Parenthood can take a lot of time out of your life, but that doesn’t mean you should give up everything for your children. It’s important to still have time to yourself to try and achieve the things you want, not just for your own sake but for the sake of your kids too.
Following personal goals will give you a sense of fulfillment that will allow you to enjoy time with your kids more rather than wishing you were doing something else. It can also be inspiring to your kids – if they see you striving to achieve personal goals, they’ll be more inspired to follow their own aspirations.
Here are a few common goals that people often give up on when having kids, as well as advice on how to chase these goals whilst juggling the responsibilities of parenthood.
You can still get still get an education
Pursuing an education could be something that helps you to get a career or it could be something you simply want to do as a personal challenge. Whatever the case, it’s never too late to go back to school and follow your ambitions (even if you have kids of your own in school!).
You can attend classes and lectures if you want, but if you feel you’ll spend too much time travelling or don’t want to be surrounded by young people, you can always consider an online course. These allow you to study in your own time – you’ll still have deadlines for essays and assignments, but you don’t have to attend classes at set times. Many parents find that this is the best suited form of studying for them as it allows you to set your own hours around your kids.
Studying with kids isn’t easy and you’ll need some self-discipline. It’s worth scheduling study time each week and possibly getting someone to babysit the kids (this could be a partner, family member of professional babysitter). You may want to set up your own study area to take you away from the distractions of home life, or you could try studying in the library or a local coffee bar to get you out of the house.
You may even be able to involve your family such as getting your kids to quiz you (you can quiz them in return or help with their homework). Help your kids to understand the importance of education so that they don’t resent your time spent studying.
You can still chase that dream career
Certain careers can conflict with having a family. This includes jobs with long or unsociable fixed hours, as well as jobs that may require you to relocate.
Nowadays, many jobs are becoming more flexible. A lot of jobs are now hiring remote workers – which means you can effectively work from home and set your own hours. In cases where this isn’t possible, employers may still take sympathy if you’re a parent and may be able to set hours around your parenting duties such as picking up kids from school and possibly not working weekends.
Many access courses that allow you to get into certain careers can now be taken online too. If you’re looking into how to become a police officer or how to become a nurse, you’ll find that there are now even courses leading into these professions that can be taken online. This means that you don’t have to travel away somewhere to get necessary qualifications or training.
When it comes to dream careers, vacancies can often be competitive, and you may feel that parenthood holds you back from being able to give your all to a job. Whilst you may not be able to work the hours that other people can, there may be ways that you can use parenthood as an advantage when applying for a job. Many employer hire parents because they offer stability (they’re less likely to quit at a moment’s notice) and because they have proven ability to deal with responsibility. You may also be able to use your role as a parent to show that you have skills such as patience and the ability to multi-task.
There are sites that can offer support for parents trying to chase their career goals. Consider using these resources to help you achieve that dream job.
You can still travel the world
Ever wanted to go travelling? There’s no reason why you can’t explore the world with your kids – plenty of families do it.
You will have to save up more money and backpacking may not be so easy if you’ve also got to pack items for your kids, however you can still go to all the same destinations you would have before. Obviously, certain destinations and activities aren’t going to be very child-friendly, but you may be able to compromise and do some activities for you and some activities for your kids.
If your kids aren’t in school yet, it could be the perfect time to go travelling – you can choose any season to travel and spend as long as you want. If your kids are in school, you may be restricted to school holidays. This means that you may not be able to spend months travelling, but there’s no reason why you can’t still go away for a few weeks.
There are many sites and blogs that can offer advice on travelling with kids. Travelling with infants can be tough but it is possible – you may just need to rely on an infant carrier rather than a pram and plan to visit places where you can buy baby supplies when you need them. You can take a travel cot with you or plan to stay at hotels that offer cots.
You can still take up a new hobby
Parenthood shouldn’t get in the way of taking up new hobbies and interests either. Whilst kids and work may take priority, you can still find ways to fit hobbies into your weekly routine. You may have to simply schedule time for them and get people to babysit for you.
Alternatively, there are many hobbies and interests that you can do with your kids. If you’ve always wanted to learn an instrument, why not do it with one of your kids – there are group lessons that can allow you to do this. Similarly, there are many family-friendly sports such as cycling, badminton or even martial arts.
You can still pursue fitness goals
If you want to lose weight, bulk up or train for a run, you also shouldn’t let parental duties get in the way of the exercise goals. Becoming a parent is no reason to stop being active and there are plenty of ways to still get your training in.
There are plenty of exercises that can be done with your children. When it comes to exercising with infants, why not try a baby aerobics class? Alternatively, you could try simply going for walks with your baby in an infant carrier. As for toddlers, you could invest in a carriage for your bike and cycle with your kids in tow. Meanwhile, when it comes to older kids, they may be able to exercise with you – going for walks, going swimming or simply playing games in the park could be enough to get your exercise in.
It’s possible that you may also be able to turn household chores into exercise. Hoovering the home could be a great time to try some lunges. You could also try doing some squats as you’re washing up. Actions such as scrubbing meanwhile can give you a good arm workout – it could be worth getting down on your hands and knees with a sponge to clean the kitchen floor rather than using a mop.
You could even exercise at home when the kids are preoccupied or asleep. There are plenty of exercises that you can do in front of the TV – these can be a great of combining leisure time and exercise. Alternatively, you could invest in a treadmill or a home exercise bike.
All in all, there are so many opportunities to find exercise. The physical demand of raising kids can make it difficult to find the motivation to then go for a workout, but if it’s something you’re passionate about you’ll be able to find the energy to do it.