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…
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.
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
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?
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
2. Get Creative To Make Time For Self-Care
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:
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.
3. Decide What You Want Your Self-Care To Look Like
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…
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.
4. Maximize Your Time
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.
- 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!
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,
Thought of the day: Quiet moments that help you recharge are valuable and worthy of being scheduled in
Nicole 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:
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