Single parenting means playing two roles at once. You’re putting your children’s needs first and making sure they turn out great. And that can feel like a 24/7 job. But what about your own needs?
Single fatherhood does not mean that your self-care should go out the window. Yes, your kids are important, and yes, they are your responsibility to keep happy and safe. But remember that you also need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.
Self-care does not just mean going to the doctor for your yearly physical or taking your vitamins. Self-care means taking time for YOU and doing things that make you feel happy. When you take care of yourself, it’s a reminder that life is not all about working and making sure the rest of the family is happy; it’s about enjoying your own life, too. When you practice self-care as a single father, your family will feel the difference. Read on to find out 3 simple ways to start practicing self-care.
1. Ask for Help
To have the time to practice self-care as a single father, you need to ask for help. By now you’ve probably realized that no matter how hard you try, you are not a superhero and you are not superhuman. You need more people on your team to raise happy, healthy kids without putting your own mental and physical health at risk. Whether it’s a babysitter, a grandparent, or a close friend, reach out to those who want to help you. Ask them to give you a hand with groceries and laundry, or even just to watch the kids so you can go for a quick walk around the block to have a moment to yourself. When people offer to help with something, let them. It will make them feel good to do something kind for your family, and it will give you a breather. Chances are the people around you want to help – you just have to ask them so they know how.
2. Use Your Time Wisely
Between a long day at work and an evening at home looking after the kids, where do you fit in the time to take care of yourself? Eating lunch at your desk does not count. Self-care means taking care of yourself and realizing that you can re-energize in just a few hours when given the chance. When you get some alone time, you’re helping your mind and body take the break they need. Have a nap, switch up your shower for a relaxing bath, or find a few extra moments before or after work to just enjoy the nature around you. Spend your alone time however you want – just make sure you find some.
Working out may feel like yet another thing on the never ending to-do list, but it’s important for your wellbeing. When you move your body, you start producing endorphins. Those endorphins make you happier. You don’t have to go to the gym to workout, either. Find a pool to swim in, a park to walk through, or finally dust off that bike in the garage. Incorporate physical activity into the quality time you spend with your kids or use it as a way to fit in that all-important alone time.
Your Happiness Affects Your Children’s Happiness
Dads, you don’t have to feel guilty about taking care of yourself. Happiness is allowed – no matter what your past. And your kids are sure to feel happier too when they see you smiling.
When you start practicing self-care you will suddenly understand why people tell you to put yourself before others; it’s the only way to truly rise to the best version of yourself for your kids. Try these 3 tips to start working on a healthier and happier you today. Your family will thank you for it.