When parents take some time for themselves it helps the parenting dynamic. During this Date with Dad musical event at the Ponoka Parent Link Centre recently

Parents: tips to take care of yourselves

Tips: Parents might find themselves so consumed with the demands of parenting that they might forget to take care of themselves.

By Andrea Ramage – Ponoka Parent Link Centre co-ordinator

Parents might find themselves so consumed with the demands of parenting that they might forget to take care of themselves.

Parenting is a tough job; it requires a parent to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Being a mom, or a dad, can be full of joy, humour and delight, but also brings with it sleepless nights, isolation and frustration.

It’s important to remember that parents are individuals with interests of their own. A parent who has the opportunity to engage in activities that relax or rejuvenate them will be better equipped to handle the daily (and nightly) challenges of parenthood.

Think of what you are doing for your children, and compare that to what you do for yourself. When was the last time you made time for your favourite hobby? Ensuring a bit of time to engage in recreation will help to alleviate stress and reduce depression.

Family, friends and community members can play role in this too. Do you know a new parent who may be struggling? Reach out, offer to babysit so that they can get a shower in, or go for a break. Consider creating a network of babysitting sharing, so a few parents can trade childcare with each other to get a bit of free time every week.

Lastly, have realistic expectations of yourself.

Parenting is a tough job. Look at your workload and adjust as needed to create the most comfortable, and rewarding household you can. It’s okay to ask for help, and if you are in the social network of young families, please offer to help. So, moms and dads, please try to make self-care a priority, because it’s far easier to do your best, when you feel your best.

Ponoka Parent Link offers a variety of play, social, and educational opportunities to families free of charge. Check out the current brochure at www.centralparklandparentlink.ca.