Balancing life as a parent

Photo by LinaP.

My previous post about our surrendering to the children’s needs got me thinking about our balance in life as parents .I personally, used to be very fond of going out, either for eating or drinking or dancing etc. My first days as a parent were a great shock! It was winter and the doctor suggested that I don’t go out in the cold . My family suggested that I don’t go out at all for 20 days ! It has to do with religion and tradition here in Greece ; so I just followed. But there came the first

Need for a drink?

irritations and nervousness;something was obviously wrong.

After some months and adventures with my firstborn, I realized that something must be done. The guilt of wanting to  hang out like old days was fighting within myself. Going back to work made me realize that there also other people, who are working and are also parents, mothers, fathers, husbands and wives. And some of them actually have fun in their lives. So I come to wonder:how so they do that ?

Luckily for Greek parents, the role of grandparents is very important and grandparents take their role very seriously. If you are lucky enough and your parents live within range, they are usually eager to help with the growing-up of their grand-children. And if they are not very exhausted, they can help you get out with your “other half” (without the children) and get some free time for yourself and your precious relationship with your husband/wife

In other cases, grandparents aren’t there or cannot help. In these cases, other methods can be used.  You can pay a baby-sitter to watch your kids while you take some time off parenting, but this method will cost you extra money.

Another more economical method is to agree with other parents to take turns to baby-sitting. The one time all the kids can stay with the first parents and the other time the second parents can take all the children to their house. This way you get to pay only for your entertainment and not the baby-sitter.

Of course, if your friends don’t have children or the ability to check up on many kids, you can take turns with your husband/wife to going out. 

The important thing is to do something that you like, take some fresh air and clean up your mind, WITHOUT guilt! Free time for ourselves is something we all need from time to time and must take. This minute I am writing to you, my husband has gone out with his friends to watch football, whereas I have invited a friend of my daughter( without her mother) to entertain themselves, leaving me write this post!

What do YOU do to earn your FREE time? I am always interested in new ideas! Please share your thoughts at the comments


New thoughts for a new year!

Happy new Year!                                       

It seems to me a long time has passed since my last post, but the Christmas Holidays filled my daily program with many  many things! I hosted the Christmas Dinner in my house, with mothers, granmothers,brothers,my kids, my nephews, so I had to supersede myself. Luckily, all my experimental menus succeeded and everyone was happy. And in this experiment, cooking for the first time quail, partridge and guinea fowl I  almost left the children hungry; of course a pack of spaggetti always resolves such matters, as I think all kids eat pasta.

My thought at this time is :how many RETREATS must we parents make, in order to satisfy our children? Should we cook different meals for them? Should we go only to the places that they like? Or should we negotiate for our decisions? The godfather of my daughter, father of two boys himself, says that we live the CENTURY of PAIDIARCHY, forming the word like patriarchy; Back in the old days (at least here in Greece), it was the father who decided and asked no one. Now the child’s (paidi in Greek) opinion stands as the most important. Or not?

I am more of the negotiation phase, by discussing with the children (up to a point of course)

Where do you stand in this kind of dilemmas? 

How will you choose this year?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!