If you're a parent, you know how difficult it can be to cram everything you need to get done into a 24-hour day. Between work, carting kids around and keeping a household running, it can feel like you hardly have time to take a shower and sit down for a cup of coffee most days.
Even if you maintain a breakneck pace, every parent inevitably hits a wall now and then when they aren't prioritizing themselves. It's difficult for many parents to do and can seem counterintuitive at times, but making time for yourself is essential to being the best parent you can be.
Self-Care is Essential for Parents
Wouldn't it be easy if there was a manual that explained how parenting works and why we do things the way we do? But there is no such manual, and every parent and family just has to jump in and figure out what works best. Although it may look different from parent to parent, it is important that self-care be part of the routine.
"Parents need time to recharge and just be," Danette May, a health and wellness expert and author of "The Rise: An Unforgettable Journey of Self-Love, Forgiveness, and Transformation", says. "As a parent, you should make self-care a priority so you can thrive and encourage an environment where your entire family thrives." When you approach life with this philosophy, you'll be energized by love and support instead of being ruled by fear and anxiety.
But what if you feel selfish taking time for yourself? This is a totally normal feeling, and many parents struggle with accepting the fact that prioritizing themselves is good for their health (and the health of their family too). Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D. notes good self-care allows parents to offer the best versions of themselves to their children.
"Even the most well-intentioned parent can be irritable and sluggish if robbed of proper rest, time for relaxation and other necessary self-care," she says. "A tired, frustrated or angry parent will accomplish less and be less emotionally available to children than a parent who has carved out a half hour for good self-care."