Children are lovely, and people say they grow up so fast. What people do not say is how much of your time they consume when growing up. Parents everywhere can testify to how time-consuming training a child or children can be. As children grow from toddlers to infants to teenagers, the demands do not reduce; they just change. Carving out time for self-care as a parent is as important as anything you will do for your child.
A stressed parent may be less empathetic and more prone to shouting rather than instructing and guiding their child. Any parenting method that consumes all your time and leaves no room for self-care is not advisable. Do not feel guilty about taking time out for yourself because it makes you a better parent.
The question now is how do you carve out self-care time as a parent, and what do you do within that time? It is not so easy but it can be done. Schedule self-care time into your weekly schedule, put it up on the fridge as a reminder, or set a digital reminder.
Here are some self-care ideas you should try out.
Schedule a power nap daily
The laundry can wait, and cooking can be postponed, too, just for you to take a much-needed 20-30 minutes power nap. A nap will energize you and leave you rested to face the demands of parenting. For mothers or fathers of new babies, you can nap while the baby sleeps or take turns watching the baby allow one partner to rest. For parents of older kids, nap time can be while the kids are at school.
Write a gratitude journal entry
A simple gratitude journal entry can take the focus away from all that stresses you and remind you of all you can be thankful for. The sun drying up laundry quickly, your son’s smile after a glass of juice or even your child’s first words are simple gratitude journal entries. Studies also show that people who keep gratitude journals have a higher sleep quality.
Book a spa appointment
A good massage for your feet and body can have a fantastic effect on your mind. Appreciate your body for its contribution to parenting with regular spa appointments.
Go out with friends
Drop the kids off at Grandma’s and go hang out with friends. Do not feel guilty about this, as connecting with friends can improve your mood and make you a more attentive and empathetic parent.
Order a treat
Between policing your children to eat their vegetables and trying to stay healthy yourself, you have a lot going on. A treat once in a while will be a good reward. Order a pizza, shawarma or even a plate of seafood okro just for yourself and savour it.
Parenting is a rewarding experience but does not get caught up and lose yourself. Take time out for self-care and see how that makes you a better parent.