How to Get More “Me” Time as a Stressed Out Parent
When you’re a parent of young children, you don’t get a lot of time to yourself. You are constantly fighting fires with your little ones, changing nappies, taking them to and from school, preparing meals, and dealing with temper tantrums. Even when you find a few quiet minutes to yourself, it is soon rudely interrupted by a crying baby or a phone call from the school, triggering a stressed out parent.
Although your children are no doubt your number one priority in life, you need to make sure you look out for number one as well. If you are constantly stressed and on edge, this could have damaging consequences to your mental health. Many parents succumb to burnout as a result of their overwhelming responsibilities.
No matter how busy you are as a parent – even if you’re juggling a full-time job too – it is always possible to get a little “me” time. As long as you follow these tips and you are smart with your schedule, you will find more time for self-care and send your stress packing.
Ask friends and family
If you are lucky enough to have a large network of loved ones in your life, they will be more than willing to help you out. If the stress of parenting is taking its toll, why not ask your parents or a close friend to take your child for the day? This will give you the time to tick off chores from your to-do list or spend an afternoon relaxing at home. In many co-parent relationships, it is common for one partner – usually the mother – to take on significantly more of the parenting responsibilities. If this is the case, make sure your partner is pulling their weight and helping out around the house. You are both in this together.
Hire some help
You have so many responsibilities in your life, and taking all this weight on your shoulders can be too much sometimes. But there is no reason you have to do everything yourself. There is o shame in hiring someone to help you out with your busy schedule. A babysitter can take your child to and from school or look after them while you’re busy at work. The home of a new parent is rarely tidy, so why not pay a cleaner to spruce up your home once a week? Whether your driveway needs pressure washing or your interiors need a fresh coat of paint, don’t feel you have to do it all yourself. Spending a bit of money can be worthwhile if it means you have more time to look after your mental health.
Make the most of your evenings
For most parents, the only peace and quiet they get are in the evening once the kids have gone to sleep. It can be tempting at the end of a long day to slump on the sofa and watch TV until you drop off yourself, but this time is precious and you should treat it as such. Use your quiet evenings to spend quality time with your partner, or engage in a hobby that you’ve been neglecting. Go for a run, do an online workout, read a book, play a board game, or sit quietly with some calming music.
Put down your phone
Every modern parent knows the feeling. Your little one falls soundly asleep, and you unexpectedly have a peaceful house to yourself. You have no idea what to do with this time so you pick up your phone and scroll through social media. This occupies your brain until your baby wakes up and you are jolted back to reality, no more rested than before. As a parent, you have to make the most of these little islands of calm in your day. Don’t waste them staring at a screen and sapping your brain. Make an effort to avoid your phone unless you need it, and use your free minutes to engage in some self-care. Make a cup of tea and read your favorite book, take a hot bath, or put on a face mask. Feeding your phone addiction will only make you more stressed and anxious in the long run.
Make to-do lists
Creating lists of everything you need to do will make you more productive when you finally get some time to yourself. Put it all down on paper then work through your list in an efficient manner until it is complete. This will ensure you have more leisure time, as well as free up space inside your head.
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