Babies, toddlers, young children, and even teens will keep you on your toes day in and day out. The responsibility of taking care of children is huge, but many parents forget that self-care is just as important and makes them better able to be present for their families.
Feeling too busy? Not sure how to make time for yourselves? Here are some ideas:
It may seem selfish but it isn’t. Look at your daily to-do list and put something that is for you at or near the top. It could be a massage, 30 minutes to read a book – just about anything. Just make sure there is a little bit of time carved out for you.
Get a little bit of exercise, even if it’s just 15-20 minutes per day. Take a walk outside, buy yourself a simple fitness DVD, or find a local class. You can include the kids in your exercise plans as long as you make sure you are getting the movement you need.
Don’t skip meals
You feed your kids regularly, but you sometimes skip your own. Can’t quite bring yourself to sit down for all three meals? That’s fine. Keep some healthy snacks on hand so you can at least keep your blood sugar up without driving yourself to the point of a raging headache.
Hire a babysitter
Can’t hire one? Beg for one, recruit your in-laws – do what you must. Find a way to take a couple of hours out and away from the kids at least a couple of times a month. You need this time away for the sake of your sanity.
Relax like a professional
Sometimes, when the kids are away, we think it’s a great time to clean up the house. Don’t. Just don’t. Sit on the couch, lay in your bed, binge on popcorn, watch TV, have that glass of wine – do whatever you want that does not involve cooking, cleaning, or running your household. These moments won’t come around often. Embrace them.
Oh, and by the way? All of these tips apply to both mom and dad. You both work hard. Take care of yourselves together.