You have to take care of yourself too…

With all the time and effort we put in to take care of our kids, it can be easy to forget that we have needs too. If all we do is pour our energy into our kids, without taking pause to recharge, we will fall apart at the seams. You can’t forget to take care of yourself. Whether that means taking an afternoon to walk through a park or going on a ten mile bike ride once a week, we have to do things that are just for us.

If you can’t find the time, steal it. Beg, borrow, barter, and trade for it. Find a sitter you can trust, find a family member, or a friend who is able to watch your kids and do something just for you. It doesn’t have to take up a whole day, or even more than an hour, but you’ll be better for it. A refreshed and recharged caregiver is better for the kids too.

Make a list of the things you most enjoy doing: read a book, take a bath, going to the movies, getting your hair done, hiking, biking, boxing, anything that brings you back to center. Once a month, find a way to do at least two of the things on your list.

Not sure where to find a qualified sitter? Put an ad (with very specific requirements) in the local paper, on sites like Care or Sitter City, ask other families who they trust with their kids.

If you don’t take care of yourself, the stress will eat at you from the inside out and you’ll find yourself at the end of your rope, floundering, wishing for a moment to even breathe.

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