Take Time for Yourself and Be a Better Parent
As parents, we spend so much time running around taking kids to appointments, practices, lessons, and other commitments that we rarely have time to even think about ourselves. Of course, the kids always come first but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't make a little bit of time to focus on myself. When I'm feeling rundown or blah, I know that I need to step back for a minute and find a way to refresh myself. Many moms don’t realize that they need to take time for themselves. Yes, I said need.
If you are too busy with your kids’ lives to take even a little bit of time for your own, then you are not taking very good care of yourself and that needs to change. It is past time that you take some time to focus on you. There are many reasons why taking time to yourself makes you a better parent, but we are going to cover just a couple of them here.
I've heard the word selfish thrown away and it really bugs me. There are good ways to take a mom break and bad ways. When I suggest that you give yourself a time out, I'm not saying just ditch your family and do what you need to do. Only you know your personal situation and maybe it will take a bit more planning for you. But it's important and you should try to make the time!
Why Taking Time to Yourself Makes You a Better Parent
Healthier Relationships = Better Parent
Healthy relationships play such a big role in being a parent. The support I get from my friends is so needed. Their advice and suggestions and even just having their ear to vent to help so much in my role as a mom. It's also a great way to model what being a good friend is. While I don't get to see my best friends super often, it's important for my kids to know that there is a special place in my life for others.
I notice when I have a date night with my hubby and we feel connected again, that I feel more confident in my parenting skills. Being able to have adult conversations where we can get on the same page in terms of parenting is HUGE! But my husband also knows that I need alone time to recharge. And so does he!
Yes, it was hard when the kids were younger, but once my youngest was in full-day school, it became easier! A happy parent is a better parent and happiness means that you aren’t living a lonely life or a strained relationship.
Lower stress = Better Parent
Taking time for yourself is a great way to relax. When was the last time you felt relaxed while chasing kids from appointment to appointment or while all of your kids talk at you at once? (It’s probably been a while, right?) When you take time for yourself, you will find that you are finally able to relax a little bit which is imperative to a happier mindset.
When I'm stressed out, I'm short with the kids, I feel all kinds of pressure (that I usually put on myself) and the overall atmosphere is tense. While I might not be able to get away for a girl's trip, I owe it to myself to practice a little self care.
Stronger family ties = Better parent
Are there aunts, uncles, or grandparents in the picture? Why not ask them to spend a couple of hours with the kids so you can take time to yourself. When you have the benefit of extended family that loves your children as much as you do, it really lightens your load and helps you to feel less stressed and more confident to parent your children.
My mom used to joke that it really did take a village to raise my kids. I don't hesitate to ask for help! I'm not a superwoman. I know that I can't do it all myself. And I know that while I've had to make sacrifices to put the kids and their schedules first if I can work out childcare so that I can attend a really fun event or even just get myself a pedicure, I'm going to do it!
The bonds the kids create with their family is so awesome. I love that the grandparents get to know the children on their own, without us around.
I'm so lucky to have family close by. If you don't have anyone, try to partner up with other moms and do a swap! Keep the time short (I'll be honest, watching other children isn't my fave but I'll do it to help a mom out!).
Independent children = Better parent
I know a lot of people struggle with this one, but when your child is more independent and more confident to take on tasks without their parent, it will actually help your relationship with them. Not only will you be less stressed, but your child will feel much more confident as they grow up. Plus, teaching them that you value your time to yourself is a great way to make sure that they do the same thing as they get older.
We just had a moment where my youngest was realizing that he needed to take a break from one of his neighbor friends. It was a great moment for him. The word “intention” has been pretty popular in the last year or so. And I think it's super important for kids to understand about self-care and how to make choices to keep themselves well.
I always want to make sure that my children feel fulfilled and one of the ways to do that is making sure they have the tools they need to choose happiness.
Rested parent = Better parent
I don't want to dad shame, but while I do think they benefit from an adult getaway, I think a staycation or getaway is HUGE for moms! I'm pretty sure I haven't gotten a full night sleep, other than when I'm in a hotel (whether a work trip, romantic trip or girlfriend getaway) since the kids were born.
Most moms sleep with one ear open so they can be alert for their children's needs. If my husband is any indication, it's not exactly the same for dads. Getting away, to take a full night sleep and where you are only worrying about yourself, takes EVERYTHING off your shoulders and lets you come away totally refreshed.
If my husband and I can't afford a night in a hotel, we'll ask the grandparents to watch the kids at their house and have a night at home to ourselves. Getting to sleep in your own bed is even better than a hotel night in my opinion!
More posts on parenting you might find helpful:
- Best Parenting Books for Raising Teens
- How to Handle Mom Stress
- An Internet Safety Agreement for Your Family
- Printable Chore List for Kids
- Finding Grace (for yourself)
- What You Should Know About Parenting Teens
Pin this reminder to take time for yourself!
There are some great reasons why taking time to yourself makes you a better parent, so what are you waiting for? What's holding you back?
Have you found any other benefits when you take time for yourself as a parent? Leave a comment below!