Self-care is an important part of being successful at anything, but this is especially true as a parent. Parenting is a constant responsibility, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed and exhausted. Taking care of yourself gives you the strength you need to continue on and be the best parent you can be.
Give Yourself Permission to Relax
One of the most difficult things about practicing self-care as a parent is the guilt that comes along with it. Many parents feel a deep sense of guilt for leaving their child while they allow themselves to relax. However, giving yourself permission to relax is absolutely critical to being a good parent. If you’re constantly exhausted and worn thin, you won’t be able to be the patient and attentive parent that your child needs. Giving yourself a few hours (or even just one hour) each day to relax makes you better able to handle the strains of parenthood. If you have a young child that can’t be left alone, you and your partner (or another caregiver) can set up designated times to trade off caring for your child so the other can relax.
Divide Up Duties
If you stay at home with your children and your partner works full time, it’s easy to feel like you are doing all of the work in parenthood. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, consider dividing up the duties of parenthood more equally. Sit down with your partner, and write down a list of all of the things you need to do every day. Then, you can come up with a way that both of you are able to work together to get things done. Instead of allowing yourself to become resentful toward your partner, you can find an agreement that makes things easier for both of you.
Make Time For Your Passions
While your role as a parent is incredibly important, it’s important that you still see yourself as an individual. You still have the same passions and interests from before becoming a parent. One of the best ways to care for yourself is to get back in touch with something you care about outside of parenting. If you used to love to draw, consider taking a painting class at a local art center once a week. You can start a book club with some friends and neighbors, or sign up to play a set at an open mic night. Being a parent can be so all-consuming that it’s important to take some time to do things that interest you.
When you’re a parent, it’s impossible to take a day off. Your children depend on you in order to survive, and this responsibility can be exhausting. Practicing self-care as a parent is the best way to make sure that both you and your kids have a positive experience.
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