Dear Parent: You Matter Too.
Many of us are finding ourselves in unchartered territory lately…
We have kids home from school for an unidentified amount of time, and we find ourselves working from home. We are having to be parent, employee, cook, nurse, and housekeeper - all at once - all day long - everyday. During this time, so many of us are focusing on how to make this time “right” and “good” for our children, but this can easily lead to forgetting ourselves in the process. To be the most healthy and connected mother or father, finding time for personal space is necessary. This sounds overwhelming probably - one more “should” on your to-do list. But there are some quick and easy ways to find this personal space, ground yourself, and be more connected as a result.
First things first - communication. It will be important to set some expectations up with your family and let them know what you are doing and why. Talk to them about the time frame each day that is set aside for your personal space and let them know they are not to interrupt. If you have little littles, this may be a conversation with your partner where you each set up a “personal space” time while the other is in charge of the littles. Once everyone is clear on expectations - consider what to do with your time.
You may want to take a walk, go on a bike ride, have a cup of coffee outside, read a book alone in a comfy space, paint your nails or even just have time for a shower.
Another way to implement this is to set up personal space for small chunks of time throughout the day.
Start your day a bit early and just have a moment to savor your tea or coffee. During that time, ground yourself by positively reflecting on what you want your day to look like. This would be a great time to do a devotion or read a few positive affirmations.
In the afternoon set aside another chunk of time to connect with friends and loved ones. Grab a second for a Facetime call or a regular phone call - instead of focusing on just talk of the virus, decrease talks of fear and anxiety and increase conversation about hopes and dreams.
In the evening, use bedtime as a way to ground routines and expectations. Establish healthy boundaries by sending kids up to their room (or bed depending on age) so that the adults can have some kid free time together.