Remember to Make Time for Yourself Too

However many children you have, they always come first and what Mum and Dad want is somewhere way down the list under finding lost football boots and making a Gruffalo costume for World Book Day. Of course, having children is one of the greatest joys in life, and even when they’re driving you nuts, you still love and cherish them. There’s also no denying that it’s a lot of hard work and can be highly stressful, and that can take its toll on you if you let it. Do yourself and your family a favour by avoiding stress and making time to do things for yourself.

Why it’s important

No-one can keep functioning effectively if they never have a break from their work or routine. It’s possible to keep on going for long periods of time, coping with whatever life throws at you, but sooner or later your exertions will catch up with you, and you’ll become so stressed and overtired something will have to give. You might find you start getting a lot of minor illnesses, or you might be feeling so anxious or down you can’t manage any longer. No-one benefits from you overdoing it in the long run, because if you push yourself too hard, you’ll be unable to do anything at all.

What can you do?

The idea of having a break is to do something you enjoy that you don’t get the chance to do very often anymore, or to divert your mind away from family life with a new experience. Taking a trip with your partner is a great idea because you can spend time reconnecting and enjoying yourselves away from your regular roles. It doesn’t have to be a luxury weekend in Paris – although that’s a fine idea! Spending a night away at a nice B&B, or meeting with friends and sleeping at theirs are just as good, as long as you embrace the experience wholeheartedly. If you find it hard to switch off, go for something that will absorb your whole attention, like a murder mystery or Escape Room STL experience. An activity that takes all your concentration in an enjoyable way is the key to getting the benefit from your break.

Planning your break

Once you’ve decided what you’d like to do, you need to get the kids sorted. This is the point when it can feel like too much trouble to get everything arranged, but it needn’t be a massive headache. Your friends and family will probably be more than happy to look after the kids for a few days, or Granny and Grandad might be thrilled at the idea of having their grandchildren over for a weekend. Arranging coinciding playdates is not the easiest solution when you have lots of kids, but if you’re stuck for childcare, there are some excellent agencies who can arrange for qualified childminder to look after your wee ones.

Enjoy some time away, make the most of your change of scenery, and indulge yourself doing all the things you most want to. When you come back, you’ll find the kids were all fine and you’ll be refreshed and ready to get back to being a fabulous Mum.

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Ariana Ostrow
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