“Am I a bad mom if I leave my family for a 4-day getaway?” Questions like this are common for all parents, as are feelings of guilt for not being there for your children… But the truth is, every parent needs a break, and it’s actually healthy for both you AND your children!
Here are some reasons why you should schedule some “me time” as part of your parenting!
We’re Not Designed as Full Time Parents
The simple truth is that humans were never meant to exist as full-time parents. We evolved as hunter-gatherers, spending much of our time away from family to gather resources needed for our survival. That’s still true today for the average working person!
We’re also social creatures, and you’re not doing anyone a favour if you’re spending 100% of your time with your kids. No matter how important family seems to you, it’s equally important to share the load with others. Grandparents, teachers, babysitters, friends, cousins and a slew of others add diversity and new challenges to your kid’s life, helping them grow and mature in a more rounded way.
Kids will be Kids
Never forget this: a truly happy child will be energetic, rambunctious and irrational! That’s the way their brains are wired.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t discipline your kids… But it’s important to let them be kids too! Sometimes, that means letting go and taking some time off parenting to let them explore their own boundaries.
Parenting is Work
Parenting, like any job, is hard work. You put in long hours to make sure your kids grow up with every possible opportunity, and it takes its toll! Like any job, you’ll do it best if you’re taking regular breaks to recharge your internal batteries and gain some perspective on what’s going on at the moment.
You’ll be surprised what even a short break (2-4 days) can do to help you and your children cohabitate and evolve more smoothly together!
You are Not your Child and your Child is Not You
This one is all-encompassing: if you spend too much time with anyone, especially your children, you’ll quickly grow tired of one another. There is still a lot of love in your relationship, but you just get on each other’s nerves! Sound familiar?
Parents and children have a very special type of relationship. More than any other type of human bond, it allows for opinions to form about how the other person should be. Sometimes, these opinions become expectations and lead to disappointment when the other person falls short.
Taking a break will give you perspective and allow you to better understand who YOU are and who your CHILD is!