How to Carve Out Time for Yourself as a Parent

It’s not secret that parenting is hard, and one of the most difficult things is parents prioritizing their kids’ needs, at the expense of their own. Whilst all parents want what’s best for their kids, this doesn’t have to mean that there’s no time left for you. If you find yourself daydreaming about having just half a morning to go shopping, read a book, or simply lie down, then check out these tips on how to reclaim a little me-time.

Set Clear Bedtimes

Having a well-ordered, predictable bedtime routine will help the rest of the day, in fact, the week, run more smoothly. If your kids are well-rested from getting enough sleep, they’re less likely to take up your time by scrapping with each other or having a tantrum. Knowing that your kids will be in bed by a certain time each night will also help you plan your spare time—even if it’s just an hour each evening, just knowing you can enjoy a little relaxation and indulgence will help.

Talk to Your Boss

You may be able to work out something with your boss where you can claim a morning or part of an afternoon off each week. Whether this means a slight reduction in your pay, or shifting some of your work to the evening or weekend, if it means that you can focus on yourself, get some socializing in, and generally feel happier, it may well be worth it.

Set Up Film Time

If you’re okay with your kids having screen time at home, you could decide to set up a movie night once a week (maybe on a Friday, as an end-of-week treat). If you know you’re kids will be absorbed in a two-hour Disney movie one night a week, this gives you a bit of time to talk to a friend, learn a new skill, or even watch your own show.