It is easy to lose yourself in your children—you take care of them, love them, and always want to do the best for them. However, it is important to remember how to be yourself when you are raising children. It’s crucial to be able to check in with yourself and know when you are feeling off, even when tasked with the responsibility of raising children.
Denying when you are not feeling yourself will take a toll on every other aspect of your life—including your parenting and personal relationships such as friendship and marriage. You have to learn how to embrace the changes that come with parenthood in addition to not losing who you are as a person, and it doesn’t have to have to be as difficult as it seems. Here is some expert advice for raising your kids without losing yourself:
Find Some Peace and Quiet
With kids involved, there is almost always some sort of noise going on in your house. This constant sound can make you lose yourself and your thoughts. What was originally meant to be your quiet and personal space, like your master bedroom mattress and bed, is suddenly the playground for your little ones. With all this constant activity, you can’t listen to your own thoughts because you are always listening to other racket, so you lose touch with your own needs. The best way to fix this is to take some time to find some peace and quiet.
Whether this means that you need to wake up a little earlier, or have dedicated quiet time with your kids, finding even ten minutes of peace and quiet throughout the day can help you check back in with yourself and your needs. You might even need to enlist outside help, such as a cleaning service to help sanitize your home. You can’t be expected to do it all and be a super parent if you are burned out on doing these necessary but time-consuming chores. Checking in with yourself during periods of silence can help you feel more emotionally stable, center yourself, and lower your heart rate.
Occupy your kids, or set aside some time when they’re at school, and simply sit and think. Think about your current emotional state as well as what you need to do to better yourself and help yourself feel better than you do at the moment.
Put Intention into the Beginning and End of Each Day
When trying to usher kids around in the morning and force them to go to bed each night, it can put a lot of emotional strain on you at two crucial points throughout the day. On top of that, you have other pressing concerns, like scheduling your annual STD check, or researching a natural way to reverse cavities, and all the other things you need to keep your life on track and yourself and your family happy and healthy.
The biggest source of stress, however, is often at the beginning and end of each day. If you are starting and ending your day with a lot of stress and no time to take care of yourself, then you are not putting the intention that you require in order to have a peaceful life. If this is the case, you probably feel more overwhelmed than you need to, all the time.
Starting and ending each day on such a sour note can quickly make you feel burnt out and not like yourself. It can put a huge damper on every day. Instead of living like this, put intention into each day by waking up a little earlier and going to sleep a little later than your kids in order to take some time for yourself. Here are some things that are great to do to find yourself in these extra minutes:
- Drink a cup of coffee
- Eat a breakfast that you love
- Listen to your favorite song
- Write in a journal
Introduce Your Kids to the Things That You Love
One of the best ways to feel the most yourself while raising your children is to introduce them to the things that you love and to help them to love them, too. Your life and your children’s lives do not have to be totally separate. Introduce them to the things that you love—your favorite songs, your favorite movies (that are age appropriate, of course), your favorite online kid-friendly games, and your favorite places are a great place to start.
If you have a passion for hiking, for instance, you can pack your hiking daypack with snacks and hit the trails to share the beauty of the outdoors as a family. For dads with teenage sons, another great way to introduce your kids to the things you love is through the age-old rite of passage. Show your son your favorite beard trimmer for grooming, or your favorite shop for interview suits. These things will not only show your kids what you care about but can show them the ropes for how to succeed in their own lives.
Instead of pushing your feelings under the rug to take care of your kids, it is important to actively take care of yourself as well. Make sure that you are taking the time to check in with yourself and treat yourself as you would treat a friend. Your emotions matter, and just because you are a parent does not mean that you aren’t your own person as well.