When you have children it is all too easy to forget to make time for yourself, especially if you are juggling work and other commitments at the same time. However it is important to ensure that you do include downtime for yourself within your weekly schedule. Here are some top tips on how you can find five minutes (or more if you’re lucky!) of peace.
- Enlist the help of others. By getting your significant other or family members on board you can share the time needed to occupy your children. If you have willing volunteers for babysitting duties take them up on their offer and make the most of it!
- Plan ‘me time’. When you are planning your schedule actively add in planned time for yourself. If you have childcare planned try giving yourself that time to rest instead of planning other chores or activities to do whilst your children are away.
- Day care or holiday camps. Day care groups and holiday camps are particularly useful for parents during school holidays, or days when the children are unable to go to school. Holiday camps usually have a range of activities planned for children attending them including physical activities and crafts. By letting your children attend such schemes you can rest assured that they are being looked after by trained professionals and enjoying themselves whilst you get free time to work or relax.
- Get the kids to bed early. Once the children are in bed parents can finally wind down and relax in front of the TV or with a nice meal together. Take your kids on a fun day out full of action-packed activities to wear them out so they will go to bed a bit earlier- giving you more time to yourself!
- Find child-friendly stores. Shops like Ikea have dedicated supervised children’s play areas where you can leave your kids for up to 30 minutes whilst you shop. You could even take ten minutes out to grab yourself a coffee and cake in peace whilst your children play.
- Team up with other parents. Children love having a play mate so why not team up with other parents and take it in turns to visit each other’s houses to share a coffee and a chat whilst the kids play in the garden.
- Give up unnecessary chores. Write down all of the things you spend time doing when you are child-free. Research has proven that the more time you devote to doing what you love the more you will be productive overall. Skimping on time spent relaxing or doing things you enjoy will just lower you motivation in the long run making you less productive doing the tasks you dislike. Perhaps you could delegate some of them to your other half, or the children themselves? Or perhaps you could delegate tasks at work to junior team members giving you more time to focus on essential tasks whilst you are there.
Although some parents feel guilty giving themselves time to relax and unwind away from the children, it is in fact a vital part of family life and your relationship with your children may suffer if you do not give yourself this valuable time.