Putting yourself can be hard for anyone. As my dad always said “Stop burning the candle at both ends” which is a lot easier said than done too. Even when you don’t have kids a lot of people, like myself, always find themselves putting others above their own needs. Becoming a parent doesn’t change that you simply are just pushing yourself further down the list which is not always a good things. Yes, your children will go first in a lot of aspects of your life. However that doesn’t mean that you should ignore yourself. If you become run down and tired or exhausted even then you will find yourself struggling to put your children first as you may want to do.
I also realize while writing this that if you are a single parent with little to no help when it comes to your children that it may be hard for you to find time to put yourself first. I understand that. I am fortunate that I have a partner as well as will be living close to family that will be able to help when I need it for whatever reason. Not to say I will take advantage of this but the opportunities to put myself first might be easier than someone who is doing this alone. But that shouldn’t mean that you are any less important and there is no way to put yourself first. There just might need to be some creative out of the box thinking happening to do this.
Putting yourself first does NOT have to be some big extravagant thing. You can do very little things in order to do this. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money on putting yourself first either. Though we think of self care as a parent or a mom as maybe going on some shopping spree with the girls, or even a night to the movies with friends, it doesn’t have to be like that at all. It can be something as simple as watching a movie at night once the kids have gone to bed, taking a nice warm bubble bath and relaxing for an hour in the water. It can be creating some art with a pen and paper or writing a short story. Putting yourself can also mean doing absolutely nothing once the kids go to bed. Some of the nights I do this, i can tell you I feel the best. Not having to think about doing any house work or laundry just seems to be right sometimes. Remember, those dishes in the sink are not going anywhere, they will still be there in the morning if you don’t want to miss that special finale of the show you have been bingeing to catch up! even dying your own hair can be something that you enjoy doing, this is one I personally try to do when I feel run down, nothing like a fresh hair color or style to really enforce how i feel about myself!
Another thing we tend to put on the back burner as parents is our health. When it comes to our kids we are the biggest advocates for them when they are unwell doing everything within our power to make them feel better. When it comes to us, we will do anything we can to ignore the issue and hope it magically goes away. It sometimes does, but it also sometimes gets worse. I am guilty of this majorly. I need to start to put myself first. If you have to get take out, or skip cleaning for a few days and literally keep your kids alive that is a good thing. Sometimes when we are run down we also can be making ourselves sick too. This would be a prime example of when you spread yourself too thin. I used to do this especially at my old job working with disabled adults, You can read more about it here.
And lastly, if you are able to have someone whether family or friends help out. Take them up on the offer to look after your kids for a few hours. You do not need to spend some money on this. You could even take the time to go to a park or a quick walk. Even go to a picnic for one and read a book under a tree, or window shop or grab a coffee and enjoy some alone time. Sometimes the nicest moments i have is when I can go to a doctors appointment and I can jam to some music as well as just enjoy the quiet even if I am not doing a whole lot. And yes, with the virus around the world loosening though some places are extremely difficult in their 3rd or more waves of it, you can still be creative and think about things for you! Even if they are inside your own home too!
What I am ultimately trying to say, as a mother to another mother or father. Take care of yourself. I know it can be hard to think about it or to actually follow through with it but at the end of the day you cannot be the best you can be if you do not feel your best! Remember you are a great parent even if some days you might not have the cleanest house, or the best home cooked meals available. Doing your best looks to be many different colors and there is no right or wrong way to take care of yourself. As long as you are putting some time into it. It does not have to be every day either, it can be once a week, or twice a week, even a few times a month. There is nothing wrong or selfish about a parent putting themselves first for a little bit of self care! NEVER!
What are some of the things that you do, as a parent, that you really enjoy doing for yourself
Have you changed up activities over the years or do you stick to the same things
Let me know in the comments below!
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