It’s true that parenting is hard and demands many sacrifices. Parents will agree that they barely get any time for themselves as they juggle time between work, home, and children. And before they know it, self-care slowly takes a back seat, since it is often considered as an indulgence, and not a necessity. But the consequence of not engaging in timely self-care cannot be ignored. And for parents who do not have resources to deal with daily stressors, lack of self-care can put them at risk of parental burnout.
In this article, we will cover common doubts regarding parental self-care journey and ways to incorporate the same in your routine.
Julie Burton’s book, The Self-Care Solution: A Modern Mother’s Must-Have Guide to Health and Well-Being, lists three absolute truths in her life as a mother and a wife, which are applicable to all parents and spouses. They are:
The book Self-Care for Moms: 150+ Real Ways to Care for Yourself While Caring for Everyone Else by Sara Robinson mentions different ways to make time for parental self-care.
This book suggests that you think of time as 168 hours in the week instead of 24 hours of the day. It will help you realise that there’s always time for self-care when you use it intentionally and purposefully. Getting creative with your time allows you to incorporate self-care in relatively mundane tasks such as listening to music while cooking or doing laundry.
Study your daily schedule and dedicate time slots (ranging from 10 to 60 minutes) to self-care activities. This will increase your chances of sticking to your new routine since it is integrated with your existing schedule. Having said that, do not cancel a self-care activity due to lack of time. For example: If you would like to work out for 60 minutes, but you only have a 15-minute slot remaining for the day, then make sure you work out for 15 minutes. Maintaining a calendar for yourself, just like you do for work, will help ensure that these self-care activities happen when they are supposed to.
You do not have to do parental self-care alone. You can encourage others around you to help out with the same. Furthermore, you can ask other family members to pitch in with childcare every once in a while. Ask your spouse to help you out with childcare and other household chores to give you more free time. Doing this together will definitely help make this process easier.
It is best to schedule your self-care time in advance to increase your chances of going through with the self-care activity. However, you should not let free-time pockets pass by! You can be better prepared for such occasions by doing things such as keeping a book or a sketching pad in your bag.
You can get your children’s help in managing your self-care. It will be a good influence on them too. You can choose a child-friendly activity such as drawing or painting, which in turn can also act as a bonding activity. You can also use your alone time to foster independence in children, while using the same time for parental self-care.
Parents are great multi-taskers who juggle multiple engagements and tasks on an everyday basis. But when it comes to self-care, it is better to be fully present and focus on one activity at a time. You can try to ensure that at least 30 minutes of self-care is maintained every week.
Do you indulge in self-care activities often? How do you manage to take out time for yourself? If not, are you excited to incorporate self-care in your life? Let us know in the comments below or drop a line at [email protected].
“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She’s the only ‘Mekhala’ she knows, and she takes a bit of pride in that. She is a quintessential introvert. Mekhala loves tea but cannot make a good cup of tea and often ends up having coffee. She claims that she takes all adjectives as complements unless specified otherwise. Mekhala is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grade 2 & 3, as a part of Teach For India Fellowship. And has worked as an independent consultant for a couple of years.
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