Family Focus: Parents need to take care of themselves

Family Focus: Parents need to take care of themselves

Parents, we pack so much into a 24-hour-day.

You likely feel like a taxi, running your kids all over town to their extracurricular activities. However, experts say you need to take time for yourself in order to adequately take care of your kids.

It's 3:45p.m. and evening activities are already beginning for the Tomasewski family.

Kathleen Tomasewski first makes sure her three kids get a healthy snack. Then it's homework time. It's just the beginning of a whole host to-do's.

"We have ballet. We have flute. We have basketball, religious ed. It's a beautiful, full schedule," said Kathleen.

Kathleen runs a successful Blog, "Mom on the go in Holy Toledo," which keeps her plenty busy during the day while her kids are at school.

She said in order to get through all her family demands, she needs to start the day out right.

"I get a good half hour in the morning. I read for a little bit, have a cup of coffee, kind of zen time if you will, and then the craziness starts," exclaimed Kathleen.

Kathleen said it's so easy to get caught up in carting around the kids and tending to their needs, but if she doesn't first take care of herself, the walls come tumbling down.

"My mind goes to a bad place. I find myself then playing the comparison game. I see someone else on Facebook or Instagram and I'm like, 'Oh no. They have this, they have that. I should have this," she said.

ProMedica OBGYN Jackie Vannuyen said she hears it all the time from her patients, they simply don't have time to take care of themselves.

"For all women, whether you have kids or not, I mean, we are traditionally givers, we're helping others, whether it's our family, our friends, our human kids, our animal kids. But we usually put ourselves last," said Dr. Vannuyen.

Dr. Vannuyen said, if you don't get enough sleep, exercise, and healthy meals it could be damaging for your kids who need you to be present.

"It's like they say in the flight industry, you have to administer your own oxygen before you can help somebody else," she said.

Dr. Vannuyen suggests scheduling time for your workouts, take a break to meditate for just three to five minutes a day and plan your meals for the week.

"When we're so busy, and we have these tendencies to just be like, 'What's quick? What's easy?' And it may not be what's healthiest, but if you can make a conscious effort to plan for that, then it's already done," said Dr. Vannuyen.

Kathleen said for her mental health, a close group of mom friends is crucial.

"So when we kind of do reach those breaking points, we can kind of just text each other, 'this happened and then that happened.' Sometimes you just need to tell someone else," she added.

Kathleen and Dr. Vannuyen agree, you may have to set limits on the amount of extracurriculars your kids take on and always remember, if you focus on delivering the basics for your kids, they'll love you no matter what.

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.