Carving time out in your busy schedule for yourself is an important part of being a parent. Here’s how you make the most of those hidden pockets of time in your day.
When I read this question, it took me back to my early motherhood days when I couldn’t consistently guarantee I’d cleaned my teeth, yet the kids were eating the most beautiful organic home-cooked foods. It takes time to find your way and create time for yourself. As parents, we must learn that delicate balance between our children’s needs and our own.
So, let’s get practical. Firstly, let’s be realistic about how much time is available to you. My children are now 11, nine and eight, and I’ve no clue where they are in the house as I respond to your question. I know this is a luxury as my children have no additional needs, so I’ve no impending concern for their safety. I also remember when the kids were toddlers and babies; not knowing where they were wasn’t an option.
Look at your schedule and see where there are pockets of time. Are there five or 10 mins here and there? Are you a working parent, and can you use a lunch break? I’m not sure how old your children are, but when mine were little, I discovered that if I stopped every day at 10 am and sat at the table with a drink, it allowed me time for myself.
The essential part of this is what you do in your downtime. What can you do to help you feel mentally and physically rested? Would a lie on the floor help? A stretch? A cup of tea while listening to a podcast? I have recently started letter-writing again and feel great because of it.
If your kids are small (or big!), they may pester you when you stop, so having something to do is helpful. Tell them, “I’m just reading my magazine. I’ll be with you in 10 minutes”, or if they are younger, have something for them to do at the table next to you. They will learn over time that this is downtime, and you’ll still be able to feel like you’ve had time for yourself.
If anything in this blog resonates with you and you’d like support to create change, you’re welcome to book a free call with Bethan here to explore your support options. Make sure you download your free 5 Steps to Calmer Parenting to help develop new coping skills for what’s hard. If you’re looking for immediate parenting support, you can start your free 7 day trial in the Calm Parenting Club, my online parenting community.