Night Buddies - Adventures After Lights Out

Taking a Time-Out: Why Fathers Need to Value Their Personal Time

It’s time to admit it to yourself . . . you need a break.

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But why is it so hard for men, fathers in particular, to vocalize their need to step back for a bit and spend some time—whether it be a day, or even an hour—focusing on rejuvenating themselves with some personal time? And I don’t mean time to drop your kid off at daycare to spend working, writing (if your work is writing), or taking care of bills and housework, but actual time to relax and refresh.

Writing a book, being a single parent, and making a living for one’s family is enough to burn out the Energizer bunny, and yet when put in that position some men don’t feel comfortable admitting they need some time off. Stay-at-home fatherhood is still not widely recognized as acceptable in our society, and it’s taken for granted that men should be able to work and parent simultaneously, with no complaint. There are all kinds of studies out there showing how working mothers are affected by the stress of mothering and working full-time, but I’ve found none that accurately do the same for working fathers.

Well, as a single father who also worked full-time, I can tell you that getting burned out is something that happens overwhelmingly and often when you don’t fit personal time into your schedule. It’s time we stand up for ourselves, even if that just means unapologetically taking care of ourselves.

When you feel close to your breaking point, it is a favor to yourself, your child, and your work to get away for a time, go see a movie by yourself, go fishing, zone out to your favorite Netflix show . . . anything that allows you to rest your brain, rest your body, and feel refreshed enough to go back and conquer your very hectic schedule with patience and grace. I found that for me, personally, finding time to read every day, even if it’s only for an hour or so, helps me focus on the other pieces of my schedule more clearly.

My point is, don’t be afraid of calling time-out—you’ll be better off for it.

Do you ever struggle trying to balance all the areas of your life? What’s your favorite “time-out” activity? Let me know in the comments below!

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