I mentioned before that having time to yourself was kinda important. This applies to both parents, but really needs to be understood… and you have to actually do it.
Too often, the bit of you that is holding all that expectation we discussed before will convince you that you don’t need it, that you have too much stuff to do, that you don’t deserve it! Let me assure you… you need it. Your partner totally needs it too! But you absolutely need it.
Now, let’s be right clear here. Self-care is not:
Those are avoidance strategies. Self-care is doing something that is meaningful to you, and is undertaken purely for you.
Self-care CAN be:
- Working on a car or bike in the garage
- Video gaming (although be careful this doesn’t join the avoidance list above)
- TV or movies
- Catching up with mates
- Spending some alone time in blessed, absolute, rare, silence
- Sitting on the lawn listening to music in headphones
- Walking (or playing with) the dog, or cat, or bird, or hamster, or velociraptor… I don’t know what pets people have nowadays…
Also; and this is a big also; what used to be self care pre little person is likely not going to be the same post little person.
You may end up doing the same activities, but it is unlikely you are going to be able to do the activity for the length of time you used to, or in the same context. As an example, I used to sit and read… like hours of reading.
After I have a little person this could change to either reading less intense novels (that I can put down and pick up easier), or reading compilations of short stories, or even moving to audio books. I still engage with the worlds I used to, but I do it in a different way.
As an alternative example, catching up with mates used to be a pub on Friday night, now it’s a Saturday afternoon game of pool.