Every parent knows how tough it can be to find time for anything else when bringing up a child. And that often results in parents neglecting themselves and not finding time for the things they need or that alone time that’s so important. We constantly hear how we need to “create time for yourself as a parent” but no one tells us how!
How to Create Time for Yourself as a Parent
Parents are often made to feel like wanting time alone is something they should feel guilty about. But just because you have a child doesn’t mean your needs have to go out the window. So how can you create time for yourself as a parent while still being the parent you want to be? Read on to find out.
Read While the Kids Enjoy Independent Play
You can often find time for yourself as a parent when your children are busy doing other things. For example, if they’re playing independently and you’re simply watching over them and intervening when necessary, you can spend that time reading a book or doing something else you enjoy. That time to yourself is a blessing, and even though you’re parenting at the same time, reading can be a real escape for many.
Ensure Your Sleep Schedule Leaves Some Time for Yourself
It’s important to consider how your sleeping patterns might contribute to your lack of time. If you go to bed as soon as your kids do, there’s no alone time in the evenings. So getting them to bed a little earlier or staying up a little later might be the key to creating more time for yourself. It’s something to think about and to work on anyway.
Share Babysitting Duties with Other Caregivers
Having friends who are also parents can be a lifesaver. You can then share babysitting duties with them, allowing you to get some alone time when you need it. It’s a simple case of doing your friend a favor when they need it and then letting them do the same when you need some alone time and someone to look after the kids for you. It’s a win-win.
Share Chores Equitably
If your kids are a little older, you should start expecting them to play their part in doing chores. It not only gives you a little more spare time because you’re not doing everything yourself, but it’ll also teach them the importance of hard work and responsibilities in life. And that’s a lesson that it’s never too soon to learn. This also goes for your partner; share the chores equitably, and don’t feel you need to do it yourself.
Attach Greater Importance to Social Time with Friends
One of the things that often gets neglected when you’re busy with being a parent and your career is time with your friends. But that social time is more critical than ever. Being around kids all the time and neglecting adult relationships can be draining. So make sure you make a concerted effort to create time in your schedule for social time with friends. Get out the Moscow mule set and mix some cocktails while the kids are with the grandparents for the night. You need to let your hair down from time to time.
Find Ways to Save Time on Meals and Cooking
Meal preparation and cooking can be some things that take up a lot of your time when you’re a parent. But that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. If you can find ways to cook in larger quantities and freeze some of the homemade food you cook, you can then have more nights off during the week. It’s a good way of using efficiency to create more time for yourself.
Make Exercise Part of Your Routine
Lots of parents find that exercise works as a great escape. When you have the time to walk, cycle, or go to the gym, you’re alone, and you can focus on your thoughts. That quiet time and the time to focus on yourself is hard to get, but by making exercise part of your routine, you’ll be able to achieve it more easily.
Create Time for Yourself as a Parent
There certainly are ways to make time for yourself as a parent, so be sure to make the most of the ideas above if that’s something you’ve been struggling to do lately. And, remember, there’s nothing wrong with wanting and needing some time to yourself as a parent; it’s perfectly normal.