The pressure of being a parent can be overwhelming. As a parent, you want to do everything perfectly. Make sure your children are happy, but raised the right way, knowing right from wrong. You are responsible for someone's life, someone's character, someone’s wellbeing. That is a lot to carry.
Beyond that, as a parent your day becomes consumed with a never-ending list of making meals, running errands, helping with homework, practicing discipline, doing laundry, after school activities and so much more.
But what about the parent? While handling all of these responsibilities, how do you maintain a sense of self?
Many parents talk about seeing change. They recognize a difference from before they were parents. They remember when they had time to take more care of their appearance, take naps, have time for hobbies, and seeing friends. And although they seem to manage everything well in life, it is more about managing everyone else’s schedule and the entire families vs. having time to take care of themselves.
Let’s start by breaking down the reality of what it is to be a parent.
- It limits your freedom
- It drains your energy
- It shifts your responsibilities
So what can you do to start taking care of yourself?
You are now a parent and that will never change. However, you are also just you. And we forget that. You are more than “mommy” or “daddy” and there are a few things you can do to help remind yourself of that.
- Take care of yourself. Sounds simple enough, but even taking 5 extra minutes in the morning to put on mascara and a little lipstick can help you feel more confident, sexy, and empowered.
- Write down a goal. You may be needing a little more you time. This could be anything from going to see a movie, getting your nails done, meeting a friend for lunch etc. Write it down, and actually schedule it.
- Schedule you time. This is very important, even if its only once a week give yourself an hour or two to put down your responsibilities, chores etc. and just relax. Meditate, reflect on your life and find some sense of peace.
- Stop the comparisons. Lots of parents put additional and unnecessary stress on themselves by looking at other parents around them and wondering how they seem to have it “more together” than they do. You cannot know what happens behind closed doors and wasting energy on how other people seem to be managing their lives does not ultimately help you find any sense of peace or self.
These are just a few, and speaking to a Life Coach can help you dig a little deeper into what else you can do to preserve your sense of self. Just remember you are more than your obligations, you are more than your responsibilities, and you are more than your family. Remember that you are your own individual and you deserve to be that person and take the time to nourish that person.