Let’s face it, all parents get frustrated at one point or another. Parenting can be rough! Parents often have to set aside their own needs in order to care for their children. Life gets busy between work, school, church, extracurriculars, play dates, and household chores. It can be easy to perpetually put your own needs on the back burner. However, it is extremely important for parents to engage in self-care.
You are far less likely to become frustrated if you take care of yourself by regularly (or as regularly as possible) engaging in activities that help you feel fulfilled, happy, and calm. Whether it’s playing a musical instrument, exercise, painting, prayer, journaling, or meditation, it’s important to carve out some time for yourself. Again, life is busy! You probably don’t have a lot of time to set aside every day, but even finding 10 minutes a day to do something you enjoy can be beneficial in coping with day-to-day stress.
Another good reason to practice consistent self-care is MODELING! Your children watch everything you do and it’s important to model for your children how to stay emotionally regulated. Have you ever tried to tell a kid to eat their vegetables and in response they pointed out that you aren’t eating any? Kids are more likely to engage in calming strategies when they see dad and mom do so.
If you need some ideas for activities, see the image below (from the Oregon State University website). Remember, everyone is different, so what works for one person may not for another. Reading is a great calming strategy for me, but I know quite a few people who hate reading, so it’s not going to be effective for them. Find what works for you and make an effort to find a little bit of time every day to take care of yourself.