Some children come by surprise, others are hoped and prayed for many months and years in advance, but all are blessings. As a parent, you probably feel so fortunate to have your children that it feels ungrateful to admit that they sometimes drive you crazy. Parenting is not for the weak, and if you’re not careful it can drain your energy and leave you feeling tired, anxious, and even depressed.
During the safety presentation on an airplane, they always remind you that in case of an emergency you should put your own oxygen mask on before helping the person next to you. While it may seem counterintuitive, the logic is simple. It’s virtually impossible to help your children breathe when you’re suffocating too. Here are some parenting tips that will help you to maintain your mental health so you can be at your best.
Get Some Sleep
When life gets busy, and you feel like you’re being pulled in 100 different directions, sleep is often the first thing to go. However, it is in these moments that sleep is more important than ever. Sleep isn’t simply a mechanism to keep you from feeling tired, it is restorative, it helps build muscles and consolidate memories. When you finally get your kids to sleep at night you may be tempted to lounge on the couch and binge Netflix shows, but this is the ideal time to take yourself to bed for some much-needed rest.
Do Something For You
Parenting is a selfless job and often you end up giving so much of yourself to your children that you have nothing left for yourself. It’s so important to learn how to carve time out for yourself every week. The common terminology for this is “self-care” and it can mean something different to everyone. The key is to do something that brings you peace in the middle of a sometimes chaotic life. You may want to take a bath, go for a walk, spend some time meditating, or just walk around Target by yourself for a few hours.
Ask For Help
This parenting tip is seemingly obvious, and notoriously underused. They say it takes a village to raise a child and they’re not kidding. There’s no reason to drive yourself mad trying to be all things to all people. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and you need help, ask. This may be easier for parents who already have a strong support system of friends and family around them. But there are lots of ways to build a support system. Trying to balance everything alone is bound to affect your mental health, so don’t be afraid to reach out.
In order for you to be the parent your kids need it’s incredibly important that you take good care of yourself physically as well as mentally and emotionally. At St. Barnabas School we are deeply proud of the community of parents that come together to support our students and each other. If you’re looking for a school where your whole family can belong, contact us today.