Parenting: Relax & Recharge
Every parent knows between work, shuttling kids around and keeping a household running, cramming everything you need to get done into a 24-hour day feels impossible most days. Suggesting you make time for yourself will just have you rolling your eyes. More likely than not, you barely have time to sit down while you enjoy a cup of coffee most days. Drive thru is a mother’s best friend.
Parents place so much pressure on themselves to keep up. The key to though to maintaining successful parenting will seem counterintuitive at first but trust me for just a bit and I’ll explain… make time for yourself. Without self-care, every parent will inevitably hit a wall whether it be physical or mental wellness. Setting time aside in your schedule to do something for yourself will make you a better parent.
According to board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Grant Brenner, self-care should be practiced “religiously.” “Self-care should not be dropped when it becomes more difficult to maintain,” he says. Plan for obstacles of self-care and have alternatives available in advance, rather than undermining consistency. The key is finding what works for you because everyone’s idea of relaxing is different. “The more specific your plan, the more likely you will be to keep your commitment.”
“Parents need time to recharge and just be,” Danette May, a health and wellness expert and author of “The Rise: An Unforgettable Journey of Self-Love, Forgiveness, and Transformation”, says. “As a parent, you should make self-care a priority so you can thrive and encourage an environment where your entire family thrives.” When you approach life with this philosophy, you’ll be energized by love and support instead of being ruled by fear and anxiety.
It is normal for parents to feel selfish taking time for themselves, especially if it requires paying for childcare. However, prioritizing your health is a part of caring for your family. Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D. notes good self-care allows parents to give the best versions of themselves to their children. Modeling positive self-care shows children how they should respect their own bodies as well.
“Even the most well-intentioned parent can be irritable and sluggish if robbed of proper rest, time for relaxation and other necessary self-care,” she says. “A tired, frustrated or angry parent will accomplish less and be less emotionally available to children than a parent who has carved out a half hour for good self-care.”
Once you commit to prioritizing self-care, explore some ways to practice it. This may be a yoga class, going for a walk, cycling, hiking. You can also consider signing your child up for a clinic at Horizons Edge and give yourself some quiet time in our Mezzanine while they take their class. There’s also reading, gardening, listening to music or an audiobook, writing, taking a bubble bath, baking or knitting. Find what works for you so you enjoy your time, relax, recharge and return to your family ready to go again!