Why Self-Care Is Good Parenting

After all, every parent deserves some "me" time.
When you’re a parent, the idea of recharging can seem pretty laughable. How are you supposed to do self-care when you’re so busy taking care of everyone else?  
When you’re a parent, the idea of recharging can seem pretty laughable. How are you supposed to do self-care when you’re so busy taking care of everyone else?  

The holidays can be a particularly stressful time, especially for parents. I, for one, am happy they’re over. It’s exhausting planning meals, buying boatloads of gifts, and managing the expectations of little (and large) humans, among so many other things. Though I’m incredibly grateful for each and every opportunity and holiday moment, I’m tired.

But when you’re a parent, the idea of recharging — or, more pointedly, practicing self-care — can seem pretty laughable. How are you supposed to do self-care when you’re so busy taking care of everyone else?

So today, HuffPost Parents is launching a new editorial package for January called Self-Care Is Good Parenting. Think of it as a parent-friendly, post-holiday reset. How can we help you get as much unnecessary work off your plate as possible? How can you lean into wellness in a way that doesn’t make it feel like another stressful addition to your to-do list? What does “me time” look like when you truly don’t have any time to spare and can’t stomach throwing $20 an hour at a babysitter so you can go out?

“Think of it as a parent-friendly, post-holiday reset.”

In a nutshell, we firmly believe that parents can do a better job taking care of ourselves — so that we can take better care of our kids. And what better time to start than a brand new decade.

These stories will touch on everything from maintaining your sanity at bedtime to how to stop yelling once and for all; from divvying up emotional labor to interrogating mommy wine culture.

Self-care can be many things to many people. Here’s what it looks like to me:

I’ve spent the last eight years (if you include my first pregnancy) taking care of other people first.

So this year, my self-care will look something like: communicating more with friends both near and far (even if only by email or text); having sit-down meals with my husband where we’re not cramming food into our mouths while watching Netflix; exercising and stretching more; being more mindful of my health; and reading real books in bed (instead of scrolling the ’gram).

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Self-care can also be as simple as knowing when you need to slow down, when you need to just be.

So I invite you to start thinking about your own self-care, and send us ideas of what you want to do more of in 2020. You can reach us at katea@huffpost.com.

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