As parents, it’s often hard to remember to take time for yourself, much less actually have time to do something for yourself. However, this is so very important! Parents need time to refresh and refuel so they can have more patience for dealing with the ups and downs of parenting.
Here are 12 tips for making time to take care of yourself!!
Take care of yourself! Eat healthy foods! Drink water! Get enough sleep!
Parents often put their children’s needs before their own, but it is important to make sure your own needs are also being met. No one can keep going and keep giving to others without refueling and taking care of themselves. Sometimes those needs are simple….eat healthy foods, drink water, and sleep an appropriate amount of time (yes parents need sleep too).
Find time at least once a week to do an activity you enjoy
Spend time reading, watching your favorite television show or movie, or playing your favorite sport. Whatever it is you love to do make sure you do it at least once a week so your own needs are being met. This allows you to have some downtime to relax and just enjoy being yourself without any other titles involved (parent, spouse, employee, etc…)!
Date your partner at least twice a month (once a week is a better option)
Date your partner! Yes…you heard that right…you still need to date your partner! It doesn’t really matter what you do or how long you are gone. What’s important is that you get to spend time together without the children. Enjoy each other! Continue to learn about each other and spend time together, otherwise, you will be married to a stranger by the time your children are grown and on their own.
Go to lunch with a friend while your child has a play date.
You go play while your children get to play! Then you host the playdate next week so the other mom can have a lunch date! It’s a great idea to find a mom or a group of moms to swap play dates with! This allows you to spend time with other moms who have children of similar age and have childcare you trust
Put the kids to bed early and watch a movie or a favorite television show
Sometimes it’s not possible to actually leave your home to spend time alone or with your friends or significant other. At those times, make sure you have time to relax every day. It is quite alright to put the kids to bed early from time to time to make sure you have that downtime before you fall asleep. Those dishes will wait until tomorrow. Make sure to take care of yourself!
Find an exercise or walking partner so you are accountable to go weekly!
Exercise is a good way to reduce stress and stay healthy! It is often more fun and easier to follow through with when you have someone to exercise with! Find a neighbor to walk around the neighborhood with! Talk a coworker into walking with you during your lunch hour! Find a gym partner and make plans to do go to the gym together once a week! Whatever you find fun is perfect! The importance is making time to exercise and making that time even better with someone to spend time with.
Take a class with your partner to learn something new together
Take a class together! Join a bowling league! Play on a sports team! Go to a painting and wine class! Whatever sounds like fun! The point is to spend time with your partner doing something new to both of you! You get to learn something new and learn it together. It might just be your next favorite pastime!
We’ve recently started doing local wine tastings. Neither one of us are big drinkers, but we have really enjoyed having this experience together. We have also enjoyed bringing some of what we liked home with us! Here are two of our favorites…so far!
Spend an evening or afternoon with your partner taking random pictures of each other
In this day and age of cell phones and social media everyone takes pictures, so have some fun with it! Take silly pictures at home doing nothing. Head to the park and take pictures with your significant other on the swings (as long as you can share with whatever children were there first). Maybe even post those pictures on social media to see what kind of feedback you can get from your day of random pictures….as long as your pictures are PG!
Volunteer for your favorite organization or community group
Volunteering is a great way to spend your free time! You can help others while doing activities you enjoy. Maybe you enjoy shopping and can help organize the local clothing bank! Maybe you support a specific cause and you can help that cause by putting together mailers or helping that organization to raise money. Additionally, this may be an activity you can share with your children in the future to teach them the importance of helping others!
Make a list of your 10 favorite restaurants and randomly pick one for your next 10 dates
How many times does “I don’t care” or “I don’t know” the only restaurants you can come up with when it’s time to go out?? Making a list of 5-10 restaurants you both enjoy helps with this problem! Just randomly choose one off your list and you found your date night destination!
Find your favorite childhood board game and play it with your spouse or friend
What a great way to spend fun times with friends! Pull out those happy childhood memories! Ask mom or dad if that old board game you loved is in the back of their closet somewhere! If not, then check out the local mall or Amazon to see where you can find it! It’s a great way to make new memories with the same activities that led you to have great childhood memories!
Grab an ice cream at your favorite shop and plan a weekend get-away. Then go on that get-away!
It is great to be able to spend a few hours away from the kids here and there. However, it is also very important to take longer times away. Take a weekend trip! Take a road trip! Go on a cruise! Spend a week in a cabin! Plan a resort stay! Whatever you love to do, do it with your partner! This is the perfect time to get away to relax and refresh….and probably miss the kids a little too!
For more parenting tips, check this out!
For more great tips, check out my parenting book now available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback! With so many kids and a doctorial degree in clinical psychology, I know what it’s like to be a working mom and struggle with balancing kids and work-life!