Thursday 29 October 2020

Trying to get time to yourself when you are a parent

 Woman working

Raising children is one of the best and one of the most time-consuming jobs ever. Taking care of the kids as they grow up is mentally exhausting.  And for the last eight months I've been with them a lot more than I would usually.  For several months they were not at school, or at least not full time, we didn't get any the usual breaks during 'holidays' and we are often all just in the house on top of each other too. To cope with this, I've got to do something else other than worry about what's currently not working for my kids.

Being a parent is wonderful but I need to value me time apart from my kids to remain a functioning individual.

Stop putting it off

Best excuse and one I use all the time - I don't have time.  Actually it's not an excuse. Life is pretty full with our autistic, ADHD and neurotypical kids. But if I never start something new or something for me, I'm never going to know if it makes me feel better.  Maybe painting was something you always wanted to do? Perhaps learning to play the piano was something you have on your bucket list, that time to learn is now.

Could it be that you want to write a book (I've tried it, it's easier said than done) or like me going crazy and start playing computer games!  The aim is to totally put your mind off parenting and give yourself other goals to work towards. This is why hobbies are really helpful because they are something you enjoy and make progress on each time you devote some time to them. 

Working or running a business 

What.. working to have time to yourself?  In a pandemic?  Yep, that's what I said. If you are lucky enough to find or have work you actually like doing then this can be a great way to spend time not on being a parent.  Working from home has become far more common now and if you have an interest that you can monetise that could work for you too.

Like writing?  You could try to write a book or start a blog? Learnt some new skills while being a parent that you could put into action? Would you like to sell crafts or bake birthday cakes? Perhaps you have always been a fitness nut but your old pre-kids routines don't work anymore?  Could you look at running socially distanced parent and baby fitness in the park?

These mean you'll be thinking about things like your next chapter, next craft or how to get more fitness traffic rather than reciting your parenting to-do list for the 100th time.  Finding a niche is going to require some thought and passion, but it's something you can dedicate your time to in between parenting. 

You can always start small 

OK, if that sounds like a step too far, let's just think small.  A hobby or personal interest does not have to be time consuming.  The point is that this is something you can retreat to when you can.  I've got a list of a few things I do that are all about making a tiny bit of time mine like listening to music I chose when I'm unloading the dishwasher.

Hobbies, working and time to myself can help me stay sane when my life feels consumed with raising kids. With the way things have been lately in our home, I try and grab some time to myself whenever I can, just to take a breath and try not to perseverate over our current challenges.

Have you got any tips?

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