Wrong. Grow up! By taking time off parenting, you’ll actually come back recharged and wanting to parent your child wholeheartedly.
So, it’s time to rethink the rules of parenting. Taking time off parenting actually helps. If you have small kids, you may rely on help from your spouse, nannies, volunteer babysitters, friends, family, or grandparents to take time out for yourself. And if your kids are big enough to be at school, thank god! Make the most of this time alone, there are enough things to do when kids are away.
Here are some cool tips to take time off parenting (read: tips to revive parenting):
1) Get a life
Wonder why would anyone need time off parenting? Get a life. Yes. You’re a parent, great! But you’re also an individual who needs to pay attention to self, relax, and maintain other relationships. Think of ways to spend quality time with your spouse sans kids. Remember the good old days? Connect with old friends, hit the spa, or take up a hobby. Think of what would you want to do if you get a day off parenting, and make it happen! Do something more than just parenting.
2) Handle the guilt
A lot of parents feel guilty when they take time away from their kids. It’s natural, and bound to happen. Trust us, it’s good for you as well as your kids. Give children a chance to develop healthy relations with other family members or adults who can take good care of them. By doing this, you’re allowing them to create strong bonds with other people, adapt better to people and situations, and be exposed to new ways of thinking and doing things. Bravo! When you get the space you need, you miss your kids and actually find yourself longing for reconnection with them. Isn’t that quality time spent with kids? Talk of strengthening your bonds with kids!
3) Feel relaxed
Take a break from parenting, recharge your cells! Listening to music is very relaxing. Gardening, reading, and enjoying any other hobby can be therapeutic. Exercising regularly can be fun too. See what makes you excited and what activity you can take time out for. Options are many, take your pick! Whatever you choose, remember this is your reward to self for good parenting.
4) Think about yourself
This is the best thing to do when kids are away. Take care of yourself because you are worth it. You’re doing a great job as a parent. Look after yourself every single day—eat well, sleep well, exercise, take a long bath, dress up, talk it out, smile a lot, and just be happy. Pay attention to your personal needs while you take care of your kids. Don’t forget your individual self.
5) Take a mental vacation
Shut the outside world. Take time out to switch off your mind. Relax and rest your body and take deep breaths. Turn off your phone, close your eyes, and think you are away from your daily routine–at a beach or a hill station, cycling or singing, reading or fishing. Try not to think about daily things you do for your kids, homework, cooking, readying their clothes, or for that matter, yelling at them to turn off the TV or video game. Leave your worries aside and think of something that makes you feel good–good food, phone a friend, or retail therapy. Thankfully, mind doesn’t distinguish between real images and imagined ones, so take a holiday and come back rejuvenated in few minutes!
6) Time management
Before you realise the day is over, and coming to think of it, you have actually spent an entire day just parenting your little champs. Does that happen with you more often than not? Remember time saved is time gained. So plan your day well and take time out for yourself. Plan ahead, make notes, get organised, keep your to-do list handy, prepare for the morning the evening before, get your children follow a time table, delegate, make your kids independent, order things to be home delivered, upgrade your appliances, and keep backup options ready. Learn to create time. Every day do something that you enjoy when kids are away.
7) Pamper yourself
Relaxing at home will rejuvenate you but pampering yourself can do wonders to your mood and self-esteem. Make well-deserved appointments—plan a vacation, get a haircut, go for a movie, have a date night, shop till you drop, treat yourself to your favourite food (with cheese, yay!). Stop the negative thoughts. ‘Am I fat?’, ‘Am I too old?’ For dads, a golf-session or night out with friends can be ideal. How about a relaxing body massage for both parents at the spa? Indulge.
Share tips on how to take time off parenting or do things when kids are away. Comment now!
Image credit: Jônatas Cunha
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