As parents, we dive into our lifelong duty, despite knowing what we are going to compromise - ourselves. However, do we really need to be full-marks parents and superheroes to our children at all times?
The fact is, all of us need our time out.
We may have gotten resigned to being pulled in all directions, trying to juggle work, bring up our kids to the best of our ability, and a lot more other commitments than we give ourselves credit for. It is so easy to feel fatigued, lose that self-connection or interest to do anything that makes us happy, or remember that we too need growth and renewal.
While parenthood is meaningful, we need to strike a balance and take care of ourselves to perform our multiple roles optimally.
In reality, me-time does not have to take up a lot of time or effort. If we are so fixated on insisting a whole afternoon out at the spa or gym, or a weekend getaway with buddies, we are just going to find ourselves constantly disappointed.
You may not realise (yet) that even 15 to 20 minutes will be enough to make magic. We have a list of shortcuts, to make your quick time-out a reality.
If you are at home and tuning out from the kids for these few minutes, you might as well do the same digitally – from your smart devices, social media, emails.
If you are on the train or cab to work, stare out the window and space out or daydream. (Yes, it is all right to do nothing.) Empty your mind and escape the clutter, even for a while.
Steal morning moments
Wake up 15 minutes earlier, before the kids (and your spouse) do. Have your morning coffee, browse a magazine or watch funny Youtube videos (avoid the serious stuff, that may start your day on a heavy note). Make this a daily ritual, by yourself.
Do something or go somewhere, by yourself
Still in the momentum of being alone. Swing by the supermarket for your baking needs and drinks, or health and beauty store to stock up on your skincare products and supplements. This can be during lunchtime at work, enroute your way home, or if you really cannot help it, part of the family grocery shopping trip (but just make sure your spouse helps distract the kids for a while).
(Still) Maintain a hobby
There must be something that parents still enjoy doing, but keep putting off on the excuse of fatigue or lack of time. Some hobbies can be fuss-free, like learning a new language (15 minutes to learn a new word every day?), or reading (15 minutes for a chapter?).
Contact a good friend
This will be taking a step ahead of just messaging – why not a (video) call? The convenience of a digital age has made people more connected yet distant, at the same time. Feels awkward to call your best friend? That awkwardness will only last as long as you want it to.
If heading to the gym or pool alone is a luxury nowadays, you can still do plenty in the comfort of your home. Stretch with yoga or max it with HIIT workout videos – there are plenty on Youtube and takes just 20 minutes for a good regime.
If the kids want to join you, let them – but give them their own mat and remind them that this is a quiet activity and that they will have to follow what the instructor on TV says.
You can find plenty of short workout videos here on Get Active TV.