Parents spend most of their day meeting both the physical and emotional needs of their children, and this leaves little time to take care of themselves as well. With social distancing, parents are suddenly finding themselves tasked with having to work from home, being responsible for their children’s education, and limiting their social interaction. With all of your newfound responsibilities and challenges, here are a few thoughts on ways to focus on you, so that you can be the best version of yourself for your children.
Take a Break
We all need some time to ourselves occasionally to reset. If you’re a member of a two parent household, try taking turns giving each other an hour to themselves in a different part of the house. If that’s not an option, and you have children who are old enough, start a movie night once a week where your kids get to enjoy a show and you can retreat to your bedroom for an hour. If your child is young and takes naps or goes to bed early, use that time once a week to rest instead of doing chores.
Getting your body moving and getting outside have the amazing ability to lift your spirits even in just a few minutes. This is something that your kids can do with you by taking a walk in your neighborhood, following along with a workout video on youtube, or even having an impromptu dance party.
Do Something You Enjoy (with Your Kids!)
Do you like crafting or trying new recipes? Try setting up your child a Pinterest account to look at together or letting them help you cook or craft. Is there a particular game you like to play or loved as a child? Play it together! Do you like to read? Read aloud to your kids. If you like building things, buy a model or Lego set to build together.
You may not be able to meet a friend for coffee right now, but it’s important to still stay connected with them. Text your friends and family throughout the day or call while you’re folding a load of laundry. It’s incredible how nice it is to know you’re not alone in this and to be a part of a community.
Pay Attention to the Little Things
If you don’t have time to take a few minutes to yourself, do something small to make your task at hand more enjoyable. Make a cup of coffee and turn on your favorite music while you work from home or try listening to a podcast or TV show while you do household chores.
Give Yourself Grace!
This is an extremely difficult time for parents. It is literally impossible to have a perfectly clean home, perfectly happy children who never argue or talk back, and to be the perfect employee from home, so stop expecting this from yourself! Instead, accept that your best is good enough, and know that this time of social distancing won’t last forever.