When you become a parent, your priorities change. Your life begins to revolve around your family kids over your own, individual pursuits and interests. We find that we dedicate our thoughts and efforts to things that we didn’t used to. Schools, after school clubs, hobbies, educational toys, kids programs, kids days out. The list goes on. This is great and it is important to be the best parent you can possibly be. But at the same time, you do also need to remember that you are an individual with individual needs and requirements. That you need to have interests of your own, activities of your own, things to look forward to that interest you – at least on a now and then basis. Having your own life and your own interests is still important. So, here are a few suggestions that can help you on the way with this.
Create a Calendar
The first step to take when it comes to finding time for your own interests is to create a family calendar. Here, you can make sure that everyone has a space to fill in their plans and activities – of course, you can fill in your kids’ activities on their behalf. Color coding works well for showing clearly what you plan to do, what your partner plans to do and what your kids have in their schedule. This creates more organization and ensures that everyone gets where they need and nobody double books time or commitments. This also means you’ll be able to see gaps in the schedule where you can add in things that you want to do for your own sake.
Make Social Plans
It’s extremely important that you have social plans of your own in your schedule. Of course, family social plans are great and are extremely enjoyable. For some of us, they’re the things we look forward to the most. Family birthday parties. Family get togethers. Dinner with mutual friends. But you should have some plans purely of your own too. This allows you to catch up with friends and to give them time that is specific to building your own bonds. Sometimes, you may simply need to vent in a way that you may not want your partner to have to hear. You may seek out advice. Having your own social plans is simply healthy. So, whether that’s meeting the guys at the cinema for a film, heading for a meal or drinks or anything else, make sure that you have some time for your pals.
When we think of hobbies, we tend to automatically think of our kids’ hobbies. Football, dance… whatever your kid is into. But hobbies aren’t just for children. Adults can have hobbies too! Think of something you’re interested in and would like to explore further and actually see how you can get into it. Are there clubs or classes in your local area? Is this something you can do at home with video tutorials or home kits? This can give you an outlet to enjoy to yourself. Whether you decide to work with home brew experts to craft your own beer or pick up a painting class in your local town, you’re likely to find yourself really enjoying whatever it is you’ve been wanting to do for a while.
Make Time for Self-Care
Of course, it’s also good to have some time completely alone sometimes. This is where self-care time can come into play. Carving out time in your schedule for you and simply you is going to make a huge difference to your general health and wellbeing. You can use this time however you please. You can disconnect from day-to-day life. You can take a nap and recuperate. You can read a book. You can catch up on a favorite TV show. You can go for a walk-in nature. Whatever it is you’d like to do given the opportunity, you can fit it in for yourself.
Of course, it’s important to say that you shouldn’t swing from one extreme to another and start doing everything with solely your own interests in mind. You need to create a healthy balance between managing the responsibility of family life and having a life of your own. This can be difficult to manage, but you will get there.
As you can see, having a life for yourself and engaging in things that you enjoy really is important. Hopefully, some of the information above will help you on this journey!