Once you have a child your life revolves around them- however, it’s not to say that you should give up on yourself. Working on yourself and your own goals can help to boost your mental health, maintain your identity and can also help you and your family financially too. Here are some of the ways you can work on your personal development as a parent.
Learn something new
As adults, many of us are guilty of not pushing ourselves to learn new things. We fall into a rut where we’re doing the same things day in day out, and rarely put ourselves in a position where we can improve our knowledge or education. But this simply shouldn’t be the case, learning new things helps to keep you curious and keeps your mind sharp. No matter what your age, there is always something out there to be discovered and a class or a course can help break the monotony of routine and make things interesting.
You could study towards a course that will improve your job prospects later down the line, if you want to go into engineering for example then an online masters in operations management will look great on your resume. Alternatively you could just learn something new for the fun of it. Go to a cookery, baking or flower arranging class. Whether your interest is makeup, photography or psychology there will be something out there you can do. The thing about doing this is you never know where it might lead. Exploring an interest could lead to a new business venture or a new career. It could lead onto other things that you’d never have known about without taking that first step.
Start up a hobby
Chances are, before you had kids you had all kinds of hobbies. But these might have fallen by the wayside now that you’re shorter on time. However, maintaining hobbies is important, even if it’s something you just do for an hour a week. It could be anything from sewing to gardening to reading- rediscover your interests and make time for yourself. Again it helps you to build skills and maintain a sense of your own identity outside of being a mother.
Focus on health and wellness
As parents we’re all very careful when it comes to our children’s health. We feed them healthy food, ensure they get enough exercise and enough sleep. But can you say the same for yourself? It’s so easy to want to ‘let yourself go’ as a parent, to always put yourself last and stop thinking about your health, wellness and appearance. However, this is a direct road to self esteem issues and health problems later down the line. You can’t pour from an empty cup, to be there for your children you need to look after yourself. Eat healthy foods, serve up tasty meals for the family where fresh produce is the focus. Enjoy activities together that get you all burning up calories. Sort out your schedule so that sleep is a priority and not just a luxury. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll look good too which can give your self esteem a boost. Don’t feel bad about spending money on yourself- a pamper day, a trip to the hairdresser or a new outfit every now and again. It’s good for your mental health, and you deserve it! Your kids will always come first, but it’s not to say you don’t deserve a treat occasionally too.
Did you always have dreams of traveling the world? Just because you’ve got children doesn’t mean travel is impossible. Experiencing new places together can build up an incredible bond, it’s fun and educational. Sure, there are challenges now which you wouldn’t have faced before having kids, but it doesn’t mean you should give up on your goals. Show your children different places, teach them about different cultures, food, music and religion. Allowing them to see it for themselves first hand is better than anything you could read out of a book. And it gives you the chance to fulfill your own bucket list too. Don’t end the dream now you’ve got a family, adapt it to fit them! It’s something that all of you will enjoy and get something out of.
Maintain meaningful relationships
Chances are, you’ll need your friends more than ever once you become a parent. Having other adults to speak to, to lean on, to give you advice and cheer you up when you’re down is invaluable. Later in life when you all have children, homes to run and careers it can be difficult spending as much time as we’d like with our nearest and dearest. But do make it a priority, again friends can help you remember that bit of ‘you’ that’s still in there. They can make life much more interesting and add so much to it. Arrange meet ups where you can, if your friends have children then even play dates will allow you to catch up. Every now and again, aim to spend time together just having fun- it could be having a meal, going dancing, trying out a new hobby or just having a movie day. We all need to let our hair down sometimes, and having friends to do that with is so important.
Life as a parent can be incredibly stressful at times. Many of us can feel like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. With so much pressure to do it all and get it right, it’s no wonder stress can develop. One productive way you can help to deal with this is to journal. Write down your thoughts and feelings to help you work out where you’re at in your mind. It can help you to de-stress, and organize your thoughts. It’s a way to cope and deal with things without turning to dangerous vices. It’s free, and something you can do in a spare moment at home.
Topic: Personal Development for Parents: Proactive Ways to Better Your Life