As a parent, it is instinctual that your kids come first – but it is also important to ensure you make some time for yourself, too. It is all too easy to lose yourself, and finding a little bit of you again comes with that dreaded sense of guilt that follows you around as a parent. It can be difficult to shake, and will likely take some time but if you can spare a few minutes, an hour or even a day in your busy schedule, then you and your family will reap the rewards tenfold.
In the midst of half-term or the school year in general, finding a little time for a getaway focused on yourself may seem like a distant hope – but having some me-time to look forward to will do wonders for your mental health and, let’s be honest, sanity!
While finding time for your partner and relationship is equally important, having some quality time for yourself is something that many parents, and mum’s especially, struggle with. So, how can you do it without feeling like the worst mother in the world for a few hours of peace?
Make ‘Me Time’ Your Daily Mantra
Finding a few minutes every day for yourself gives you essential time to recharge. Whether this is 10 minutes with your feet up once the kids are finally in bed or an hour at the gym – reconnecting with and investing in yourself is invaluable as a parent. A little bit every day can be just what you need. The first time may be tough, but the more you do it, the easier it will become – and you will feel recharged and renewed in no time.
Using a little me time to exercise is one of the best ways to feel more like yourself – whether you like yoga, pilates, running or the gym, most forms of exercise can improve your mood and lift your spirits to the point where you don’t even remember to feel guilty. The best part is you don’t actually need to be kid-free to exercise with classes available if they take your fancy – or even just going for an afternoon walk. Release those endorphins!
Don’t Suffer Alone
It is so easy to feel alone when you are at home with the kids, often by yourself with partners out to work. This is true even for working mums; it can feel very isolating and like you are just stuck in a bubble with your kids outside of work. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone! Reach out to other mums, even if it’s just for someone to vent to or share a cuppa with on a tough parenting day. Let grandparents, friends, aunties and uncles help out when they offer – there is no shame in accepting a little help and you will feel much better for it.
Treat Yourself (and the Family) to a getaway
It isn’t always possible to find a spare day or weekend away from parental responsibility, though, and moreover we often don’t want to be away from our children for extended periods of time – and that’s fine too. Book in some quality family time away from the everyday norm – even if it is just a night away at a hotel – and get some much-needed me time without the guilt of leaving them behind. The kids might surprise you and give you a lie in too!
Something to Look Forward To
Having something to look forward to as a family is a fantastic way to reduce stress and mum-guilt for any time spent on you in the interim. The Christmas holidays are right around the corner, and are something the whole family can enjoy if you want to get away for a few days – whether in a hotel, caravan or rented accommodation, there is a whole host of memories just waiting to be made.
In essence, the key to making time for yourself without feeling guilty is all about balance – spend a little time on yourself, a little time for you and your partner and it will make the time spent with your family all the more precious.