As the age-old saying goes you can’t pour from an empty cup, you must take care of yourself first. The more energy you have for yourself, the more you have to give to those you love.

Did you know that 61 percent of Australians try to find a few minutes at the start of a typical day to collect their thoughts?

We speak to the Channel 7’s resident psychologist Jo Lamble, happily married for 25 years and mother of two, about how busy parents can use their mornings to set up the day ahead, make the most of their “me time” and the importance of it.

If parents could change just one thing in their daily routine what would it be and why?

“The happiest people have a bit of everything. Balance is key.

Parents, you have to take time out for yourself.

It’s not only good for you but it’s good for your kids to see you sitting down, even if it is for 5 minutes.

If children protest you simply answer (to a child over the age of 3 years) I’m just having a cup of tea or coffee could you please leave Mum alone for a minute.

Taking time out for yourself is best done before anyone gets up. It’s a great way to start your day. If you can’t commit to early mornings, then make time throughout the day. It’s so important to take that time for yourself.

Too often I see young people in their 20’s and 30’s saying I don’t want to be a parent, it looks like too hard work. We don’t want our children to think that parenthood is not worth the stress.

Most of us are creatures of habit, how can you best break your daily routine and stay committed to it?

“Don’t wait till you feel motivated to make a change. Commit to it for 2 weeks, after then it becomes a habit.

It’s a matter of forcing yourself initially, set an alarm on your phone that’s my “me time” that’s my 5 minutes.

Build it into your daily routine, then once it’s in your routine it becomes a habit and it will feel weird when you don’t do it.

When you want to change a habit it is good to publicise it also, because friends will keep you accountable.”

Do you think Parents feel guilty for creating ‘Me’ time?

“Parents feel guilty full stop.

There’s always something to do, children are insatiable in their appetite for attention so yes we feel guilty if we put ourselves first.

Me time helps you be a better parent.

If you can’t create ‘me time’ for yourself then do it for them.

You don’t want to put your own children off parenthood.”

Why shouldn’t parent’s feel guilty?

“All parents can learn from me time.

It helps with reducing stress, cortisol, blood-pressure and depression.

It raises our immunity and overall happiness.

Research is very strong now that taking as little as 5 minutes out for a quiet time for yourself has a lasting effect during the day.

Especially parents of children with higher needs. The greater the pressure on yourself the greater the need to create this space in your day for yourself to ensure you have some stress relief.”

Does this apply to the relationship with your partner also?


What is really important to remember is, what are you modelling to your children?

We should advertise adulthood, we don’t want to make childhood the best time of our life and adulthood is just running around after everyone else.

Don’t ever apologise for getting a babysitter, it’s important for children to see parents taking some quality time out for themselves. If they don’t see a happy relationship how will they know how to have one later in life?

There’s your incentive if you don’t want to do it for yourself do it for your kids.

Lead by example.

Jo’s latest book, Detox Your Relationship, focuses on how you can put more effort into your relationship.

For more information visit

You might also like to read:

Why I’m happy to be a single mum this Mother’s Day

How to keep stress at bay while you juggle work and family

8 MINUTES A DAY? – Quality Time

Finding Balance and Time for Activity

Exercise Motivation Tips for Busy Mums

The importance of me time : Part 2