Taking Time to Make Yourself Happy as a Parent

Going through the Adoption process can be a long stressful experience and once you have been matched with an expecting mother and receive placement, there’s no break as you enter parenthood. To avoid feeling overwhelmed it’s important to take time to yourself and plan some family activities that you’ll enjoy just as much as your kids will.

Yahoo! recently published an article on the “Eight Ways to be a Happier Mom,” which also apply to fathers. Out of the eight eight tips listed, the one that seemed to stand out was number 6, “Share Your Passion with Your Kids.”

Growing up my parents obviously did many activities they weren’t particularly fond of with my sisters and I, but they also made sure to share their favorite activities with us. My father would take us hiking and fishing and passed on his passion for baseball, hockey and football to all of the kids (my dad and I still play softball on the same team) while my mom made sure that my sisters and I experienced some of her favorite passions (the theater, ice cream, traveling.) These family activities are where most of my favorite and most vivid childhood memories come from. (A big shout out to my parents for sharing their favorite music with us, as my two favorite bands today are still The Beatles and Rolling Stones.)

The article also stressed the importance in taking time away from work to spend only with family, as well as taking a few hours to yourself without the family when the opportunity arises. The other seven items on the list included:

– “Be Yourself” – Don’t compare yourself as a mother to your friends, or your children’s friends mother’s, just play to your strengths as a mother.

– “Pencil in Solitude” – Thinking about the day on a walk or writing about your day in a journal can make you a happier parent according to the article.

– “Practice Slow Family Time” – The article described this as not planning every second of family time, but just being with each other.

– “Put Your Friends Back on the Schedule” – The article said that it’s important to step away from the family and hang out with friends and recharge the batteries.

– “Create a Weekly no Work Day” – Spend one day (or at least one night) a week spending time with the family without responding to work emails or phone calls.

– “Conquer Clutter” – According to the article, having an organized and clean house will do wonders to increasing your happiness.

– “Outsource it” – Either by hiring a “cleaning person” or by assigning roles and chores to all family members based on their strengths and weaknesses.

What are some great tips that you have for keeping yourself happy as a parent?

To read the full Yahoo! article, please click here.