Sometimes, it can feel like you have a hundred and one things to do and no time to do them – especially when you have little children to look after. However, it’s essential to take time for yourself. How can you look after anyone else when you’re stressed, overworked and tired? Taking time for yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. So, when you have a hectic family life, how can you take time for yourself?
Often, time for yourself comes at the bottom of your priorities. It shouldn’t, but when you have little children that you love more than anything else in the whole world, they always take priority. However, you can’t look after anyone else properly if you don’t look after yourself. So, schedule a bit of time every week for yourself. Be organised. Get a diary, make lists or even spreadsheets. Print them out, using equipment from https://www.printerinks.com so they feel official. Laminate them if you must. Do whatever you can to convince yourself that this “me time” isn’t optional.
Whilst you love your family, a healthy one has boundaries and respects each other’s space. This might be hard for a tiny baby to understand – but it won’t be hard for your partner, who can look after the tiny baby whilst you’re taking your “me time”. If you like to take your relaxation time in the bath, for example, this might mean making it clear that you don’t want anyone to come into the bathroom when you’re soaking in the bubbles. Or perhaps it’s taking the dog out for a walk on your own, with no one else coming with you. Whatever that time is for you, make sure that you set boundaries with your family. It’s not harsh – it’s giving yourself a reboot so you can be the best version of you for them.
Get a babysitter
If you have a partner, it’s important for both of you to go out sometimes without the kids. Whilst this might sound unfair, you need to enjoy each other’s company and let your hair down without the pressures of being a parent. Likewise, if you’re not in a relationship, it’s important for you to see friends, meet new people and get out of the house. So, if you don’t have other family members to look after your kids whilst you’re having fun, get a babysitter. They aren’t expensive, and a trusty local teenager will benefit from the extra cash. If you’re worried about leaving your little ones in the hands of a stranger, ask for a referral from a friend, and make sure you meet the babysitter beforehand.
Ask for help
Being a parent can be overwhelming, and it’s totally normal to feel stressed. If you’re struggling and aren’t getting the time to yourself that you deserve, there’s no shame in asking for help. In fact, it should be actively encouraged. Friends, family and neighbours will understand if you need to take a break and loved ones will want to do whatever they can to ease your stress. Your own mental wellbeing is important, and it shouldn’t be overlooked.