Toddlers and smaller kids demand a lot of attention and being a young and inexperienced parent can really take its toll after the first few weeks. The subsequent lack of sleep, days spent between nursery and school, worries, work, getting the meals ready and finding activities for your kids: sometimes it can all become a bit much and leave you feeling tired and lacking energy. But does this have to be the world of all parents with kids between 0 and 8 years old?
Despite the good old cliches, parents don’t actually have to be tired. We all have to make some efforts in order to not let things spiral out of control and take over our personal space and life. There are small things you can and have to do to feel more relaxed, rested and in control.
Lower your standards
When parents complain they don’t have time for themselves, it’s often because they try to stick to the same standards of living before and after their kids are born. It’s virtually impossible to keep a perfectly clean house AND prepare amazing, healthy and fresh meals three times a day AND make homemade desserts AND find new activities for the kids every day. Constant demands can wear you out: you’ll have to cut some slack to avoid burning out and it’s OK not to feel guilty about it. We cannot do it all even if it’s hard to avoid comparing ourselves to other parents who seem to have it all figured out.
Self-care for parents
Taking some time out to focus on yourself is crucial in the long run. Even if they’re just small moments sprinkled here and there throughout the day, it’s important to keep you energised, focused and just happy! Little steps such as starting off the day with a nice breakfast, enjoying a good film with the kids and allowing yourself to go to bed early will do you a world of good.
Putting some time and effort into your appearance isn’t superficial
Even if you have someone else to take care of, you shouldn’t just abandon yourself and stop taking some time to try on some new clothes or put on a bit of lipstick this also will keep you energised. For some people, looking good and feeling good is about putting on a nice dress and a bit of makeup, for others it will involve botox injections and a bit of a nip and tuck. Whatever rocks your boat, it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible and selfish parent. Kids learn to mirror parental behaviours very early on and making sure you’re not feeling run down and you respect yourself is also teaching them to be independent and self-confident when they grow up.