Between raising our kids (which as we all know is a full-time job), work, and endless household things, it is easy to forget that we need time for ourselves. Any parent worth their salt will tell you that being a "parent" means sacrifices (a lot of sacrifices), but we often forget to change gears from the 'caretaker' to a person that takes care of themselves.
Before I had children of my own I use to see the tot-lot "Mommy" groups, mothers out walking their kids together and mothers out interacting with one another. What I came to realize is that I wasn't seeing the real "magic" of these mothers interacting with each other to help keep their "sanity".
It is so important as parents that we find a "release" that lets us to blow off steam, and stay in that "well balanced realm" of parenting. If you don't have something to do that brings you back to "center" you will be robbing yourself, and everyone around you of a "sane person". I know this can be a sensitive subject because there is a level of guilt that is associated with doing things for ourselves... let it go. We aren't good to anyone if we can't as "parents" find a way to balance our personal, and mental health within our everyday lives.
One of my favorite releases is playing basketball on the weekend with a group of friends that have played together for many years (typical male stuff) . Coming from an athletic background basketball rejuvenates me for the entire week to come (most of the week anyway). The thought of playing basketball with a group of sweaty, and at times angry men may not be your "cup of tea", but it is important that you find "something" that you enjoy. My wife Marla (bless her heart) is more than happy to send me off early in the morning Saturday and Sunday to get my 'fix', because she knows all too well what it's like when I don't get to play... it's hard to believe but it's not a pretty picture.
How do you find that "thing" you ask, find parents that have walking groups and join in. Get involved in the as I like to call them "tot-lot forums" at your local tot-lot. Find a quiet place and read. Spend some quality time at the mall. Whatever you wind up doing, the time you spend recharging you mental batteries is invaluable to those around you... namely your kids! My wife loves listening to other peoples "controversy" because she says that she doesn't have any of her own, this is the beauty of group interaction! It is comical listening to her rehash what she's heard... interesting stories is all I will say about that. Find the thing that can be your little slice of heaven, so you can be at your best for the ones you love. In the immortal words of my father-in-law use the "K.I.S.S." method, simply translated... Keep It Simple Silly!
Find Your Release, and you will be on your way to mental and physical good health!
Feel free to share your positive "Release" stories.
Love & Peace!