your own needs, in order to maintain your balance is essential.
Why Do Parents Need ‘Me-Time’?
Parenting is incredible, and so much of the time you are deeply wrapped up in taking care of everyone and it is all too easy to forget yourself. Having time dedicated to oneself gives you a moment to focus on your own needs and desires. Parenting can at times be stressful and engulfing, particularly in these exceptional times, and of course none of us wish to convey any negative energy to our children, it’s the last thing we intend to do, yet it can happen without us even noticing! A chance to unwind and put yourself first makes a tremendous difference in your energy levels and mental well-being. We know how important our energy is as parents, so wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could match the vitality of our young bundles of joy! Wouldn’t we just love that?! You can give yourself this valuable gift.
Parents who set aside some time for themselves find they are more centred and present. The time alone allows us to focus and think more clearly. We know that children repeat our patterns; if we are at their disposal all the time, they will never learn the valuable skills of self-awareness and self-reliance. Raising our children to be self-sufficient and understand the importance of balance between caring for themselves and others is a great skill for life! Your children may even decide to offer you this care when you need it most and least expect it!
How Can I Be a Parent and Not Lose Myself?
Many parents live with regrets of losing their sense of self when their children were young and find they have to rediscover themselves all over again! If you do not take that all important time to pause and focus on your own needs and passions, losing connection with yourself may even cast a slight shadow over your memories of being a parent. How do you avoid losing yourself? We all understand that giving your time to your children is vital, but it is also important to maintain your friendships, make time for your passions, and honour your social commitments. Dedicate time to giving expression to your professional self, your friendships, and your spouse. That way, you will maintain a fulfilling life when your children grow up and leave home to move on with their own exciting plans for their lives!
What is Parental Burnout?
We all experience daily stresses, however if these regularly exceed our ability to maintain balance in our lives this puts us at much greater risk of parental burn-out. Most parents are no strangers to intense fatigue, however parental burn-out is characterised by the extreme and ongoing exhaustion that can arise from an unceasing flow of demands on us as parents. This is different to those evenings – we’ve all been there – where all we can do is flop on to our beds and slide into the warm comfort of our very own sanctuary! However there’s no need to worry, we’re here to help make sure this doesn’t happen to you!
8 Ways to Find Your Me-Time and Actually Enjoy it, Guilt Free!
You can (and should!) find a little time every day to relax and recharge, so whether it’s 20 minutes or a couple of hours, we’ve got a list of fun and fast ideas to help you make the most of the time you have all to yourself.
Do not let guilt prevent you from taking care of yourself. It is okay to prioritise what you need sometimes. Self-care allows you to love more and appreciate the time spent together with your family. Besides, some ‘me’ time will make you a better parent. We’re rooting for you!