Becoming a father is a life-changing experience for many men. They can no longer devote all their time to worship, work, household chores, or visiting the gym. Suddenly, they have family responsibilities and a child to take care of. The good news is that with a bit of effort and self-care, your life will be immeasurably better.
Be Mindful of Time Management
Being better at managing your time is crucial to practicing effective self-care. While work is important because you need money to pay the bills, it is vital that work doesn’t dominate your life. Other areas of your life need plenty of consideration too.
Devote time to worship, family, and self-care, ideally, allowing equal time for all of them. Try and find a balance that works for you and your family. Beware of giving too much time to any one area of your life to the detriment of the rest. Every Muslim father needs some time to himself in the day, even if it is a quiet few moments for self-reflection in a reclining chair.
Focus on Family
Part of self-care involves being focused on building a strong family unit. Men are healthier and happier when they are in a strong, loving relationship. If your relationship with your spouse is happy, you will be happy too. As the saying goes, happy wife, happy life.
Spend quality time with your wife and children. While worship is important, fathers should still seek the halal joys of life. By building a happy relationship, you are nurturing your soul at the same time, which is an important part of self-care.
Make time to help your children with their homework. Ask them about their studies and how they are getting on at school. This shows them you are interested in their education and life outside of the family.
Chat with your kids while you are all in the car. It’s the one time when you have a captive audience. You can talk about anything and everything, sing songs, and play car games. Your kids will enjoy the interaction and it will strengthen the family bonds.
Where possible, read bedtime stories to your children. There are some wonderful Islamic stories for kids, such as Ibrahim and the Fire, and Leyla the Sparrow.
Mindfulness means being fully present, but it can be hard to do this when you feel overwhelmed by work stress and all of the responsibilities on your shoulders.
Begin by being more mindful of the relationship you have with God, the mighty and merciful protector. If you focus on God, it should calm any erratic thoughts you have and help you to calm down. While some men like to use relaxation apps and calming music, most find that praying helps them achieve a state of mindfulness, both in worship and in everyday life.
Finally, it’s OK to have a nap during the day, as this helps you to maintain your energy reserves. After all, good quality sleep is an essential component of self-care.