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Me First?: One Smart Parenting Philosophy

February 10, 2016

The smart parenting philosophy

[Alarm goes off]

Shower and get dressed

Make coffee and breakfast

Pack lunch for your son

Have breakfast with your son and Daddy

Get your son dressed

Pack your son’s supplies for the day and don’t forget Bear

Get your son in his coat and hat and head out the door

Run back inside for your laptop

Strap your son into his car seat

Drop him off at daycare with a kiss and a hug

…and you haven’t even gotten to work yet!

nov blog daycare

Being a full-time parent

As a working parent taking care of one or more young children, it is no easy task to make time for yourself.  You may be working 40 hours per week, which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for everything else, including grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, and errands.  So what happens to the “other” priorities that are not necessary to earning a living, caring for your child or making your household run smoothly?

If you’re like a lot of parents of young children, these are the things that tend to fall by the wayside when time is at a premium:  alone time with your spouse, physical fitness, socializing with friends, and your own health or personal care.  Yet after so much time working and caring for others, your positive energy can become depleted and it’s time to turn your attention inward and take care of yourself.  This may sound difficult when you are already away from your child for large chunks of the day, but it’s absolutely essential in preserving your core self.  Being your best self is actually the best thing you can do for your family.  Here are some simple tips that will help you incorporate “me time” into your regular routine:

  1. Everyone working a full time job is entitled to a lunch hour. Use that time to take a walk around the parking lot, enroll in a gym class, or have lunch with a colleague.  It will give you a needed break from work in an “adult” and child-free environment.  And exercise is one of the best stress-busters around. Do not spend the time buying those cute Elmo slippers your son wanted.
  2. Tag-team with your significant other so you both get a break, especially during the weekend. You don’t need to both be with your child(ren) throughout the weekend.  Instead, take some time to meet up with a friend for coffee, get a manicure or even go grocery shopping.  Then let him or her do the same. family pic blog
  3. Make room in your day for quality time with your spouse. Your relationship is the foundation of your family and it’s important to nurture and build on that relationship even if you’re feeling tired and would prefer to veg out in front of the TV.  Instead enlist a babysitter that you trust to allow you to spend time alone together over dinner or a movie.  You just might have a parent, in-law or other relative that is dying for some time with your child.  And if not, take the plunge and start building that trusting relationship with a local high-schooler. Remember, your relationship as a couple teaches your child so much about love.
  4. Set up cooperative playtime with one or more other parents. Have them watch your child one day and you can watch theirs a few days later.  This will free up some time for you to get that haircut or oil change with a guilt-free conscience.

Remember: you have chosen the Montessori teaching philosophy to start your child’s education whether for our infant, toddler, preschool/kindergarten or elementary program, so stick with the Montessori principles at home too!  This means letting your child become more independent – sometimes without you by their side.  You will raise a more resilient child who can better handle future disappointment and life challenges.

Contact us to learn more about our Montessori schools in Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Edison, Hoboken, Kinnelon, Mahwah, Morris Plains, Metuchen, Oakland, Randolph, Towaco and Wayne. You can also contact our corporate office, located in Riverdale, at 973-283-6400 or schedule a tour here.

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