Parenting and marriage are satisfying parts of life, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their stressful moments.
Balancing marriage and parenthood with self-care can be difficult largely because parents end up feeling so guilty about taking time for themselves. Parenting is a full-time commitment, s one may think that if they are taking time away from it, they should be spending that time with their spouse. Not alone.
Parents are wise to shake themselves of this mindset. There are plenty of reasons to follow this parental advice and take the time to nurture their bodies, minds, hobbies and interests.
For example, a runner can only run for so long before they need to refuel their bodies. Similarly, a parent must take some much-needed “me time” before they burn out. Parents must take proper care of themselves if they expect to take care of the rest of their family.
Here are 7 ways to balance marriage and parenthood for some much-needed self-care.
- 1. Exercise Regularly
- 2. Share Hobbies
- 3. Take a Day Off
- 4. Care for Your Body
- 5. Date Night and Family Time
- 6. Make Sleep a Must
- 7. Forgive Yourself
1. Exercise RegularlyThere are endless benefits of including exercise in your self-care regimen. Not only does it put you in shape, but it also boosts self-confidence, gives you energy, and relieves stress.
Balance this parental advice by inviting your spouse or child along with you. There's nothing in the fitness handbook that says you can't go for a run with your little one or invite your partner to lift weights with you. In fact, there are plenty of couple's exercises out there that encourage.
Exercising as a couple can also have significant benefits for your mental health. For example, one study shows that couples are more likely to continue with their exercise routine for more than two years so long as they are exercising with a partner.
2. Share HobbiesBeing a spouse and a parent may be satisfying parts of your life, but that doesn't mean you should ignore your personal hobbies and dreams.
One way to balance marriage and parenthood with self-care is to share hobbies that make you happy with your spouse or child. Your personal hobbies can have an uplifting effect on your attitude and can even improve your mental and physical health.
For example, many people enjoy playing instruments. This can be an excellent form of self-care since music has been shown to improve cognition and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
If you love playing an instrument, why not encourage your child to pick one up as well? This is an excellent use of time since you are still pursuing the goals and hobbies that make you feel refreshed while spending time with your close loved ones.
3. Take a Day OffYou want to be a good partner to your spouse. You want them to feel loved, supported, and refreshed. Unfortunately, you can't do this unless you are getting all of these things from them in return. One way you can do this is by taking a day to yourself.
The thought of taking a "day off" may cause some parents to feel guilty, but these precious moments are important for maintaining your sense of self. Obviously, this doesn't mean you have to take an entire 24 hours off. It may be an hour that you spend out jogging or having coffee with friends.
To maintain a balance, you should be prepared to give your spouse the same luxury and offer for them to go off and spend time with friends, family, or merely to have some privacy for a little while.
4. Care for Your BodyAlong with the exercise mentioned in the first parental advice tip, you must care for your body in other ways. Taking just 15 minutes to slip into a bubble bath or going outside for a short walk are shown to have a refreshing effect on your mental health.
It’s also essential for parents to dress up every once in a while. Style yourself so that you feel your best. This will help you feel like a desirable human again after spending all day at work or changing diapers.
Practice good personal hygiene and attend doctors visits regularly. This will ensure you are in tip-top shape for taking care of your children and your spouse.
5. Date Night and Family TimeOne way you can follow this parental advice and practice more self-care is by diving up the time you spend with your family. Children and parents both benefit from regular family time. Things such as movie night, family dinner, and family game night can have a positive bonding effect on the unit.
But, it’s equally as important to make time for yourself and your spouse to be alone. Regular date nights away from the kids can help strengthen your marriage and your mental health.
6. Make Sleep a MustIt isn't uncommon for couples to lose many precious hours of sleep when they first become parents but don't let this lack of sleep turned into a bad habit.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep deprivation can contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease and an increased risk of heart disease.
Getting enough sleep will also have a positive effect on your emotional wellbeing. It refreshes the body, supports healthy brain function, and has a direct impact on how you react, learn, work, and interact with people around you.
To be the best parent and partner possible, you need to start catching some Zs.
7. Forgive YourselfCaring for yourself doesn't make you a bad parent or an unloving spouse. On the contrary, it makes you a smart one. A car can't run on empty and neither can you. By taking this precious time to build yourself up, you're ensuring you can be the best parent and partner possible.
Moms and dads do well to heed this parental advice: practice self-care regularly! Take 20-minutes a day to relax. Exercising will ensure the body feels refreshed, energised, and up for any task that the day might bring. Taking a night off to pursue personal joys is also essential to practising healthy self-care.
Author Bio: Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organisations around the world, offering practical and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.