After a divorce, we as parents often dedicate ourselves to our children. While this is right and proper, we often neglect ourselves. This can result in parenting burnout which is not good for you or your kids.
Parenting burnoutParenting after a divorce is very stressful. There are many changes and often less resources available. If parents do not take time for themselves, the chronic stress will eventually cause them to perform poorly. Often parents become irritable, sleep badly, become depressed and lack energy.
Meeting our needsEach of us have needs. We usually meet our basic needs of food and sleep but we often miss giving ourselves the downtime that allows us to re-energize. This time is essential to our physical and mental well-being. As adults we also need the company of other adults and to pursue adult activities.
Making time for yourself
Make time for yourself each day. You do not have to be with your kid all of the time. It is healthy to teach your children to have some alone time both for them and for you. Find a spot where you will not be bothered.
Make a phone call to a friend or read a book or whatever relaxes you. Set a fixed amount of time and put it in your daily schedule. Make a calendar showing all your and your children's activities and post it somewhere the whole family can see. Make it clear you are not to be disturbed for that time.
Adult contactDivorced parents can end up isolating themselves from other adults. This is not healthy. Cultivate relationships with other adults e.g. hobbies. This will not only allow you a break from parenting but it will also provide you with a support group when you need it. You can also try finding other single parents so that one in the group looks after the kids while the rest go out. This can be rotated each time. Your children now have other kids to socialize with and you have other adults to be with. This benefits everyone.
A hobby is an activity you do for pleasure. This pleasure contributes to your inner peace and strengthens you for the difficult demands and challenges of parenting. Hobbies can also lead to making some money from the skill you have or from the product you make. Do check and make sure you are still getting pleasure from it though. Sometimes trying to earn money from a hobby can be stressful in itself and defeat the whole purpose of having a hobby. Hobbies have been known to lead to new careers. Always keep your options open and look for opportunities you may not normally think of.