In our day to day life, we assume various roles. The roles vary from being a dad at home to be a manager at office and the list goes on. But, how well we do in each role and how we cater to the responsibilities depend on how well we are. I mean how much time we spend for ourselves.
After graduating to 'parent' status, our responsibilities grow many folds. And, it does not matter who we are and what we are. Parenting would be a challenge even for a well-organized person who plans almost everything in advance. The responsibilities would push us to the edges and would be unforgiving. Things get worse when we are bombarded with sleepless nights, diaper changes and stuff. It gets more and more demanding. Amidst this overload of work and the constant demand, we forget to look after ourselves. Yes, we stop hearing our inner voice and we hardly spend time to pursue anything we love.
The truth is when we cannot spend time for ourselves, we cannot be a good parent. Well, the spending time does not mean a long, annual or bi-annual vacation. It means spending time on tiny little things that define you. The things that helps you be yourself and unwind. It may be as silly as a long hot shower to a quick walk with your dog. Let it be anything. But, do it. What's the point in being stressed out for the whole year and going for an annual vacation. Once you return, you are going to get back to the same old strenuous routing for one more year. The best part about this small regular timeout is that you can do it at least twice in a month or may be more.
Unwinding for me would be a silent night drive, a hot long shower, couple of back to back movies or washing my car. For my wife, it would be some silent time, a few episodes of friends, half a day out or visiting a parlor. These tiny, little things will get you back on your toes with much more energy. Lets you spend quality time with your kids. Improves your focus on what you do. Most of all, it makes you feel alive and be happy about yourself.
Most important of all, talk to your spouse about this. Work out a time that works for both of you. After all, marriage is about averaging each others misery than about sharing the happiness. It's important that both you and your spouse gets enough time for them. The more you get good at, the better your relationship would become. Your kids will have a lovely household and your family will have a beautiful aura. In nutshell, spend time for yourself, you will automatically be a better parent.
“Think of your family today and every day thereafter, don’t let the busy world of today keep you from showing how much you love and appreciate your family.” - Josiah. Happy parenting!