Self Care Doesn’t Always Mean Time Alone

Posted by in No-Cry Parenting

It’s often said that self-care is vitally important for a busy parent. It’s common for moms and dads to juggle a million tasks every day. They are constantly busy and consequently stressed and often short-tempered. They tend to their children’s needs, their own work and responsibilities, with rarely a moment to themselves. 

Self-care is a vital way to keep the engines going. It can mean taking a jog around the block, meeting a friend for coffee, taking a yoga class, or spending an hour working on the car in the garage with your music blaring. Taking care of yourself is not selfish – it’s the way to fill your own needs so that you can, in turn, take care of everyone else.

But here’s one point that is often missed when discussing self-care: It doesn’t always mean time alone.

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I’m a work-at-home mom of four, and over the years my life has been filled to the brim with activities and responsibilities and kids. So many kids. Now that my children are all young adults, I can tell you this: When I think back to the moments of self-care that were most important to me, I don’t languish in memories of yoga class or coffee with friends. Sure, those are super nice, and very important to your daily peace. But the times that most filled my cup with peace and joy seem to always have a kid in them.  

A lazy Sunday morning watching movies in bed with our pajamas on. Ignoring the laundry and playing with my baby instead. Making s’mores in the dark by the fire pit in our backyard. Skipping dinner and going directly to hot fudge sundaes at Dairy Queen. Baking cookies while eating chocolate chips right out of the bag. Ordering pizza, dressing in team colors and cheering on a baseball game. Spending a sunny afternoon digging in the sand at the beach.

Sometimes, self-care means letting go of the rigid rules and expectations we burden ourselves with. It can mean prioritizing your life in a way that allows for more down time to just soak in some happy, relaxed moments with your children.

So, sure – have that coffee with friends, and go for a jog. But also remember that those special happy moments with your children can most definitely be one of the best forms of self-care.

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