Why Taking Breaks From Your Kids Makes You A Better Mom


The joy they bring to your life may feel like the missing puzzle piece you have spent your life searching for, but there is no denying that children can be overwhelming. Their smiles and cuddles will make it feel worthwhile, but ensuring their wants and needs are always met can feel impossible. This is why all parents should prioritize taking mental health breaks regularly.

How you choose to spend your mental health break is entirely up to you and your own unique needs. While some parents may thrive on using the time to move their bodies and get outside, others may significantly benefit from simply taking some quiet time in their bedrooms or out in their gardens, reading their favorite book, or indulging with their e-cigarette.

What is a Mental Health Break?

Mental health breaks look different to everyone. For some, it means physically leaving their home for a walk around outside, removing themselves from the environment that is causing them to feel overwhelmed. For others, it may be as simple as retreating to the safety and quiet of their bedroom for a period of time, using their break to meditate, read, or listen to relaxing music.

While there is no set rule for what a break should look like, the focus should be on how you feel during or after the activity. Once your break is over, you should feel happier, rested, and refreshed. Try out a variety of different tasks and techniques to find what best suits you.

Why do Parents Need Them?

When parents don’t take the necessary breaks and self-care they desperately need, they risk failing one of their biggest responsibilities in life: raising happy, healthy, and well-rounded children. All parents, regardless of temperament and intentions, have a breaking point that, without breaks, will be met.

When this happens, it becomes harder to control your emotions and actions, and it could lead to parents losing their patience quicker than normal and reacting in unhealthy ways towards their partner and children.


Furthermore, failing to find healthy avenues to release stress and decompress can increase the risk of stress, anxiety, anger, resentment, impatience, and impulsivity. It can also put increased strain on romantic relationships, making it harder to work productively together.

Find the Time

Time poverty is a very prominent part of any parent’s life. Some days, it may be impossible to swing the 30 minutes you need to fit in your self-care. In these instances, utilizing microbreaks may be the ideal solution.

Small breaks can be helpful for busy parents who may feel themselves getting triggered and need a moment to breathe. Spending five minutes in mindful meditation can help you reset your day, or simply spending time outside in the sun can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your next tasks.

Top Tips for Parents

To get the most out of your breaks, it is worthwhile following some suggestions to help the entire family adjust to a modified schedule.

Set Boundaries

The only way to effectively benefit from your mental health breaks is to ensure your family understands the reason behind them. Setting clear boundaries with your family when you are planning to take your break will help them understand you are unavailable during this specific time.


It may take some time for the entire family to adjust to these new rules, but standing firm and clear on your boundaries will allow everyone to adapt quickly, creating a more harmonious environment.

Respect Your Partner’s Break

All parents deserve a break from their children. If you have just finished a long day at work and your partner has been at home all day with the kids, they are still entitled to take time for themselves.

Parenting is difficult. Understanding the time and effort each parent puts into their home and parenting effort will make respecting their time and their need for self-care easier.

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Take It Slow

Perfection is impossible and should not be your primary objective when establishing a schedule that includes much-needed time for yourself. Good mental health practices take time to master, and you need to allow yourself the opportunity to find what best works for you.

Allow yourself the chance to explore many different activities and techniques to slow down and find a healthy release for any negative emotions you may have. What works for your friends or family may not be suitable for you, so it is crucial to stay open to new experiences.

Be Open with Your Kids

If your children are old enough to understand, it is worthwhile to explain why taking a mental health break is important to them. When kids, particularly adolescents and teenagers, watch you take time to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being, they are more likely to model this behavior as they age.

Furthermore, you can help them build their own schedule, which they can use to set time aside each day to be by themselves and partake in an activity that allows them to destress. Building these habits early on can be highly beneficial to assist them in more stressful periods.

Ditch the Guilt

Remember, self-care is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. It’s a crucial part of parenting that should be non-negotiable. By prioritizing your well-being, you’re not neglecting your family but ensuring you’re in the best state to care for them.

Creating a balanced home setup is key. You can arrange time in your day for individual care, or better yet, set a schedule with your partner at the start of the week. This way, you can both have dedicated days for self-care, individually or together. By setting these boundaries, you’re not only taking care of yourself but also empowering your partner to do the same.

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