There are clear situations where you need to put your kids first. But there are also times when it’s important to look after yourself. This post lists a few important dos and don’ts when it comes to setting priorities with your kids.
Do prioritise your kids’ health
This is an obvious instance of when you should put your kids first. It’s important that you’re not just looking out for health problems, but creating a healthy environment and lifestyle for your kids to prevent health issues in the future. This includes things like making sure your kid is getting healthy meals and that they’re brushing their teeth morning and night.
Don’t neglect your own health
While your kids’ health comes first, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect your own health. If you get ill, you won’t be able to provide adequate care for your kids, so you need to make sure that you’re looking out for symptoms and seeing a doctor if necessary. Make sure that you’re also living a healthy lifestyle by eating the right foods, exercising and getting enough sleep. You’ll not only prevent health problems but you’ll set a good example to your kids.
Do create a routine around your kids
It’s beneficial for kids to have a routine such as a set bedtime and set mealtimes. Your lifestyle should revolve around this routine – this means making sure that you’re not working late and that you’re preparing meals early so that your kids can go to bed at a reasonable time. Don’t try to fit your kids’ routine around your lifestyle if it’s not practical.
Do schedule daily time for yourself
While you should be spending quality time with your kids daily, you should also be making time for yourself. This should be time to relax alone, socialise with friends or engage in hobbies. Time for yourself doesn’t mean doing housework – you need time to let your hair down, otherwise you’ll get stressed and depressed, which won’t be good for your kids.
Do dedicate time to nurturing your relationship with your partner
Some couples spend so much time focusing on their kids that they forget to focus on one another. It’s important to still go on dates with your partner and do things without your kids. After all, when your kids are all grown up and they move out, who will be there?
Don’t stay in a bad relationship for the sake of your kids
While it’s important to work on your relationship with your partner when you have kids, you shouldn’t try to force a toxic relationship to work. If your partner is abusive, unfaithful, neglectful or you simply don’t see eye-to-eye, it’s important that you know when to end it so that you’re not resigning yourself to a life of unhappiness. Breakups with kids can be messy so it’s often worth hiring divorce solicitors. A breakup can be hard on your kids initially, but could be beneficial in the long run.
Do support your kids personal goals
You should try to support your kids’ goals where possible – this could include becoming competent at a sport, learning an instrument or developing drawing skills. This could involve having to sacrifice your time and money to drive them to clubs or pay for lessons/equipment. Supporting your kids’ goals will help them to follow their passions later in life. Don’t try to force them to pursue goals that they are not interested in.
Don’t sacrifice all your personal goals
It’s important that you still have personal goals beyond parenting. Having such goals can be inspiring to kids and will make you feel more fulfilled. Don’t feel guilty dedicating time to these goals, whether it’s training for a run or developing a new hobby like baking or blogging.