As parents, it’s vital for us to be at our best. After all, no matter if we’re a stay-at-home parent or an actual rocket scientist, there is no more important job than raising our kids. Yet all too often we burn the candle at both ends and end up burnt out. Tough as it is, we need to take the time to recharge our batteries so that we can be the best mom/ dad/ wife/ husband/ worker we can be.
Carve out some daily me time. No, it’s not easy. But it’s doable and it’s worth it. If you need to, ease yourself into it. 10 minutes a day at first, until you can give yourself a solid 30-60 minutes a day. And remember, grocery shopping doesn’t count. Me time consists of time when you can do things just for you (and typical hygiene, like showers, don’t count either). Go for a walk, take a nap, work on a hobby, watch tv, or just stare at the sky.
Hire a mother’s helper. A mother’s helper is a great, less expensive way to get time for yourself. You’re slightly limited in what you can do because you can’t leave the house (at least you can’t go far), but having someone around to help out with making lunch and keeping your kids busy is an amazing thing. Read up on what to consider when hiring a mother’s helper here.
Ask for help. Many parents, myself included, have a hard time asking for help. But what you might find is that there are plenty of people who would be happy to help, and have been waiting for you to ask. Even simple requests like asking your spouse to do the dishes so you can take a bath can make a big difference in your frame of mind.
Take a day off. When I was on my own I would take entire weekends and lock myself in my condo, stay in my jammies, and just relax. Now that I’m a married mother and homeowner, taking a weekend off is not going to happen. But a day… I can probably handle that. Have hubby take the kids to swim class and the birthday party so you can relax, order dinner out and eat on paper plates.
Learn to say no. We want to make people happy, especially our family and friends, but we simply can’t do it all. Learning to say no will make you a better spouse, parent, and friend because you will be able to be fully committed and present to those things you say yes to. But first you have to say no. We all have the occasional day when we’re running from place to place, one foot out the door as soon as we arrive. But that shouldn’t be the norm.