Why Every Parent Needs a Day Off, According to Counselors

Why Every Parent Needs a Day Off, According to Counselors

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Parents are pushed to their limits every day and tend to feel bad for taking a day off. It can be hard for parents to enjoy themselves when they have free time because they feel like they should be doing something else. If you find yourself in this position, counselors say that there are certain reasons you need a guilt-free break.

Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your family and being dedicated to your job.  Recognize when you need a day off so that you can work on self-care and bettering yourself.

You are an individual with needs of your own, and it is important to meet them. Giving yourself a day off once in a while is a part of self-care, and it will help you in many ways. It will help your family, too, which makes it all the more beneficial.

Why Every Parent Needs a Day Off

Society tends to make parents think they have to do it all without taking a break. It is impossible to find a balance in your life if you live that way, though. Counselors have made it a point to explain why you should take a much-deserved break from parenting for a day.

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Things are Different Now

Things are different now, and parents are expected to do much more than parents did decades ago. In the past, it was typical that mothers stayed home and ran the house while the husband went to work and paid the bills. Now, both parents are expected to work, maintain the house, and cater to their families more than ever.

While it is now normal for both parents to work, they are also expected to spend more time parenting. According to research, parents spend nearly 50% more time with their kids than parents did decades ago. This means that if you need a guilt-free day off, you should take it.

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If you stay at home while your partner works, you have to do so much. Taking care of yourself, your children, your home and ensuring all needs get met is a big job. The extra parenting expected of modern-day parents will be up to you most days, which can lead to burnout pretty quickly.

You Can’t Do It All

It is impossible to find balance in life if you aren’t taking time for yourself. Stress is inevitable, and if you don’t give yourself a day off, you will experience burnout quickly. Counselors explain that parents are drowning in stress, with moms being affected more than fathers.

The reason for this overwhelming amount of stress is easy to figure out. Parents want to provide for their families, but they also want to care for and raise their children. Finding a way to excel at both aspects of life is nearly impossible.

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For stay-at-home parents, the stress comes from different problems. Feeling the pressure to be a perfect parent, have a clean home, and be responsible for others’ well-being all day is draining. It’s hard to find time to relax and to let go of the worry of daily life.

Society sets unrealistic standards for parents today. It seems that parents have to be the perfect parent and the best employee. They are supposed to help their children learn and develop as they work toward climbing the ladder themselves.

This idea is typically unrealistic. The time it takes to devote yourself to your family doesn’t leave enough time to dedicate yourself to your career goals. If you focus on your career goals, you will feel like you aren’t doing enough with your family.

You can’t blame yourself for not being perfect when you have to give so much of yourself. When you have pulled in so many directions, the stress will continue to pile up. Give yourself a guilt-free day off so that you can overcome some of this stress.

You Deserve a Break, and it Will Benefit You Both.

You spend so much time taking care of others that you have earned a day off. Of course, you are there for every part of your child’s life, and while you love it, it can take a toll after a while.

As you focus on getting the kids ready for school, cleaning up after them, and helping with homework, you are wearing yourself thin. Then add in going to extracurricular activities, preparing meals, getting the kids in bed, and everything else, and you truly deserve a break. Counselors say that taking time away from caring for your child will help both of you and help your relationship.

It will help your child see that you are more than just a person that does things for them. They will appreciate you more, and your relationship will strengthen. Plus, it will help you remember that you are an individual and not just responsible for getting the snacks.

Parents must take guilt-free time off from their kids to do something they enjoy. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t a committed parent, and it simply means that you need a break from all you do.

There is no Down Time in Parenting.

It seems that you can’t do anything without having a child underfoot or calling out your name. Simple things like doing something on your phone can become an impossible task because you can’t focus. Kids pull your mind in many different directions, and getting a second to yourself seems impossible.

All of the non-stop work of being a parent can quickly lead to brain overload. It seems that kids are always talking, asking questions, needing something, or wanting you to play. Of course, you expect this as a parent, but it can still take its toll if you don’t get a break once in a while.

Even when you are sick, you still have to show up as a parent. Someone has to cook the meals, see the kids off to school, and deal with everything else.

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Dealing with that each day earns you the right to a guilt-free day off. You need to recover some time, and you need a bit of time to focus on yourself.

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You Will Have More Energy

While you may think alone time is selfish, you have to remember that taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. Giving yourself a much-needed break will help increase your energy levels, allowing you to be a better parent.

Parents often don’t sleep through the night, even when their children begin to. You might wake up thinking you hear crying, only to find that everything and everyone is at peace.

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Even as your children get older, you aren’t likely to feel fully rested. With teenagers come many other worries and concerns that might keep you up at night.

Additionally, taking a guilt-free day off will help you re-energize. Without a break, parents aren’t able to be the best they could be, and this includes you. If you want to continue being a great parent to your children, you must take a break once in a while.

Even just a few hours away can re-energize you for more parenting when you are reunited. You will be ready for storytime, endless questions, and playing with toys before you know it. Then, you will see that you are more patient and attentive to your child now that you have had a break.

Not Taking a Break Can Cause Mental Health Issues

If you feel like you need to take a break, not taking one can cause mental health issues. Listen to what your body and mind are telling you, and take care of yourself. Otherwise, you are at risk of developing depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other disorders.

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Sometimes parent burnout becomes so bad that the parent-child relationship suffers. The parent may begin to feel detached from the child and feel like a failure at the same time.

Your Life Should be More Than Just Parenting

Parenting is, without a doubt, the biggest part of your life. It shouldn’t be the only thing you do, though. Make other areas of your life a priority, too.

By opening up your life to more than parenting, you will help yourself avoid burnout. Spend time working on your other relationships, your health, and your hobbies. Doing things without your kids is a way to remember who you are as an individual.

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Final Thoughts on Why Every Parent Needs a Guilt-free Day Off, According to Counselors

Now that you know you don’t have to feel guilty for taking a day off, it’s time to start setting it up. Make a plan for the kids and decide what you want to do with your much-deserved break.

Take time for yourself and do what makes you happy aside from being a parent. Recall the reasons discussed here if you begin to feel guilty, and you’ll remember that this is beneficial for everyone.

Even if you have an overloaded to-do list, make the time for a guilt-free day off. You might find that you come back more focused and determined than before.

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Sarah Barkley is a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer with a Bachelor's Degree in Literature from Baker College. She is experienced in all things related to parenting, marriage, and life as a millennial parent, but loves to learn new things. She enjoys the research that goes into a strong article, and no topic is off-limits to Sarah. When she isn't writing, she is immersed in a book or watching Gilmore Girls. Sarah loves reading classic novels but also enjoys a good thriller.

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