One of the best pieces of advice for parents is to take time for themselves.
I find this especially true for parents of young children. There’s nothing quite like days and nights and in-betweens completely filled with the whims of tiny people. Parenting is a noble business, but that nobility is hard to realize when one is exhausted.
Hence, as I said, the advice to have “me time.” Unfortunately, many parents are blessed with more challenges than others. Those challenges include proximity to decent babysitters, proximity to a money tree to pay for decent babysitters, various behavioral issues that make babysitters unlikely to want to tend, and various behavioral issues that make it so that the parents need to find someone competent to tend.
I’ve heard the advice to use family members, but what if you have none? I’ve heard that “you’ll make time for what’s important” -but that’s why parents spend their paycheck on food, clothing, shelter, and health care.
When, then; how, then are parents to get that sacred time to themselves?
Since I hate to leave anyone hanging, I thought of a few ideas.
- Hire Mary Poppins. Simply list what you need in a nanny, tear up the paper, and release it out the window.
- If Mary Poppins can’t get round to you, look at online sitter services. Some areas have special needs options listed. Some countries assist parents in paying for those services.
- Use electronic babysitters. If your child is young, pop in a movie while you take a closet break and read or watch what you want to. If your child or children are older, go for a walk or to your own movie while they watch one at home.
- If they are able, have the kids ‘watch themselves.’ When we’ve been invited to a neighbor’s house or to a movie nearby, we’ve paid the kids to tend themselves. They watched a movie the whole time so, technically, it was an electronic babysitter again.
The trick is that each child reports to me whether he thinks they all deserve payment. If a brother or two tells that another was rotten, he doesn’t get paid.
- Use sleep. Don’t stay up too late, but use the hour or so between kid bedtime and your own to catch up on your shows.
That’s all I’ve got for now. If anyone has input as well, I’d love for you to add more suggestions in the comments.
Here’s what I wrote for the past week:
Sunday, April 21: “Raise Strong, Independent Daughters AND Mothers,” an article suggesting we teach women to be mothers as well as world leaders.
Monday, April 22: Wrote a short poem titled, “Good Morning.”
Tuesday, April 23: Shared a quote by Milton Berle.
Wednesday, April 24: Recommended having options for breakfast.
Thursday, April 25: “Here, Mom,” a quick thought about how often mothers are garbage cans.
Friday, April 26: Talked about kids who don’t like hugs in, “Steal Your Kisses if You Have To.”
Saturday, April 27: Shared Snarky Mommy‘s tweet about how crazy we all are.
Sunday, April 28: That’s today!