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Finding Time For Yourself With Young Kids

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

As a parent, your kids should always come first, right? Well, yes and no. Sometimes you need time for yourself. Establishing this ‘me time’ isn’t selfish. In fact, it could be important for the wellbeing of yourself and your kids - you need to look after yourself in order to look after your kids.

As kids get older and more independent, you’ll find yourself with more free time. However, when kids are young and needy, you may struggle to find time for yourself. To help you find this time, here are some of the steps that you can take.

Share the care
Other people may be able to step in and give you a break. This could be a partner, a friend, a family member or a professional child carer.

Obviously, you don’t want to take advantage of this support, however you also shouldn’t let guilt or separation anxiety prevent you from asking for help. Young children benefit from spending time away from parents – it helps them to become more independent and to develop social skills. The likes of preschool can be particularly useful if you want your kids to one day go to school, as it will help them to get used to spending time in a class with other kids. You can meanwhile use this time to focus on yourself.

Schedule your free time
Dedicating allotted time each week to yourself can allow you to make the most of your free time. It can allow you to make plans such as going to the gym or meeting friends. It also makes it easier to arrange childcare on a regular basis – whether it’s getting your partner to take over for a couple hours or hiring a babysitter.

If you’re relying on doing things while your child is napping, you’ll never be able to plan anything. You’ll be limited as to what you can do and for how long you can do it.

Don’t spend all your free time doing chores
Household chores are important, but you don’t want to be spending all your free time catching up on these chores. There are times when it’s okay to prioritise a relaxing bath or a hobby over doing the washing up or laundry.

You could try scheduling separate allotted time for chores to ensure that you’re getting these tasks done.

Learn to multi-task
There are a lot of things that you can multi-task. This could allow you to free up more time to spend on yourself.

Some new parents are apprehensive of doing chores while looking after an infant. However, you could surprise yourself by what you can do with a baby – by using a sling, you can keep your baby close and do chores like hoovering and washing up. Toddlers meanwhile may be able to help with vacuuming and tidying up – you could put music on and turn it into a game.

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