Juggling Responsibilities: The Best Ways to Make Time For Yourself as a Parent
Looking after your children and watching them grow up is the most rewarding job in the world, but sometimes it can be a little lonely. When you spend all day every day taking care of their needs without anyone else to talk to, you might find yourself going a little stir crazy. Even if you have a partner, chances are they will be out working in the daytime. If you find yourself wishing for just a little time to continue furthering your skills or doing something just for you to make you happy, this isn’t something to feel bad about. Taking that time out can make you feel more productive, focused and allow you to be the best parent you can possibly be. Here are a few ideas for ways you can focus on yourself when you have children.
Having a hobby gives you something fun and enjoyable to do when life gets a little stressful you have something to help you relax and occupy your time. If you choose a hobby you can do from home, it’s something you can pick up during nap times when your kids are at school or in the evenings when they’re in bed. It could be cooking or baking, arts and crafts, gardening, blogging- whatever grabs your interest. You could even turn your hobby into a way to earn a little extra money, perhaps by selling your creations on sites like Etsy. Otherwise, it gives you something productive to do and allows you to learn new skills while you de- stress.
Our health is so important, especially when we have little ones depending on us. Plus, when kids get more mobile it doesn’t hurt to have a good level of fitness to be able to keep up with them! Hitting the gym a few times a week can really improve strength and endurance, giving you a feeling of wellness. Plus, it triggers the brain’s ‘feel good’ chemicals and also gives you more confidence when you see your shape changing for the better. If you have someone to watch your children for you for a couple of hours in the evening, you could pop off to the gym or pool and get a workout in- or go while they’re at school. Some gyms even have creches, so there are options available. Otherwise, you could invest in a piece of exercise equipment or a workout DVD and use this at home.
These days there are excellent online colleges and universities, allowing you to study from home in a completely flexible way. This means that you can continue your studies while still being home to look after your children, it’s a win win! If you’ve already achieved your bachelor’s degree, how about continuing with an online masters? In many cases, you can even study in a completely new field to what you gained your degree in, and there are so many subjects you’re sure to find something that grabs your interest. You could go for anything from an online Master in education technology to athletic training, psychology, geology, medicine, language or something else entirely. Have a think about where your passions lie and study to make your goals a reality. By the time your children are a little older, you will have finished your course and be ready to step into your new career.
Part Time Work
Doing a little part time work is a good way to keep your skills fresh, but while still being around for your children. If you can get something that correlates with school hours or something that’s flexible then all the better. It means that when you do eventually return to full-time work, it’s not as much of a shock to the system. If you’ve spent a long time working up the career path, continuing part time work after having children means you can maintain the progress you have made. Even if you just work a regular job that pays the bills, it gets you out of the house for a while and allows you to earn a little extra income.
Charity Work/ Volunteering
The great thing about voluntary work is it’s completely flexible. If you want something that gets you out of the house but don’t always have a set amount of time to commit this is ideal. Whether it’s six hours a week or one hour a month- whatever time you can give is valuable. It gives you something productive to do and makes you feel good about yourself while giving back to those less fortunate. Enquire at your local soup kitchen, animal shelter or elderly care home to see what kind of assistance they need.