How to Take Care of Yourself While Taking Care of Your Kids

Parenting can be challenging and stressful, but it's important to look after yourself as well as your children.
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Parenting is one of the most rewarding yet stressful jobs out there. As parents, it’s our responsibility to provide our children with the guidance and care they need to grow into responsible adults. However, it can be hard to maintain balance while navigating the stresses of parenting. From dealing with your children’s issues to making time for yourself, it can be difficult to manage everything that comes with being a parent.

It’s Not as Easy as It Looks

To the outside world, everything in your garden looks rosy. Your social media posts may reflect fun days out with the kids, family dinners, and harmony. But is that a true reflection? What really goes on behind closed doors, in the real world?

Parenting teenagers through adolescence can be one of the most challenging periods for many parents. It’s not unusual for parents to feel exhausted from the emotional energy spent managing their children’s behaviour and moods as they transition into adulthood. The transition to adulthood comes with its own set of anxieties and issues that parents have to address on top of their own worries and stresses. During this period, it’s important for parents to take time for themselves and practice self-care.

Self-care can take many forms; from physical activities such as going for walks or taking yoga classes, to more creative outlets like writing, art, or music; or even talking therapies such as counselling or hypnotherapy. Practising self-care can help parents feel better equipped to deal with their teenager’s behaviour without feeling overwhelmed or burnt-out.

Parenting Teenagers

Navigating adolescence is never easy. During this time of life, teens face a variety of issues and are learning how to become independent, responsible adults. It’s important for parents to stay involved in their teen’s lives, but to also recognise when it’s necessary to step back and let their teen find their own way.

It is during adolescence that trust between parent and child is so important. It is important for parents to be there to listen, give guidance and provide support. At the same time, it is important to remember that teens are growing and developing their own identities and trying to make their own decisions. As a parent, it is essential to respect their need for independence and to be available to offer support when needed.

Finding the right balance between being helpful and overbearing can be difficult. Encouraging teens to take ownership of their decisions, while also providing guidance, can be a great way for parents to support them without taking away their independence. Staying informed about what your teen is doing, understanding their interests, and spending quality time with them will help strengthen your relationship and create a trusting bond.

Being a Friend to Your Children

Being a friend to your children can be tricky when they reach their teens. As they become more independent, it can be harder for parents to make the transition from authority figures to friends. But it’s important to maintain a healthy relationship with your teenager and being a friend is one of the best ways to do this.

One of the most important things you can do when it comes to being a friend to your children is to listen to them. That means not just hearing what they say, but really listening. Show them that you are paying attention by asking follow up questions and trying to understand where they’re coming from.

It’s easy to get frustrated with teenagers, but if you take the time to listen and not judge, you’ll be able to develop a better understanding of what’s going on in their lives and why they may be behaving in a certain way.

It’s also important to try and think back to when you were a teenager yourself. Remember how you felt and how difficult it was to navigate all of the different changes in your life. You likely went through periods of confusion, uncertainty, and frustration. That’s all normal for teenagers, so try to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective.

Finally, be there for your children no matter what. When your teen needs advice or just someone to talk to, be that person for them. You don’t have to have all the answers, but just let them know that you’re there and that you care. That kind of emotional support can go a long way in helping them feel secure and supported during their teenage years.

Making Time for Yourself

The importance of looking after yourself cannot be understated when it comes to parenting. It’s easy to get caught up in taking care of your children and neglecting your own needs and wants. Taking time for yourself is essential to combating parental stress.

One way to make time for yourself is to find hobbies or interests you enjoy. Making time to do something that brings you joy can help boost your mood and provide you with a sense of balance.

Another important part of self-care is being able to talk to other adults. While it’s nice to have adult conversations with your children, having relationships with other adults allows you to discuss topics and share experiences that are specific to adults. This can help you feel more connected and supported.

Finally, it’s important to recognize the signs of anxiety and take steps to avoid them. If you start to feel overwhelmed or anxious about parenting, it’s important to take a step back and remember that you’re not alone. Find time to talk to a friend, read a book, or go for a walk—whatever will help you relax and remember that parenting is a journey and there will be ups and downs along the way.

At The Wellbeing Crew we run a programme called Time For Us – giving parents the opportunity to come together in a relaxed environment for a few hours a week, regardless of the age of their children. The sessions cover topics such as self-esteem, improving relationships, and reducing stress. If you’d like to find out more, get in  touch by emailing us at