Susan Spelic

Reading Advocate and Parent


Once your child has gone into their classroom you may have choices. If you are working, you might need to race to work but if the day is yours to do important errands and follow-up with chores, then the day might present potential to be productive. If you are fortunate, you might find yourself looking around in disbelief, realising that you might actually have more time. Remember the person you were before kids? What did you enjoy doing before you became a parent?

If you feel tired and unsure, it might help to have a think about these questions to begin caring for yourself. As parents, we often come last and we wouldn’t have it any other way but that being said, when do we need to be careful when pressures compound and play havoc with our mental or physical wellbeing?

Before kids?

Have you ever considered the things that you haven’t had time for, since becoming a parent? Now, I’m not talking about expensive outings (pre-kids) you may have enjoyed before having your family. Think about home; what small thing can you do to take a little time out for yourself? Forget the dishes once and notice how it is OK to have say, soak your feet, read a book now, (don’t laugh!) have a bath if that’s your thing. It doesn’t need to take much time. The relaxation you could feel might just be what you need. If you regularly stress about housework, then try and schedule some relaxation into your day while also ticking things off your list.

Need to slow down?

Has it been a while since you’ve stretched your body and really breathed? Does the idea of joining yoga, art or Pilates class interest you? To help invigorate your tired body, perhaps try walking your dog for a longer distance on the way to meeting a friend for a coffee. Have you tried meditating? There are some very useful sleep and breathing apps to help relax the mind and body. Everyone deserves self-care.

What is important, versus what is a choice?

Daily commitments and hurdles are a given in every family. Some tasks are very important while other jobs can wait a day, or two. Try deciding what you really need to do within a reasonable timeframe while keeping some time for yourself.

The next challenge is to stick to your plan to still be proactive and to feel a sense of achievement, while at the same time, keeping your own health in check. You are no good to your family if you are worn out. Yes, the latter happens, but feeling exhausted can’t be sustained if we are to enjoy our family lives.


You may also like to read:

5 tips to make self-care part of your day

5 Practical Self-Care Ideas for Busy Parents