This post was also shared on Huff Post.
Becoming a parent
You spend 9 months or more trying to prepare for it, but you can’t ever really know how parenting will change you and your life.
Parenting is hard.
Whether it’s career, financial, our exercise regime, body image or a social life, we sacrifice a lot.
As loving parents, we don’t begrudge it for a second of course. Some people never get the privilege, so we are the lucky ones.
But both positively and negatively depending on your outlook, life does change.
A new identity
When you gain the title of ‘Mummy’ or ‘Daddy’, it can be easy to lose yourself. Or at least who you used to be.
You evolve into a new being, where life BC (before children) is almost unrecognisable.
Generally, these changes are for the better. Having a family gives you something more meaningful and satisfying than you ever had before. Most of us thrive and typically love all of the bits that go along with it.
Not every moment is plain sailing though. No matter how committed you are to parenting, on the days when your child is arguing about the passcode for the iPad, or going for title of ‘Worlds Slowest Eater’, we need a moment to breathe.
On challenging days, we need to remember that they didn’t plan to be here; you did that bit.
You chose to be their parent, so it’s just kind of your job now.
Just because it’s your job though, doesn’t mean that you as a person don’t still deserve to exist.
No matter how much you embrace the ups and downs of parenting, it is easy to lose yourself.
Without realising, you can forget that you are a person with needs too.
Make some ‘you time’
So I thought it was worth making one really simple change.
Take a moment for yourself.
Don’t bother waiting until it’s time to make loose New Year’s resolutions. Do it today (and every other day).
I’m not talking about suddenly abandoning your kids and booking into a healthy retreat, although that would be super.
I’m suggesting you take 5 minutes out of your day to just be yourself.
It needn’t be complicated and can be done once the offsprings are safely tucked up in bed.
Paint your nails or call a friend for a chat (remember how we used to do that?). Colour in a picture, read a chapter in a book – heck, why not even write a page of your own book that you’ve always wanted to write?
Why not write a list for each day in a month so that you don’t get distracted by the million and one other things you could be doing (for other people)?
Whatever it is, do something for you.
Taking 5 minutes each day to do something one simple thing for yourself can remind you that you’re worth it, and not just ‘someone’s Mum’.
Believe me, you’ll feel better for it, and after all, a happy parent brings up a happy child.