Amidst all the rewards that come with parenting, it is undoubtedly a role that can be very exhausting and demanding. After all, rearing a child is a huge responsibility that requires one to remain physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially stable. To cope with the demands of parenting, it is a usual scenario for many moms and dads to gladly set aside their own needs. In many circumstances, being selfless is an unavoidable part of being a parent. The act of putting your child’s needs first also makes parenting more meaningful.
Still, mothers and fathers are no superheroes. In the long run, doing so many things at once without regard to your own needs will be detrimental instead of beneficial. Thus, if your goal is to be the best parent for your kids, you may have to decide to prioritize your own interest over theirs from time to time. To be effective carers of your little ones, being selfish may not be such a bad idea. In case you are feeling guilty about it, the following reminders may make you realize that self-care is absolutely necessary for parents.
You will have happier kids.
Feelings are contagious so our moods can easily affect the people around us. It will then be very difficult to foster a happy home where the parents are always stressed or irritated. A survey done by the American Psychological Association even says that children know when their parents are stressed and are negatively affected by it. So before it causes any lasting negative effect on your kids, slow down to think of ways on how you can lower your stress levels. You will do yourself a huge favor and raise happier kids.
You provide a good role model.
Self-care is one important lesson that parents should teach their children. You want kids to learn to take care of themselves because it is a prerequisite to achieving anything they want in life. The best way to demonstrate the benefits of self-care is by being a good example. Thus, let your kids see you taking much-needed rest if you need to. You can also include them when you engage in an exercise or other activities that allows you to unwind. When children see the positive effects and importance of self-care, they are likely to pick up the habits too.
You teach important life skills.
Parents can always say that they want to selfishly devote time for self-care. However, not everyone has the skills to do so. To efficiently balance family and “me” time, you would need to have discipline and learn time-management skills. Your kids will see the things you are doing to cope with stress and will imitate it when they are faced with the same situation. Thus, if they constantly see you under a lot of pressure but not doing anything about it, you give kids the impression that stress is unmanageable. However, if they see you doing things to keep stress at bay, you are in a way teaching them coping skills that will be useful later in life.
You will be able to take care of them better.
No matter how you try to hide it, your refusal to address your own needs will eventually take a toll on your mind and body. Among other things, you may suffer from body aches or a sluggish mind. Remember that you cannot delay or ignore signs of distress because you need to stay healthy to serve your family better. You even worsen the situation because seeing you in a bad state will cause your kids to worry. If you stubbornly set your needs aside, you risk being a burden to your own family.
Have you ever heard anyone say that parenting is easy? Most probably not because to even suggest that raising an individual from birth to adulthood requires minimal effort is likely to be met with sarcasm and disbelief. It is a difficult task so it is wrong to think that you can do it well without taking time to rest and recharge. Be a better parent by giving time for self-care.