Being a parent can be an exhausting job can't it? 
 
Let's face it, you've been there every single step of the way. Around all of the other responsibilities of being an adult, you are the creator of fun times, the shoulder to cry on when it all goes wrong. Chief Chef, the household taxi service and the stamper of rules. But you are knackered! And I mean seriously knackered! 
 
You're struggling to sleep, focus on your job, remember the weekly timetable of clubs and you never get time alone! 
 
These are common problems many parents face. There are things you would love to do for yourself, but you have no-one to look after the kids, you have fears of other people looking after them and even being so committed to your family, that you want to spend every moment you can with them. 
 
There are a few problems which quite often occur from this: 
You never feel like you have time to relax on your own. 
Stress, anxiety and depression run in the family. 
You feel isolated and may have low self-esteem. 
Your kids rarely get to see their friends. 
You rarely get out and about as a family. 
The kids are constantly playing up about something. 
You feel guilty when you are at work. 
They have no idea how to do things independently. 
You don't know how you will cope when they leave home etc... 
 

What you and they need more than anything, is some time for self-care! 

What??? You've gotta be kidding right? 
 
How many of you have started to make excuses why this can't happen in your particular situation? 
(e.g. they can't cope without me, they need me, I don't have any family or friends that can take over, I can't, I can't, I can't!! 
 
Long bubble baths, spa days, long walks on your own, even a night out are things that seem so unattainable as they take up a large chunk of time, don't they? 
 
It's understandable that if you have no family or friends living close to you that would help, doing something like this can seem like an impossibility. 
 
So what is possible? 
Michelle is a single mum and has always worked for corporate companies, in high powered jobs. In the last few years she has also taken self development courses as she wants to leave the corporate world, plus she values time on her own. Her mum lives in a different country, her dad and closest friend live in separate cities so she has no-one close by. Michelle knows it is important to have time on her own and arrange fun times together. So they have at least one family holiday every year plus weekends and evenings where they spend time together doing a variety of activities. Michelle makes sure she books regular Thai massages to help her totally unwind too. 
 
Her daughter spends Easter and Summer holidays with Michelle's mum in a different country, other holidays or weekends at Michelle's dads or her friend will come to stay and do activities with her daughter near to the family home. Her dad and her friend will also have her daughter when she wants self care time, or is running a weekend course. The support of family and friends is important and vital so Michelle can unwind from her demanding roll (plus it gives her daughter time with other people which will pay dividends in the long run as she becomes more independent as she gets older.) 
 
I think Michelle is an amazing example of a successful single female parent, who shows her daughter that we all need time to relax, time with family and time to be independent through the actions she takes on a regular basis. 

Fitting in Regular Self-Care. 

1. Fuel yourself properly! 
It can be easy to forget to eat properly as you grab a biscuit and left overs. Make a point of keeping hydrated and fuelling yourself with a balance of foods including veg, grains and protein. 
 
2. Get outdoors! 
Being outdoors benefits both mental and physical health - it's even scientifically proven! 
 
3. Make connections! 
Since the invention of social media, it's even easier to make connections in a variety of groups. Make sure you still remember the power of friend close by too. So chat to people you meet, whether its at the shop, the gym, other parents. It will help you feel a sense of belonging so you are less lonely. 
 
4. Have mini pamper sessions! 
Take time to scrub your feet, file your nails and pop some varnish on. Have a face mask session with the kids, they will enjoy it too! Self-care can also be fun when the kids are involved too. 
 
5. Celebrate the small stuff! 
You cooked a fab dinner for the family - woohoo!  
You managed to dust and hoover the living room while the kids were showering and getting ready at the weekend - hurrah!  
You are grateful everyone has been nice to each other when they got in from school - yeehah!  
Most importantly, tell yourself how flipping awesome you actually are! Appreciate yourself - it's essential! 

AROUND THE OLD CAMP FIRE 

Around The Old Campfire is a β€˜lit’ weekly email where you can hang out with a tribe of other Happy Campers. 
So come and join for family fun! 
 
 
So there are options when you start to explore the possibilities. 
 
Think about who can help you when you want a longer break. Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and friends will actually love spending quality time with your kids. The kids will love it as it is different, they may get taken somewhere fun! 
 
The benefits to you as a parent and your kids are that: 
 
You will feel more relaxed and ready to deal with the everyday household activities and the interactions with your kids. 
You and your kids will be able to let go of anxieties and stresses more easily as there is something to look forward to. 
Both you and the kids will appreciate each other more and look forward to the fun times you can have together. 
You will feel more independent and ready to face the inevitable time when they decide to leave home. 
They will feel more independent and able to face challenges on their own. 
Written by Debs Bamford, Parent Behavioural Specialist with Confidence Camp. 
 
Have you joined our Facebook Group for Parents yet? If not, why not? 
Most parents have those times where they have no idea of what to do, how to feel, what options they have throughout their parenting life. Even when life seems to be bobbing along pleasantly, curveballs are thrown to make you question yourself. 
 
Click HERE to join this totally free group. 
 
Or if things have gone tits up, have a look around the services on the rest of the website HERE. 
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