By: Sarah Meikle/
Parenting can be hard. Really hard!
I’m reminded of that each week. As parents we juggle pretty much everything like cleaning, cooking, laundry, baths, playtime and for some, work outside the home, too! As much as we love our children and wouldn’t change things for the world, at times it can get very overwhelming and stressful! What happens when we get overwhelmed? We take it out on the people around us including our children. We don’t mean to, but that’s what happens.
There have been times when my husband has looked at me at the end of a long day and I just burst out into tears from the daily struggles. Those are the times I’m reminded that I need to take time for myself, too. I used to feel selfish taking time for myself. I mean this is what I signed up for right? I should just suck it up and put my wife/mommy face on and continue to do my job, with a smile. We may be super Mommies, but, we are still human and we can’t expect to be able to do all that we do, without taking time for ourselves.
(I have paused twice to help my son put his Vtech tracks together since I first began this blog!)
One of my saving graces has been playgroups. I have met so many wonderful moms who have the same struggles. The best thing about playgroups is your child gets to play with other children while you get to socialize with other parents! It’s a win, win for all! One of the things we talk about here at Lenawee Great Start is the Five Protective Factors that make your family strong and one of those is social connections. You need to be able to vent to someone or have friends to ask for help sometimes. Knowing you’re not alone is enough to refill your energy tank to handle those harder days.
Taking a walk is another way I like to take time for myself. It doesn’t have to be a long one, just as long as I have at least 15 minutes alone it’s enough for me to feel refreshed and ready to tackle baths and bedtime. Plus, it’s a great way to get in a little exercise!
As Elle Woods in Legally Blonde said, “exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” And when mom is happy everyone is happy!
You also can’t forget to take time for you and your significant other. When you have a family sometimes you get into such a routine that you don’t even think about having a date night. But it’s important. If you’re like my husband and I, by the end of a “date” you’re already talking about how amazing your kids are and how you can’t wait to see them!
Parenting is the most important and rewarding job I have ever had, but, it’s also the hardest! So parents, it’s OK to take a “timeout” for yourselves before you get too overwhelmed. Remember your children are only young once, and we need to enjoy and make the best of this precious time.
Sarah Meikle is a Parent Liaison for Lenawee Great Start. She was raised in Adrian where she attended Madison Schools. She now resides in Tecumseh with her husband Andrew and two children, Camden and Kaylee.