How To Make Time For Self-Care As Parents

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How To Make Time For Self-Care As Parents Title Card. In the background a family can be seen sitting outside on the ground, backs to the camera and trees in front of them.

Hello Lovelies:

Self-care is so important and something we all need to indulge in for our mental and physical well-being.

But when you’re a parent, making room for a little you time can be a serious challenge.

Balancing child care, extracurriculars, work, chores, errands and more is time consuming enough. Where does self-care for parents fit into that schedule?

If you’re a parent who has struggle to make time for yourself, you’re absolutely not alone. And while it may seem that self-care is a thing of the past, that doesn’t have to be the case.

This week Nicole of Not Quite Super Mom stopped by and shared some amazing, realistic and simple self-care tips for parents. Trust me, you can absolutely make this work! Let’s dive in…

Welcome Nicole!

A black and white photo showing 4 hands held up together from youngest to eldest.

I’m thrilled that Sara asked me to come and guest post for you guys! I absolutely LOVE reading all of the goodness Sara shares from week to week. I just hope you don’t mind the mini-break from Sara as I chat with you a little bit about self-care for parents.

First off, hi! My name is Nicole and I have a little blog over at www.notquitesupermom.com where I help parents find some calm among the chaos that is parenthood with quick and easy tips & tricks, recipes, and educational ideas. I am a mom to 4 great kiddos ranging in age from 3-10, an avid reader, hiker, crafter, and lover of coffee.

Now that you know a little about me, you’ll understand why Sara asked me to tackle self-care for parents. With a little over 10 years of parenting under our belts, we have struggled with this one for quite a while.

Cuz, I mean, let’s get real honest. When you have young kids, it’s hard.

A mother and two little ones sit on the coush looking at an iPad together.

Between limiting screen time, making lunches, driving your kids to countless extracurriculars, appointments, work, and all the birthday parties, where are you supposed to find the time for self-care?

I hear ya.

There’s also that little bit or parent guilt sometimes that sneaks in when you try to take time for yourself. Am I right? Don’t let it!

Here’s the thing, you NEED to make time for yourselves. You can’t be “on” as mom and dad 24/7, you deserve a break.

How to Fit in Self-Care for Parents

1. Schedule In You Time

A planner sits open, decorated with flours and a pen. Scheduling you time in is an important self-care for parents tip

Take out your calendar and schedule it. I know, sounds simple. And I promise, it really is that simple!

We were terrible at this for the longest time.  Our life before kids was pretty spontaneous and scheduling time for us seemed weird. But it can be such a big help!

At the beginning of each month write (or type) in all of your obligations on your calendar. Soccer practice, dentist, piano lessons, all of it.

Now sit back and look at the month as a whole. Where is there an opening? Do you see it? It’s yours! Claim that hunk of time for you and your Significant other and don’t look back!

And, most importantly, stick to it. Don’t reschedule unless you absolutely have to!

What should you do with your self-care time?

A couple sits outside, side by side, and laughs together. Sometimes the best self-care for parents is simple downtime together.

Think back in time to before you were a mom and/or dad. What did you and your partner do with all of your free time during the evenings and weekends? Start with that!

Was it too long ago and you just can’t remember? Maybe a little parent brain-fog? Here are 10 ideas to get you started:

    • Make something
    • Visit the zoo, without your kids!
    • Go for a boat cruise
    • Explore a new shop
    • Hold hands and take a walk
    • Visit a bookstore
    • Hang out at the coffee shop
    • Watch live music
    • Take a mini road trip
    • Go out for ice cream

Related: The 15 Best Ways To Enjoy A Self-Care Sunday

2. Get Creative To Make Time For Self-Care

A couple sits together with their baby, smiling at the camera

Sometimes it takes a little creativity to make space for self-care time.

For example, what if you have no one to watch the kids?

We are lucky to have 2 grandma’s that live close by and enjoy babysitting. Not everyone has that option. I get it.

Don’t worry, you can still go out without forking over oodles of cash for a babysitter.

How? Get creative.

Need a hand? Here are a few suggestions:

A couple cuddles together on the couch. Deciding what you want your self-care to look like, like simple relaxing on the couch together, is such an important self-care for parents tip.

1. Exchange time with another couple with kids around your kid’s age

Maybe you and your significant other get 3 hours on the odd months and the other couple gets 3 hours on the even months??

2. Check with your church

You know those bulletins they hand out (or email), actually read them! You will be surprised to find that many have a parent’s night out every couple of months for a nominal fee.

3. Ask for babysitting as a gift

This can be a request from a friend or family member, assuming you still exchange gifts on occasion.

4. Look into open gym night options.

Our local gymnastics studio has an open gym for 2 hours every week. If your child is over the age of 5 parents do not have to stay on site.

This option will cost you a little more money, but you could recoup the money by dropping them off and going home to do NOTHING. It’s as magical as it sounds, plus, remember Sara’s article on this topic? It’s important to do nothing!

5. Swap nights with your partner.

While not ideal, if you guys have absolutely no options for childcare, it’ll work.

Related: 9 Super Gentle Additions To Your Self-Care Routine

3. Decide What You Want Your Self-Care To Look Like

A woman spends a quiet moment at her desk looking at her phone. Sometimes a quiet moment is the best self-care

Sometimes it’s important to simply think about what you want your self-care time to look like.

This can be even more complicated for single parents.

And if that’s you, you might be thinking: “As a single parent, how is this supposed to look for me?”

First off, hats off to you. That’s a tough job!

Second, that depends on what you need…

A woman crouches down to her child's level, holding their hands and smiling at them

Do you feel more recharged when you’ve had some time alone in your house? Of if you got to take the morning to have some services done at the salon? What about when you’ve reconnected with a girlfriend over coffee?

Decide what you want to do and then make it happen.

It can help to schedule a day where all of the kids go to a playdate after school. Or swap back to back Saturday mornings with your bestie to watch each other’s kids while you both get your roots touched up. It all goes back to getting creative.

Related: Struggling To Make Time To Take Care Of Yourself? Do This.

4. Maximize Your Time

A couple indulges in a nice, scenic walk - a lovely moment of self-care for parents.

What if you just have no time?

Well, I guess you’ll just have to wait till they go to college. Lol, I kid! I kid!

I totally hear ya. Our fall calendar is scarily busy. The little time leftover is reserved for laundry and grocery shopping. It’s that bad.

Which is why it helps to maximize your time when they are sleeping and/or at school.

A woman stands with her hand on her head, as if dealing with a headache, and stares at the camera. Self-care for parents may be difficult and even a headache but it's possible!

    • Pick a morning to set your alarms 30 minutes early and enjoy a cup of coffee together in a quiet house.
    • Ask your supervisor if you can use 2 hours of vacation one morning and hang out at home with your Significant other after the kids go to school.
    • Instead of vegging out and watching Netflix, have a weekly card game night after the kids go to sleep.

Bottom line – find the time!

You will be amazed at how wonderful you feel after your break, no matter how long or short it was.

Thank you so much for having me, I hope you all find some time to practice some self-care as parents this month!

Related: 5 Self-Care Tips You Need To Hear Right Now

Final Thoughts

A couple laughs together, one looks at the other lovingly

This is Sara taking back the wheel! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your ‘self-care for parents’ tips with us Nicole! Wasn’t that so helpful guys?

Self-care matters. It plays an incredible role in our well-being. And it’s especially important for parents to indulge in. I hope that Nicole’s tips help to make it easier to add a little you time to your busy schedule.

Do you have any self-care for parents tips to add to the list? We’d love to hear them! Share with us in the comments below sweet friends.

Health and love,

sara-signature

Thought of the day: Quiet moments that help you recharge are valuable and worthy of being scheduled in

Nicole of Not Quite Super Mom Shares her Self-Care for Parents TipsNicole is the creative mind behind www.notquitesupermom.com. She’s a wife, stay at home mom, crafter, baker and recipe maker (among many other wonderful things). She’s also ‘not quite super mom’ to 4 busy kiddos.

At Not Quite Super Mom you will get everyday real advice and tips from someone right there in the trenches with you during the crazy and beautiful season of being mommy to young kids. She’ll help you bring some calm amongst the chaos with organizational tips to help you stress less, shares amazing meal planning tips and recipes and tons great activities to do with your kids to keep them active and learning!

Get more goodness from Nicole by following her on social media:

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest

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Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

Sara Flanagan is a wellness writer and the creator of www.mshealthesteem.com, where she shares her story of being diagnosed with Graves Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, and empowering herself to do everything she can to thrive in spite of her diagnosis. She writes articles on self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition. Join the Health-Esteem Family today and share in the journey.

24 Comments

  1. Reply

    Simply healthy vegan

    October 4, 2019

    these are all really good tips. Self care is very important and everyone should try and take the time out for themselves.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      I couldn’t agree more Emily! It truly so important we make time for ourselves. That way we recharge our batteries and are able to come back and be present for everyone else. All of our loved ones benefit too. Self-care matters <3. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome thoughts with us!

  2. Reply

    Brianna

    October 4, 2019

    Thank you for this! I’m a mom of twin toddlers and I’m EXHAUSTED! I needed this reminder to do things for myself

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      First off – you are AWESOME Brianna! I can only imagine how much time, love and care it takes to raise two beautiful babies. I hope you’re able to give yourself some you time to recharge every now and again. You need and deserve it. And your beautiful toddlers will benefit too because your batteries will be nice and refilled <3. Sending you tons of love awesome mama! I hope Nicole's tips help a lot!

  3. Reply

    Kelly Martin

    October 5, 2019

    Self care is so important for parents! Not just for your mental health but also to be a better parent.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      I think so too! Parents need and deserve to recharge their batteries too. And that helps everyone <3. I know it's a challenge so I was so excited to invite Nicole to talk about it. <3 I hope this helps tons of parents! Thank you tons for sharing your awesome thoughts Kelly!

  4. Reply

    shophub (@shophub1)

    October 5, 2019

    Actually we parents don’t get much time for self-caring.But it’s so important for parents and it also help to brought up their children happily.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      Oh goodness, I can imagine making time for self-care as a parent is a huge challenge. Which is why I invited a parent to talk about this (I don’t have the experience to offer a helpful perspective, since I don’t have children).

      I agree so much that it’s so important that parents get the opportunity to tend to their mental well-being and recharge their batteries and I truly hope you found Nicole’s awesome tips really helpful <3. Parents need and deserve self-care so much! I hope you have some self-care time waiting just around the corner 🙂

  5. Reply

    The JOYOUS Living | Influencer (@thejoyousliving)

    October 5, 2019

    i love walking through a bookstore especially of antiquarian books and smelling that richness and hiding in a corner w/ a book.

    Joy at The Joyous Living

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      Oh my goodness! Me too! Books are HEAVEN! I want to fill my home with them and spend so much time at the bookstore. I hope you get to go again soon hun <3.

  6. Reply

    emmandamian

    October 5, 2019

    I think you should always maximize your time. Also, make sure you do a time table for your daily activities. Make sure everything is in place.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      Awesome advice Emman! I think that’s a big help too :). Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  7. Reply

    Ruchie

    October 5, 2019

    I totally agree that we need to self care ourselves and if we take care and be happy then only we can keep family happy…Lovely tips you have shared!!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      I’m glad you think so too Ruchie! Everyone’s well-being matters so much and we are all worthy of the love and care we share so freely with others. Especially parents <3. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

  8. Reply

    Erin Knight

    October 6, 2019

    I agree that parents need their downtimes as well. I sometimes feel so busy and guilty for not taking self-care, but I have to do it for myself and for the kid.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      Absolutely! I know it’s more of a challenge as a parent to make time for self-care. I hope you find Nicole’s tips helpful! Like you said – everyone benefits <3. May you have a little you time waiting just around the corner. 🙂

  9. Reply

    Eileen M Loya

    October 7, 2019

    My children are grown but that does not mean that I have stopped caring for them and that I have all the time in the world. Nope. We are a close knit family and we pitch in to help each other. Right now, I babysit my grandson while his parents work. It is exhausting and the best “self-care” I can give myself is a full 8 hours of sleep every night.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      Parenting is forever <3. You're so right Eileen! And I'm glad you have a close knit family. I think that's wonderful. Mine is very close as well and it's one of life's greatest gifts.

      I'm so glad you have a self-care must that you try to stick too. A good sleep is a godsend! I hope tonight you sleep extra soundly <3

  10. Reply

    Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    October 7, 2019

    Nnnniiiiicccceeeeee….I love all these ideas! All parents need to have their “off-time” or else, they WILL CRASH!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      Oh goodness yes Ntensibe! When we don’t recharge our batteries we eventually shut down. Parents really need and deserve that off-time. I really hope this posts helps anyone who needs it <3. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

  11. Reply

    Jamie

    October 9, 2019

    I think it’s such a challenge to find time no matter what you want to do. And, the babysitting thing can be very difficult (especially with how expensive it gets on top of the activity you choose to do). Getting creative is definitely the way to go. Working with your partner to find the time is also so helpful. Such a great read! I love Nicole ❤️❤️❤️ Jamie

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      Hi gorgeous! I’ve missed you bunches <3. I can only imagine how difficult it can be to make a little you time. I've wanted to do a post like this for a long time but absolutely am not the right person to write it (since I'm not a parent). It was such a joy to host Nicole! And I was so happy she shared her realistic and helpful tips. She is just darling. And so are you! I'll have to host you as a guest sometime soon <3 <3 <3.

      Sending so much love your way!

  12. Reply

    notquitesupermommn

    October 10, 2019

    I was honored to be asked to write this post and had so much fun doing it!! Thanks for having me <3

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 15, 2019

      It was awesome Nicole! THANK YOU for sharing your goodness. This is a post I’ve wanted to share for a long time but, of course, was not the right person to write. I am overjoyed that you were able to come and share your awesome, realistic, simple tips. I think this will help so many <3. Big hugs! You are a darling and it was such a joy to work with you :). Thank you!

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