Being a parent is an important job, but it’s not an easy one. So many new responsibilities are added to your life – more than you’ve ever had before. It comes to a point when many parents find that they’re filling their free time without the kids with errands. As a result, self care for parents is a topic that many of us just don’t have. We don’t feel like we have the time.

Ericka Souter joins us to talk about the importance of self care for parents. Ericka is a regular contributor to award-winning blog mommy blog, Mom.me. She is also a regular on World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and Nightline, often talking about news affecting parents and children.

Self Care Isn’t Selfish

Contrary to belief, taking the time for self care is essential to being the best parent you can be. Many of us subscribe to what Ericka calls “the martyr syndrome,” putting everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. We often mistake this for being the defining trait of being a good parent. But in reality, most people eventually reach a critical breaking point. “If you’re crumbling, your family is going to suffer as well,” Ericka says.

The benefits of self care far outweigh the bad. When you’ve had a chance to breathe and be yourself again, that translates to the way you parent. So how do you overcome the feelings of guilt and selfishness for taking time out for yourself? You just have to acknowledge that you deserve some enjoyment and relaxation. But many people don’t understand the importance of self care for parents until they’ve been neglecting themselves for so long that they’ve hit a wall. “Many people have to try it before they realize the benefits,” Ericka adds.

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Ericka’s Self Care Checklist for Saving Sanity

1. Recharge.

Just plan a moment when you can sit and quiet your mind, whether it’s getting a mani/pedi, going to the gym, or just vegging out on your favorite t.v. show.

2. Feed your interests.

Parenthood consumes many of us, but you were a person before you became a parent! Keep that part of you alive by doing the things you enjoy – even if you feel like you don’t have time for it.

3. Create a Mom Squad.

Gather a group of friends who are moms, too. They’ll know your struggles all too well and can provide a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.

Stay in Touch with Ericka to Learn More About Self Care and Parenting

Self care and parenthood aren’t incompatible, BUT it does take a lot of practice to balance the two. Learn more information and tips about juggling self care and parenting by visiting Ericka Souter’s website. If you have social media, follow her @erickasouter on Twitter and Instagram.

In the meantime, practice self care by pampering yourself with these easy, at-home beauty tips!

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