HOW TO TAKE TIME OUT FOR SELF CARE AS A MOM


If you’re a working mother, chances are you often feel guilty about being away from your children while you make a living – not to mention simply doing things you enjoy. Here’s how to balance your parental duties and the need for ‘me time’.


Raising children can be all-consuming and many parents, especially moms, view time for themselves as a luxury. The good news is that experts agree that regularly enjoying time for yourself can actually make you a better parent.

‘Children need parents who feel physically and psychologically healthy,’ explains Pam Gillingham, a qualified therapist and director of the Family Life Centre in Johannesburg. She adds that ‘me time’ is essential for parents in order for them to properly nurture their children, and without it, they run the risk of burnout, especially if they are managing multiple responsibilities. ‘If a parent feels emotionally or physically exhausted, they will also be unable to spend quality time with their children,’ she says. ‘Instead, their parenting will be reduced to tackling tasks and possible anger outbursts, impatience, feelings of being overwhelmed and resentful.’ It is therefore essential for parents to take steps to regularly make themselves a priority.



WHAT FILLS YOUR CUP?
Whether it is enjoying a girl’s lunch, date night, a workout, reading your favourite magazine, listening to music or just going for a walk, make time daily to do the things that fulfil you. Even a few minutes of deep breathing or relaxing over a cup of coffee with a friend can benefit the busiest of moms. By regularly savouring these ‘me-time’ moments, you will feel happier, more balanced and better able to master your role as a parent.

BUILD BETTER BOUNDARIES
‘The whole family must be aware of one another’s personal boundaries, for everyone’s needs to be met,’ says Gillingham. ‘For example, mom’s bath or gym time should be non-negotiable and these boundaries respected.’ If you can, grabbing ‘me time’ while the children are sleeping or at school can take away some of the guilt. It is equally important to remember that modelling self-care for your children will teach them to recognise the importance of taking care of themselves, while respecting the needs of others.

ENCOURAGE TEAM EFFORT
Partners and children can support a parent’s ‘me time’ by helping around the home. ‘Children should be given age-appropriate responsibilities to allow parents to take some time out,’ suggests Gillingham. ‘Partners also need to know how they can alleviate pressure on the other parent and support them.’ She adds that single parents should seek the support of family or friends to help free up time for self-nurturing activities.



SCHEDULE SELF-CARE
Make ‘me time’ an important part of your daily schedule instead of a treat that you indulge in occasionally. Create a ‘no-cancellation’ policy with yourself and stick to those scheduled times for self-care – it is just as important as all the other items on your to-do list. Remember, dropping the guilt and regularly tending to your own needs will ultimately benefit your entire family. After all, the more ‘filled up’ you feel, the more you will have to give to those who depend on you the most.

 JET CLUB HELPLINES
Jet Club members have free access to Jet Club’s helplines. For support and advice on depression or babycare call:

Personal Health Advisor
SA & Namibia
0800 0045 45
Botswana, Lesotho & Swaziland
+2711 991 8258



HOW TO TAKE TIME OUT FOR SELF CARE AS A MOM HOW TO TAKE TIME OUT FOR SELF CARE AS A MOM Reviewed by Jet Club on August 13, 2019 Rating: 5

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