When someone tells you that, as a parent, you need to find something you love and something you are passionate about, sometimes we may feel guilty doing this. We may think, “I love my kids and I am passionate about them so why do I need to find something else? Why do I need to cater to who I am by finding something else that I love that’s not just my kids?” For stay-at-home-parents, this specific guilt sometimes becomes even greater. We may find ourselves wondering, “Why am I craving something more in my life if I have the blessing to be able to be with my kids and help them grow?” It’s easy to get lost in the pamper changes, feedings, bathing, or just enjoying your cute kids’ personalities. However, I guarantee you, at some point, you may begin to feel a need to have something that is detached from all of the perks of being a parent.
I’m no psychologist and unfortunately, I don’t have a straightforward answer. However, I have thought this from time to time and here is the plan I have come up with for myself. It’s not rocket science, but many times it’s easier said than done. Find a hobby you can do at least once a week. It could be exercising, reading, painting, working, watching a cheesy show, or a combination of things. It doesn’t need to be something productive. Just set aside time and make sure you follow through. For me, a few months ago I picked up painting again. This is something I’ve enjoyed doing all of my life. It’s been a constant hobby, but with kids I dropped it. I always found an excuse. My latest was that the baby wasn’t sleeping the night, so I needed to go to sleep when he does. Then, the other day I reached my tipping point. I knew I needed to find that “me” time even if it was just 30 minutes. So, I began painting at night, sometimes I ask my husband to sleep the kids if he got home early enough so I can squeeze in those few minutes. Sometimes I even score a double win and get to paint with my daughter while the boys nap. She loves it and I love it because we get to share something that we both enjoy doing, even if she talks my ear off.
Well, whether or not I have a painting buddy, those few minutes have made such a difference. It’s been like reconnecting with an old friend after so much time apart. Now, I’m making sure I find those few minutes a couple times a week. Don’t think I am immune to the guilt. I still find myself feeling selfish. However, I try to use it now as an aid to help me find balance. Some weeks the scale tips over more towards parenting and that’s ok. After all, my kids are three of the most important things in my life. However, it’s important to remember to take care of our minds because at the end of the day, parents are just people and every person needs to order some TLC every now and then, hold the side of guilt please.
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