Guest Author - Elaine Anderson
Being a parent is one of the most rewarding and amazing roles that we can undertake in life. We soon learn that it is the most natural thing in the world to direct 99% of our energies toward the children. Through each stage of childhood, and into adolescence, we as parents are adapting and learning along with the child as they grow and develop.
Time and energy are precious in this modern age where everyone in the family is busy with different things at different times. Standing your ground as a parent when your teenager is being challenging can be a difficult thing to stay consistent with, but at the same time you will be aware of the importance of consistency in parenting.
No matter if you are a working parent, or a stay at home parent, you will likely at times feel frazzled and like there isn't enough of you to go around.
One thing for sure, teenagers do not work to a timetable. They are not always able to recognize a good or bad time to off load their worries, or to challenge your authority or decision-making. It is therefore vitally important from a physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing that parents can learn to take care of themselves.
If parents feel well, the whole family benefits. Here are a few pointers to help look after yourself as a parent, which in turn will benefit everyone.
*Get in touch with your inner child and play! Take time out to do something creative every once in a while. Drawing, painting, rebounding, playing with the children or pets - this can have a positive effect on the whole household.
*Take a bubble bath and soak away the aches and pains of the day. Insist that you are no disturbed, or even better do this while the family is out. You can light a candle, read a book, listen to your favorite music, or just relax and be with your own thoughts.
*Eat a good balanced healthy diet. In between looking after the children, remember that you need to feed your body with nutritious foods for you to feel your best.
*Take up a new interest or hobby. This needn't take out much time from your week, just an hour a week for a class or to learn something new at home can really reenergize you.
*Take time out with the partner or spouse. If you can arrange date nights, brilliant, but even just taking a short evening walk together and spending time as couple will help you reconnect.
It is important not to feel guilty for taking time out for yourself, as this is necessary in order to be the best parent to your children.