It is said that when a child is born a parent is born. It is true that after the birth of a child the life of parents changes to become increasingly child centric. The focus further increases as the child grows up and has siblings. It is indeed a mighty task to not only look after children’s physical, emotional, intellectual and psychological needs but also give to the best of your ability to each one of them. A big cheers to all the parents for accomplishing this tedious task with a lot of grace, day after day and for years together.
As novice parents, people understand the toll it takes on one’s personal life when a child enters their lives and how overwhelming parenting can get. As children grow up and the family expands, parents often put the family needs first; so much that a few years down the line, the parents feel completely consumed with little time and energy left for themselves.
For a change, this post is not related to children but it is for all the wonderful parents to spare some time and energy to take good care of themselves – for self-improvement. This post is about my thoughts on how we can not only give our best as a parent but also play it smart and save some sanity in our lives for the rest of the things.
The importance of organization and discipline is rarely and completely understood in our early lives. Things were manageable even at the last hour and a laid back attitude was relaxing. Goals were accomplished, last minute changes were welcome and any major hitches were recoverable. However, with a growing family and children, organization and discipline are essential. It is really worth and sometimes absolutely necessary to plan and execute even our day to day tasks.
Though at the outset, it may seem mechanical and boring to have even everyday chores planned out, its value will be soon realized when we get time for the other more important things in life as a result of better organization. So maintaining grocery lists, planning weekly meals, laundry, cleaning homes, tracking bills, use of automation and outsourcing where applicable, will be much appreciated. Doing things at a specified time and at regular intervals enables us to make most efficient use of time leaving us with time, energy and enthusiasm to handle the other important things.
Another important change after we enter the world of parenting is our attention to other important relations in life. With growing children, even our immediate close relations such as our parents grow older too. This is a little easier to maintain when we are staying with or close to our parents. But, when we are time zones apart, sometimes it is taken for granted that a phone call a day to enquire about their well-being will suffice. However, it is important to realize and plan our time with parents and give sufficient time to create a sense of being there despite the constant demand for attention and care from our little ones.
Children will occupy our world in ways far too unimaginable and without us even realizing the fact. Decades later, we would realize that we have little contact with our best friends apart from immediate family. When genuine friendships are maintained and nurtured, it brings a lot of joy and energy into our lives. In addition, conscious efforts may also be made to create new, lasting friends who can share a fresh perspective to an otherwise mundane life.
One of the other things that usually takes a back seat with being a parent is career and personal growth. This is especially true in the case of mothers who would most likely put family over everything else, at least for some time. While this is done by a good amount of choice by many, with time it can get frustrating and scary to get back to pursue a career or profession.
Striving for work-life balance and managing both fronts through planning, tact and smart work will not only give a sense of fulfillment but also serve as an example for our growing children. Also, taking time to relax and rejuvenate through pursuing some form of hobby and working on fitness levels would keep both the body and mind in good health. These activities may also be done in conjunction with the children’s so that it serves both the purposes.
It is of course easily written/said than done to take off some time from children and concentrate on the betterment of oneself. But, at a minimum, a conscious attempt to do so will help in accomplishing a fair percentage of it.
What are your thoughts/ideas for working on oneself/self-improvement for parents? Leave your comments on how you think it is important to strive for this and the ways in which it can be accomplished.
Tejaswini is a mom to a lovely one and half year old girl, from Hyderabad, presently living in the US. She is an engineer in IT, by profession. A newbie blogger, photography and painting enthusiast, internet junkie, she enjoys reading and discovering nature when she is not running after her now naughty toddler. She is a dreamer and dreams of being a super-woman excelling at both work and home fronts, doing equal justice to both, someday. She has a personal blog at http://acacaphonyofmiscellany.blogspot.com/