Let’s be honest. Parenting is tough. You signed up for a full-time job when you took on the many responsibilities of having children. There is the task of helping your kids stay on top of their studies, then going out and getting groceries to make sure you account for your necessities at home. Not to mention, many parents juggle these with their careers.
Of course, this is not to say that parenting is devoid of joy. The unique opportunity to raise kids of your own is priceless, and every parent will agree. Parenting teaches you to look past yourself and find happiness in the life of the little one you are raising.
It is a fulfilling calling, but the amount of work involved can understandably leave some parents a little exhausted sometimes. So how do you stay happy as a parent?
Here’s a secret: it is not all about how you feel. Happiness requires training on your end to remain sensitive to your needs while paying attention to your kids.
Do Fun Stuff with Your Kids
Giving your kids time to play and enjoy themselves should not have to come at the expense of your enjoyment. Get creative with your activities. Here are a few activities you and your kids will love:
Don’t Miss Out on Light Bonding Moments with Your Kids
When you get caught up in making things happen for your kids, something to remember is that you don’t have to plan everything. Sometimes, all you need to do with your kids is to sit down and be present with them.
When was the last time you asked your kids about their day? These idle moments are chances to get to know your kids more and appreciate how they are growing up. These conversations even give you insight to what they are learning and what interests them today.
You can also just sit down with them to play. There are construction toys for kids that they might have been needing some help with. Playing with them is an opportunity to assist them with this and even turn it into an educational game.
Sweat It Out with the Kids
You have heard it before: exercise is good for you. Exercise not only keeps you in good physical shape but also keeps stress from overwhelming your mind.
The usual exercises that require the same moves are most likely not appealing to your kids (and maybe even to you). You don’t have to stick with those same old routines!
A great way to get you and your kids moving while keeping fun a priority is to have a dance party with all your favorite songs. Dancing is a dynamic activity that lets you learn together or make up your moves as you wish.
Watch a Movie Together
When you are tired and not up for a physically demanding activity, there are workarounds to that, too, such as scheduling a movie night with your children and watching an old favorite. There are many animated and family movies that both you and the kids will enjoy!
To keep everyone excited for it, take turns choosing the movie every week. This teaches them to wait for their turn and, at the same time, lets your child know that their preferences matter.
Take Care of Yourself
Being a parent means devoting every ounce of your time and effort solely to your kids, right? No. To be a good parent means taking care of yourself so that you are well-equipped to care for your kids. These are some things you can do to care for yourself:
Have Alone Time to Process Your Thoughts
Being a busy parent rarely gives you the time to consider your own emotions. But setting these aside is bad for your mental health.
When you are feeling an emotion, whether positive or negative, acknowledge it. You can even write it down in a journal. This helps you map out the following steps to manage your feelings appropriately.
You can also take a few minutes out of your day to meditate. Meditation lets you clear your mind for a few moments, enabling you to make smarter decisions for the next day.
Ask for Help
Many parents seem to forget that they do not have to shoulder their burdens on their own. Feeling the need to ask for help, whether it’s in taking care of the kids for the day or even learning a skill to address your kids’ needs better, is valid and many times necessary. Approach someone you trust and talk about it. People all need support sometimes—even parents!
Taking care of your kids is priority #1 on any parents’ list. While that is common sense to any parent, you must remember that you need to take care of yourself too. Following the tips in this list will help you become a better, happier parent.