Carving out Some Parent “Me Time” Is Actually Good for the Whole Family
Feeling guilty about sneaking in a little ‘me time’ in between parenting and work duties? Well, it’s time to shake off those feeling of guilt. Turns out it may be one of the best things you can do for your family. Just like the airline attendants instruct you in their pre-flight safety message, you need to place your oxygen mask on first before helping others.
A recent study found that between work and home responsibilities, many parents can rack up an astounding 98 hours of work each week! With so much to get done each day and so few hours, it may feel selfish to set aside some ‘me time’ each week. Yet, the opposite may be true. Which such high demands, self-care is more important than ever.
Here are a few reasons why taking a little ‘me time’ may be the best thing we can do for our families:
We connect with who we are again
For parents or primary caregivers, it can be easy to lose touch with who we are in the deepest sense. We reconnect with who we are when we spend time doing things just for ourselves. Whether it’s reading, exercising or spending time with friends, rejuvenating our sense of self means we can be more fully present with our children.
We teach our children about boundaries
Children watch everything we do! By taking time for activities that bring us joy, we teach our children about self-care and how to set healthy boundaries. Children also learn that their parents are people too, with their own interests. Which may, in turn, open their view to new interests and deepen the parent/child relationship.
We strengthen our relationships with our partners or secondary caregivers
Raising children together is a wonderful expression of the love that people feel for one another, but the day-to-day grind of daily life can disconnect us from that original bond. Taking time out for each other without the children can help reinforce the connection that brought us together in the first place. And when one caretaker takes on parenting duties alone to give the other a break, we set a positive example for healthy giving and support in relationships.
We remember to see things through our own eyes
One of the best things about being a parent is that we learn to see almost everything through our children’s eyes. Their awe and wonder at experiencing new things can ground us in the present. By taking some time out, we allow ourselves to experience life from our own perspective, which may help us put things in perspective and feel re-energized.
We can nurture our adult relationships
Being a parent sometimes means that our friendships take a back seat back seat to the pressing matters of raising children. But that doesn’t mean our friendships matter any less to us. Spending time with our friends, uninterrupted, can help us maintain those important bonds. We also show our children how to maintain healthy relationships outside of the family.