As parents- especially foster parents, we give everything we have to our kids. Most of our time, energy and money is allotted to caring for them and simply being the best providers we can possibly be. Despite that, there are times when too much time with our kids can start to drain us- and makes us stressed, irritated or upset. Simple, day to day activities can start to seem overwhelming, and it can all become too much to handle. Recognizing that parents- regular human beings- need time for themselves, away from their children, is essential. Doing so can help us develop better relationships with our kids, and become overall happier people. 

There is a bit of an expectation of parents to always be missing their children when they are away… but just like any other relationship, when you spend a lot of time with a person, you’re sure to butt heads every once in a while. Wanting some time away is perfectly healthy and natural. Allowing yourself time to grow and ground yourself as an individual will directly translate into how well you parent your kids. You must care for yourself before you can care for others. Don’t let others guilt you for wanting some time away. 

  And while the occasional vacation is nice once or twice a year, ensuring you have some much needed alone time daily is even more effective, and necessary for a lot of people. Depending on your schedule and how much time you can afford, taking anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour a day will make all the difference. If you’re a stay at home parent, talk to your spouse about creating a routine when they get home in the evenings, so they can care for the kids while you relax for a bit. If you’re a single parent, your time can happen in the mornings or evenings while your child is asleep. However, if you don’t feel as though this is possible for you, reach out to friends or family about setting up a time for them to take your kids once or twice a week, even if just for a few hours. 

While being a parent is such a wonderful, selfless and rewarding role, you’re not a superhero with unlimited energy. Recharging and allowing yourself the freedom to be an individual is vitally important, just as it is in any romantic relationship. This month, prioritize spending some time away from your kids, whether it going to a yoga class, having a lunch date out with some friends, or simply time to watch your favorite tv show at night. Recognize all that you do for your kids, and reward yourself.