Time Out for Parents

time out

We only have two more sleeps until the boys finish for the summer holidays and I can’t wait. I love having them at home and dread the end of the holidays as they all-too-quickly approach. Time out as a family is important however time out for us as parents is something that shouldn’t be ignored or put aside either.

I once joked to friends when the children were younger that I could make a fortune if I were to open a small hotel exclusively set up for parents to take turns to come and relax and decompress for a night. Parenting can be demanding, as fabulous as it is, and sometimes time out for parents is a must.

Sadly I don’t own a small hotel and am not earning my early retirement from parents looking for some Peppa Pig time however if you are serious about taking some self-care time out for you, consider these ways to do it.

Use Your Annual Leave

Holidays are usually saved up to cover the school holidays and so on. What if for once, they weren’t? Try and take a day off just for you while children are at school or in childcare (or with a willing sitter) and just spend time on you. Roy and I started doing this years ago and we love it. We go out for lunch or breakfast, curl up and watch movies, go for a walk or similar. Nothing flash, nothing fancy, but something much needed and appreciated.

Find a Babysitter

A trusted babysitter is worth his or her weight in gold. Having someone who can look after your child/children so that you may go away for a night or even just an evening enables you to spend some time together as a couple or time out for yourself. Try and schedule some time out regularly, even if it’s just to get out of the work/home cycle for a few hours for a meal at a local restaurant.

Join a Club

Go to karate, join a Dungeons and Dragons RPG group or find a fun book club. Find something that takes you away from home for a few hours, enables you to spend time doing something you love with people you like. Again, dedicating that little bit of self-care for yourself is something you should do and something you deserve.

Relax on a Cruise Holiday

This takes my parent hotel idea and cranks it up a notch or ten. We have plans when the boys are older to get out there and enjoy more us time. More than an evening or a night away (we haven’t done a night away together for them yet and the eldest is twelve, we must try harder). Whether we go for a tour de Britain in a campervan or decide on something more luxurious such as a cruise holiday, time will tell.

Get Others on Board

Finding a sitter, finding the time (and the energy) to organise a night out and then going through the motions of getting dressed, packed and so on is often what puts parents off and results in another cancelled night out. It’s tiring being a parent and doing all the other things that adults need to do. Enlist other parents who understand the problem on board, meet up together or babysit for each other. Be accountable for each other and make sure no-one cancels their valuable night or day out without very good cause!

As parents we do an important job. It’s the worst-paid job imaginable, the hours are terrible and our managers can be harsh. That said, we wouldn’t change it for the world. As long as we take the time to recharge our own batteries from time to time, we’ll hopefully all come out of the parenting experience intact.

 

Embrace Your Individuality

embrace

In life, it is important to have a strong sense of self and to embrace your individuality. Instead of following the crowd, you should never be afraid to forge your own path. Staying true to yourself is also a fantastic way for you to build meaningful connections and lasting friendships.

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot in recent years. I’m not a follower by any means however there are times that I’ve thought “I need to take time out to embrace who I am”. I’ve made changes; I now attend a monthly laughter yoga session and I’ve nearly finished a mindfulness diploma course. I’ve looked within and now I’m looking to embrace and share my individually outside too, for example in the house, in my clothing, and more.

Essentially, it is impossible for you to live life to the fullest if you are pretending to be something that you are not. Below are five ways that you can embrace your individuality.

Personalise your Items

Whenever possible, you should personalise your items and have fun doing it. This is a fantastic way for you to make sure that your identity is a big part of everything that you own. Take a look at your possessions, could they easily be mistaken for somebody else’s? If your answer to this question is yes, now is the perfect time for you to make a change. Luckily, it is extremely easy for you to do this. At Zazzle, you can find personalised phone cases for your technology. You can choose from a wide range of designs. You could monogram your case, include your name, and even use your own choice of image. I like quirky designs personally, something a little different and I plan to embrace this more.

Embrace the World of Upcycling

Already a keen Freecycler, upcycling is next on my list of things to conquer. Your home should be the perfect place for you to be yourself. It should be a reflection of your personality. That is why you should think about adding a personal touch to your furniture. Why not embrace the world of upcycling? This is the process of taking worn pieces of furniture and turning them into something beautiful. You could strip them back, paint them, repurpose them, or reupholster them. You should also experiment with decoupage, mosaic, and stencils. Not only is this a fantastic way for you to explore your creative side, but it can also save you a great deal of money. Instead of paying a huge amount to own the same items as everybody else, why not take matters into your own hands? This will help you to turn your home into an environment that you can be proud of.

Buy Vintage Clothing

If you have a passion for fashion, you may use your clothing as a way to express yourself. However, it is important that you don’t pay too much attention to the latest trends. Often, this can stand in the way of you establishing yourself as an individual. While it is perfectly acceptable for you to do your shopping on the high street, you should also take a look at vintage stores. This is the perfect place for you to find one-off pieces that nobody else will own. If an entirely vintage look doesn’t complement your style, you could limit yourself to a few accessories. Then, you can use them to transform your high street purchases. When you are shopping for new items, try to push yourself. Even if you don’t end up buying an item, you should at least try it on. This will give you the chance to explore new styles and to fine-tune your tastes. I’ve spent too many years describing my clothing style as merely “symmetrical” when I could really enjoy taking things a step further. I need to embrace my own style and run with it!

Do it Yourself

Make sure that you are always on the lookout for opportunities to do things yourself. You should push yourself to experiment with a wide range of flavours, colours, and textures. You could also take traditions and put your own twist on them. For instance, if you love to bake, you could find your favourite recipes and add a different ingredient each time you follow them. Some of your bakes may turn into a disaster. However, some of them may be a complete triumph. The important thing is not to limit yourself. Throwing away the rulebook is a brilliant way for you to let your creative juices flow. I need to allow myself to be more creative.

Create a Mood Board that Reflects your Tastes

Creating your own mood board is a great way to make sure that you stay true to your tastes. Every time that you are faced with a difficult decision, you can return to your mood board for inspiration. Say you are put in a position that may compromise your integrity and force you to be something that you are not. Taking a look at everything that you love will help to put things into perspective. If you create a new mood board every year, it can also show you how your interests have changed over time. I’ve never done this before but I love the idea of it. This could well be my holiday break project.

Now I just need to know where to start!

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