You’re no doubt familiar with the phrase ‘me time.’ It has become a term that is banded around to describe time to oneself, often directed towards busy mum’s who dedicate their days to raising the kids. And we all know what a full-time job that can be, so who are we to deny them of a break and a bit of time for some much-needed rest and relaxation?
But hold on a minute….. What about the dad’s? Don’t they deserve some ‘me time’ too? Whether they are at home taking on responsibility for childcare, or out at work for most of the day, surely they have earned the right to take some time to themselves.
Whether it’s to do something or literally do nothing, everyone needs that downtime to de-stress. Whilst women have fought hard to redress the balance and allow themselves a break, it can promote feelings of guilt in some men, if they take time out. If their partner is at home all day with the children, the man might feel it his duty to relieve them of their responsibilities as soon as he walks through the door.
Then there’s the guilt about not giving their partner the time and attention they feel they are entitled to. Of course this works both ways, whether you’re the mum or the dad, it can be hard to balance work and homelife in a way that keeps everyone happy.
So, what’s a dad to do? Well here are a few ways to schedule some time to yourself, and hopefully you will feel all the better for it.
Easier said than done right? In order to allow yourself to relax effectively, there is a little bit of planning involved. Firstly you need to make it part of your routine. Whether it’s a daily or weekly thing, add it to your diary as if it were an important business meeting, then there’s less chance of you putting it on the back burner.
Making this time to yourself a priority might need a shift in mental attitude. You may not be accustomed to putting yourself first, but you’ll definitely be a better father and partner if you can put self care nearer to the top of your ‘to do’ list. Make sure your significant other is on board and understands the importance of this time.
Find a quiet space to completely switch off, turn the phone off and take your relaxation seriously. It might take a few attempts to make a success of this, but the more you practise self-care the more it will naturally become part of your lifestyle.
Take up a hobby
Maybe you already have an established hobby, perhaps there’s a hidden passion you’d love to take up. If this sounds more like your idea of ‘me time’ then the choices are endless. Improve your handicap in golf, become the next best baker or simply work your way through your favourite novels in peace.
If you’ve always fancied learning a new language perhaps now is your time to carpe diem – although there might be a more practical language than Latin that you could start with! Or have you always had an idea of taking up painting or learning an instrument.
There are so many possibilities when you make time to yourself a priority. And taking up something that requires some degree of commitment will ensure you stick to your ‘me time’ schedule.
Reconnect with friends
Chances are you won’t be the only one in your circle of friends who finds themselves in need of some downtime. Make the most of this by organising regular get-togethers (online if you can’t manage to meet in person). Share horror stories of fatherhood, you’re bound to have a few laughs along the way, and you’ll be helping someone else to take a break at the same time.
During the early years of being a parent everyone needs to be reminded that they are not alone and that their experiences are usually eerily similar, however obscure they may seem at the time. Toddler with a toy stuck up their nose? Your best suit covered in pureed carrots? I’m sure you’re not the only one.
Make the most of your appearance
It’s true that if you take care of your appearance then your inner confidence will start to shine through. We’re not talking major make-overs here. No-one is suggesting you go from suburban dad in a pinstripe to a sneaker wearing, backwards cap donning youth! But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make the most of what you have, and enjoy the results.
Visits to the beautician are no longer the sole domain of women. Men have claimed their spot in the salon and are opting to fix and enhance issues that stop them from being truly comfortable in their skin. For some, this means a bit of brow shaping and a manly manicure. For others, the chance to re-establish a full head of hair is top of the agenda. The popularity of hair transplants and other hair restoration treatments have never been so high.
From footballers to financiers, the chance to reclaim their crowning glory can have a huge impact on mental well being and self-confidence. Get a bit more information from one of the experts like Enhance Hair Restoration. They work with the best surgeons and are always up to date with the latest innovations. This might be what your ‘me time’ looks like, and that’s absolutely fine.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to taking time to refresh and unwind. For some, it’s being active, for others it’s a time for rest and reflection. Man or woman, mum or dad, whatever your role you will do it all the more effectively if you allow yourself some guilt-free, downtime. Remember, communication is key.
Keep your partner in parenting up to date with your plans, give each other time away from the children, and time to be together. That way, when you’re in the depths of your third load of laundry and your kids are not behaving like the angelic little cherubs you ordered, you should have the energy, attitude and, let’s face it, sense of humour that you need to get you through another day.