What is it about becoming a parent that all of sudden we think we shouldn’t get to do things for ourselves? This can be especially true for moms...right?
So many times we compare ourselves to other people, to other mothers…enter in Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. This creates feelings of inadequacy. This can be because we feel bad for not being at home with our children, or we feel bad for not “working.” I think we can often get so caught up in how to do things right, that we get too stressed out to enjoy what we are doing. In turn we get frustrated and end up overwhelmed.
There was a study in the journal, Psychological Science, reporting that men with children possess higher levels of happiness, positive emotion, and have more “thoughts about meaning in life,” than women.
Why is that? Why do men with children have more positive emotions than women, even women with children?
There is a lot of pressure that moms put on themselves to be a “good” mom, when in a lot of situations they need to lessen the pressure and take in the positive. We need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves so that we can be more effective parents.
I say this a lot - in client sessions, in parenting classes, in my moms support group, but it is so important:
Take time for you
If your needs aren’t met you won’t be able to meet the needs of those that need you most. Make sure to schedule time in each day, week and month for you.
wake up 30 minutes before everyone else to enjoy your morning shower and cup of coffee in peace.
go to dinner with a friend
get a pedicure (that’s right, this is why getting a pedicure is good for your parenting)
read a favorite book or join a book club (not another parenting book…CTFO)
Secure and maintain quality child care
One of the biggest challenges for moms is when they have to go back to work. Whether it is because they don’t want to have to go back or even because they are happy to get to go back. There is guilt either way.
take time to pick a provider so that your children are in the best hands and you feel comfortable
develop a relationship with your child care provider
make sure you also have care for times outside of regular childcare hour (i.e for dates with your partner, moms nights out, etc.)
Manage your tasks
You don’t have to do everything! That’s right, if no one else has told you, I will. You don’t have to do it all!! Figure out which tasks you can have others help you do or that you can do ahead of time. The less time you have to spend on tasks, the more time you have to spend with your family and for yourself.
Here are some tips to help get you there;
housecleaner 1 or 2 times a month
pre-planning meals or cooking ahead of time
grocery shop online after the kids go to bed and have it delivered.
dry cleaner that picks up and drops off
Manage your expectations
Face it, even if you feel you have to, you cannot do everything! And I would venture to say you probably don’t even want to do everything. Pick the things you like to do and are good at, and try to find help for the others. There is no shame in taking care of yourself so that you can take care of your family.
Remember focus on what’s important. Take care of yourself (i.e. do something you like doing and that makes you feel good) so that you can feel more positive and be the best you for YOUR family.
What do you do for yourself? Share below - you never know who it might inspire, help, motivate...
If you are struggling to find ways to get time for yourself now that you're a parent, give me a call (916-718-9501) or send me an email for a free 20 minute consultation and we can see how you can start implementing some of these things today!