As a parent of kids of any age it can get a bit crazy. It is important to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. I remember being a new mom and my husband had gone back to work after paternity leave. I would get so caught up in all the little chores and nursing my baby, my husband would come home and I would be so tired. He would ask me if I had eaten anything recently and I couldn’t remember the last time I ate anything. Being a parent takes everything that we have. It is the hardest job in the world. We are constantly in demand and never get a day off even if we are sick. We put our little one’s first everyday and it is important to do that, but it is also important to take care of ourselves. It can be especially hard to do this if your child has Sensory Processing Disorder or Autism but you have to take time for yourself.
If we do not take care of ourselves we have nothing to give. Things that were easy to do before kids like exercise, eat healthy, have a hobby, and get some downtime are now next to impossible. But we have to take the time. If not we are going to be miserable. It gets harder and harder to do this as your family gets bigger. I remember being able to get together with my friends more often when I only had one child. Now I have three and my middle child has Sensory Processing Disorder so I find myself going for long periods of time before I realize I haven’t seen my friends in a while.
I know it is hard to do, but we must set aside time for ourselves. If not we cannot do our job of being a mom and enjoy our children. If we are tired and on empty children become a chore not a joy. When we are stressed out and unhealthy we don’t get to enjoy all the fun things about being a mom. Here are some ideas to help you take care of yourself:
Wake up an hour before your children get up. Make sure you take the time to take a shower, eat breakfast and take a little time for yourself. I like to spend time eating my breakfast, drinking my chai and reading my NIV Bible. This way when your child calls you in the morning ready to get up, you are up and ready and not stressed. I know it can be hard to do. I’m not a morning person myself, but I have had to work on going to bed earlier so I can get up and be fresh in the morning.
When you are grocery shopping make sure you buy special foods for yourself. I found myself buying all my husband’s and children’s special foods and getting home and not having anything in the cupboards that I like to eat.
Make sure you plan a girls night out once a month with friends you enjoy spending time with. If it is on the calendar then it will not be stressful and you don’t have to think about it and you can prepare your children. It is important for me to give my daughter that has sensory processing lots of warning that I will be gone.
Make sure you exercise at least a couple times a week. I joined a mom’s workout class at my local fitness center and it is a great time for me to focus on myself, being healthy and also socialize with other moms. I bring my children with me so I do not have to pay for child care.
Take a break when you need it. Take the time to find a couple sitters you really trust to have on hand for when you need them. It is important to take advantage of childcare not just when you have an appointment, but also to get a break every once in a while.
In closing being a parent is the best job in the world, but can also be the worst job in the world when you’re stressed, tired and on empty. So make sure you take care of yourself and don’t feel bad about it. You being healthy and happy is the best gift you can give your child.