How to have ‘me-time’ as a parent
How to have ‘me-time’ – Time Management for parents
Taking dedicated “me” time when you have a family, work, home — and life — to maintain may seem like a selfish act but is it? To create a more balanced, calm and happy existence for ourselves and our families, it doesn’t seem selfish to me. We almost immediately forget the truth, that when parents take a break, they come back home more refreshed, calmer and with a different mind-set. Taking care of ourselves is not selfish, it’s a crucial part of living a full life while focusing on putting ourselves back on the priority list.
Here are some ways to make the whole day feel like ‘me time’:
– Use your first cup of coffee, tea or water in the morning as your cue to be here now. Don’t do anything else – no planning, no reading, no television and, if possible, no talking. Just be.
– Notice beauty around you and take a moment to breathe it in: a graceful tree in your garden, the light shining through your window, someone smiling.
– Set up a ‘me box’ and fill it with things that make your heart soar: a beautiful photograph, your journal and a memento from a special time.
– Change your daily habits. Get up early and find your Zen. I use those few hours in the morning to get myself together, to just enjoy the peace and quiet.
– Catch up with best friend or call mum/sister and have a long chat.
– Be active, do some yoga, go for a run and drink some healthy juice or smoothie.
What you need to be aware of:
- Have a Clean Break
While you are out and the child is well looked after either by your spouse, grandparent, maid, or babysitter, you do not need to be in constant communication 15 minutes after you leave. In that case there really is no break. If you make a phone call, or text 10 minutes after leaving just in case the baby might be crying or spit up or won’t go to sleep, which in turn will definitely make you anxious, so undoubtedly what you are going to do is turn around to go right back home. In such a scenario the whole idea of taking a break is pointless.
It is important for parents and children to learn independence from one another. Shortly after a baby is born you realize that as a new parent you need take a break for an hour or two and you have a perfect right to do so. So schedule Self-Care in Your Calendar. This is a good tip especially to those who live by their to-do lists and calendars. You’ll feel really happy every day when you check it off.
- Do Not Use Your Kids’ TV Time to Do Chores
When you use your kids’ TV time to do chores, two things begin to happen:
1) Your kids don’t participate in the chores, and
2) They end up watching a lot more TV instead doing the chores together as a family. This way, you can use your children’s TV time to sit and relax, gather your thoughts, listen to some music or write in a journal.
Making the time for your passions requires more than just a few calendar edits — it actually requires a seismic shift in the way we think about parenting in general. Remember that you are already doing a lot. A lot. And when you have a spare minute, you try to do more, even if, on the surface, it seems like you’re taking “time off.” So let’s set up a rule, that from now on when you are going to take time off, or ‘me time’ you will do something relaxing, something that will take all your worries and tasks out of your head. And don’t let others push you into the ridiculous expectation that spare time is for beautifying. It might be but it doesn’t have to. Sometimes it’s better to sit alone and breath fresh air than listen to all the gossips in a nail salon.
I’m making time for my passion, and I’d encourage you to do the same. Making time for personal and professional development requires effort, planning, and a mindset that allows you to enjoy yourself—but it’s worth it.