Cupid's Pulse Article: Parenting Tips: Taking Care of Yourself Helps You Take Care of Your KidsCupid's Pulse Article: Parenting Tips: Taking Care of Yourself Helps You Take Care of Your Kids

By Mara Miller

All parents do it: You feel selfish when you put your needs above your children’s. This can be even truer when your little one is under the age of five. Whether from self-imposed pressure or from a constant need to be around your child, it feels like there is little time for your passions outside of raising your child. This stems from an age in which we over-parent our children. It’s easy to confuse the amount of time you spend with your kid with the quality of your relationship. In fact, by not stepping away, you might be hurting yourself and your child more than you realize.

In these parenting tips, we explore how taking care of yourself helps you take care of your kids.

In the parenting advice below, we have a list of reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid to put yourself first once in a while in order to keep your sanity for yourself and your child.

1. Start Small: It can be as simple as shutting the bathroom door while your child safely naps in the other room. Starting small allows you to realize that, yes, you don’t have to be with your child every second of the day. It will give you time to do what you need. It can be as simple as cleaning the house or taking a shower.

Related Link: Parenting Advice: Five Reasons to Stop Yelling at Your Kids

2. Recruit your partner: You don’t have to feel guilty for spending time with your friends or doing things you love. Think of it as a chance for your partner to spend quality time with your kid(s) so you can develop individually. While your partner is with your child, this isn’t considered babysitting either: it’s parenting.

Related Link: Parenting Advice: How to Cope with Your Child’s Diabetes

3. Get help: Hiring a babysitter while you and your partner go on a date is perfectly fine. Or maybe you’ve decided you want to go back to school and need help for two hours every day so you can take your class. If you can do something to better yourself for you and your family, why not go for it? Don’t be afraid to source out help.

4. Do what you love: Taking care of yourself means balancing what you love to do with being available for your children. Whether it’s a movie night once a week with your best friend or some time away at your favorite coffee shop because you need to work on your blog, make sure you can still pursue your passions as well as be a good parent to your child.

5. Happier parent equals happier kid: Even if your child is too young to understand, they’ll know that you’re happier when you start to put yourself first on occasion. You’ll have more energy to run after your little one and you’ll feel like the time you spend with them is more meaningful than if you ignore your life to be a mother or father.

What are some of the benefits of taking care of yourself before you take care of your child? Let us know in the comments below!