Life Doesn’t Have to be Only Parenting
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Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy anything else.
Kids are a lot of work. They can be awesome, and they can be a drain all at the same time. One moment they’re screaming for no reason that you can reasonably discern, and the next minute they’re hugging and giving you kisses. Kids really are a huge up and down experience each and every day. You simply never know what the day is going to bring when you’re engaged and spending time with them.
However, your kids don’t have to be the center of everything that you do. In fact, it’s much healthier for you and for them if they’re not. Yes, you are absolutely responsible for their well-being and making sure that their needs are met. You shouldn’t simply ignore them to do the things that you want to do. You need to raise them and take care of them. But you should still enjoy yourself without them.
Even before your kids, you need to make sure that your mental health is well taken care of. If your mental health is good, then you’re going to simply be a better parent. When you’re happy and your mind is in the right place, it’s easier to think. You’ll be able to assess parenting situations and choose the best course of action. You’ll be less likely to have knee-jerk reactions that go wrong.
That means that you need to take time out of the day to do things that you enjoy. Guess what? That’s totally valid to do. You shouldn’t be giving your child all your attention all day long - it’s not healthy for them or for you. You start to lose yourself if you do this - you’ll at some point realize that you’re no longer you as you simply revolve around your child. Your child will not know how to function without your constant attention.
Besides taking care of yourself, you need to make sure you’re taking care of your relationship with your partner. If you’re single, then this obviously doesn’t apply. But most parents have a significant other that they are living with to raise their child. Take care of that relationship - don’t ignore it because you have a child. You need to put in the time and effort to keep that relationship strong.
Sometimes, that means that you’ll head out without your child and just with your partner. Make time to do so. Your child will be fine without you for a few hours. This gives you a chance to have those discussions that are hard to do when your child is constantly interrupting you. It also lets you enjoy time doing whatever you want to do. It’s important for you and your family that you work on your relationship with your significant other.
Finally, your job as a parent is to raise your child to be a full functioning adult. Your job is not to be their best friend. You’re not trying to make them happy no matter what. You’re teaching them how the world works. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with them, but it does mean there will be times that you have to punish your child even when you don’t want to. Teach them how the world actually works - don’t shelter them.
Don’t make your child the center of everything you always do. Raise your child, keep them safe, and love them. And make sure you enjoy things that you enjoy as well.