Some mums talk about the guilt they feel when they leave their kids. Whether it’s for them to go to work or to do something for themselves, they just feel guilty because their kids are not with them 24/7. However, it is important for mums to spend some time apart from their kids to reflect, refresh, and realign their thoughts to navigate single-parenthood.
Here are five reasons why taking a break can make you a more effective parent:
- Maintains your individuality – Before your kids were even in the picture, you were an individual with dreams and goals of your own. Of course, when your kids entered your life, they became your number one priority—as they should—however, you’re still an individual with your personal dreams and goals. Taking a break from your kids to pursue a passion of yours can actually empower them as they’ll be able to appreciate the importance of individuality. It may also equip them with valuable skills, such as time management. Pursuing a passion of yours doesn’t have to mean flying off to a foreign country without your kids; it could simply mean setting aside one hour of your day to do an online course that you always wanted to take.
- Avoids parent burnout – Parent burnout can cause feelings of detachment and even make you think that you’re a bad parent overall. According to a parenting expert, Ann Douglas, by taking breaks, you’ll be able to come back to the job of parenting feeling refreshed and energized, which will help you to avoid burnout (Dubé, 2017). Learn more about parent burnout and how you can avoid it here.
- Gives you peace of mind – Having a sound mind gives you the clarity you need to determine when you need a break, how often you need one and also helps you to identify the various factors that warrant the need for a break. Accepting that you need a break is the first step, however, being completely self-aware should be the goal. You will gain peace of mind and should take solace in the fact that the breaks aren’t for you alone, but they will mentally prepare you to be a better mum to your kids.
- Makes children feel loved & supported – According to Bryant (n.d.) children who witness their parents having fun, laughing and enjoying life learn valuable lessons about life. Spending time together as a family provides children with feelings of love, support and safety, which are key components for thriving in today’s uncertainties. Therefore, it is beneficial for your kids to see you maintain a balance between family time and personal time.
- Boosts your energy – Although breaks are great for your mental well-being, it’s also good for your physical health. Keeping up with very energetic kids all day long can take a toll on the body. Therefore, scheduling some power naps throughout the day may give your body some time to recover and the energy needed to complete all your parental tasks efficiently.
Taking breaks from your parental role is beneficial to you and your kids. Breaks can help you maintain your individuality, avoid burnout, give you peace of mind, and boost your energy. They also allow your kids to see a healthy distinction between personal time and family time, which equips them with valuable skills such as time management. Taking a break doesn’t necessarily mean staying away from your kids for an extended period; however, it could mean taking quick rests throughout the day or scheduling in some time to pursue a passion of yours. Ultimately, taking breaks is essential for you to parent in a more efficient manner.
My advice: take a break before you break, mum.
Bryant, S. (n.d.). Take Time to Take Vacation: Five Facts about the Benefits of Taking a Break. Retrieved January 17, 2021, from https://advantagebehavioral.org/wellness.php?nId=27
Dube, D. (2017, November 21). Avoid parenting burnout: Why it’s important for parents to take time for themselves. Retrieved January 17, 2021, from https://globalnews.ca/news/3871017/avoid-parenting-burnout-why-its-important-for-parents-to-take-time-for-themselves/