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Being a parent isn’t easy. In fact, it’s hard. As much as you love your kids it is really, really important to make yourself take a break every so often. The suggestions below are nothing we don’t all already know deep down, but the key is to actually follow through with them!
As a mom of 3, I only forced myself to start exercising regularly after my third baby (I was definitely not into any form of exercise before and thought it was completely overrated). I now realize how much of an absolute necessity it is for me. The days where I get to the gym, no matter how tired I am, I am always less on edge and better prepared to deal with the endless bedtime rituals in my house. For me, the very early morning works when my kids are still in bed and Dad has not left for work.
Remember — there are two parents involved (unless you are a single mom or dad). And no, in most cases you are not really risking your child’s life by leaving them for a while with the other parent (even though it may sometimes feel that way). So, for your own mental sanity, if you are lucky enough to have a significant other or grandparents nearby, get them to take over for a little bit and leave the house. Sure, it can feel little daunting if you’re a control freak but your kids will thank you for it. Stating the obvious, but the only way for them to learn to take care of your kids is by actually getting the chance to do it!
Whether it’s a night out with your friends or a date night with your spouse, hiring a babysitter and getting out of the house is so necessary now and again. You can reconnect, have a laugh, be silly, and allow yourself to take a much needed (and deserving) break. And this is never something any parent should feel guilty about doing.
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than having a great conversation with people who know and understand exactly what you’re going through. So why not reach out to some of your other parent friends and set up a coffee date, dinner date or whatever floats your boat. Chances are they will love the opportunity to blow off a little steam, too. A lot of neighbourhoods have mom and dad groups by birth month.
Healthy indulgences are another very effective way to give yourself a mini-break to recuperate. Being around nature helps reduce blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and depression while boosting your ability to focus and concentrate. So take a walk through the park, plan a hike with your friends, take the bike out along the boardwalk, and get back to being around nature.
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