Parenting, some consider it a delight, others consider it a chore. Particularly the long days of toddler tantrums and argumentative pre-teens. That’s why it’s important that parents take some time to themselves. Either hire a babysitter, seek help from the family or wait until your kids are responsible to look after themselves for a few hours. There are plenty of options for parents to get out the house and rediscover themselves and in-fact it’s important not only for your health and wellbeing, but it’ll also help your kids too.
Why It’s Important to Take Time to Yourself
Parenting can be pretty full-on, particularly when the little ones are very little. Long-days of neediness and clingy hands can be exhausting both on body and mind. Particularly if you are doing it alone, either while your partner works or as a single parent. Children don’t understand that sometimes our brains need silence to catch up on themselves. Or that hearing about Thomas the Tank Engine for the seventh time this hour doesn’t ignite the same excitement as it does for them.
Parents taking time to themselves allows them the space to unwind and overall be a much better parent. Preventing stress from becoming overwhelming and allowing you to approach difficult situations in a better frame of mind. Calmer parents are also able to connect better with their children, enforcing deeper bonds.
The whole “it takes a village” saying isn’t just a historic hearsay but is rooted in fact when tribes or villages pitched in together to raise children. This made it easier on the individual and is a practice that sadly isn’t seen as wide-spread in western culture in a modern day.
When Time Is Short
When at home with the kids, it can seem like your day is unending with chores and entertaining, however, taking just 5 minutes a day to yourself can make all the difference. Take time to do some slow breathing exercises, whether it’s on the loo, during chores or while your child is entertaining themselves. Alternatively, have a quick stretch or even do a few minutes of Yoga – there is a wealth of resources online which give information on minute-long work-outs or meditation sessions.
Reading is a good relaxation exercise and doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. Combined with the encyclopaedia of the world’s knowledge we carry in our pockets (our smartphones!) there are plenty of amusing articles or informative posts to keep our brain happy.
For Longer Opportunities
Got some time to yourself and not sure how to fill it? Why not explore a new hobby or revisit a hobby you had prior to children? If you’ve got to stick around the home, investigate exercises you can do to work out your whole body or pick up a puzzle or brainteaser to keep your mind active. Gaming is a fantastic way to escape for a short amount of time and it’s not all war re-enactments and fantasy, there are plenty of genres to interest even the most detached anti-gamer.
If you have the opportunity to get away, consider exploring somewhere new or somewhere with an interesting history. You could even go for a Hotel & Spa break and truly pamper yourself into ultimate relaxation. If you’ve been dying for a shopping trip – did you know Glasgow is considered a top weekend break and is full of fantastic shopping opportunities!
Remember, your kids may only be little for a short amount of time but if you aren’t able to take some much-needed space to yourself, you’ll likely not be able to enjoy it. Do yourself and your children a favour and put yourself first, if even just for 5 minutes, every day.
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