One of the hardest things for "good" parents to do is spend time on themselves. When people are so focused on living up to their definition of "good" parenting, they end up so focused on being with the kids that they neglect themselves. This can lead to not only exhaustion and "child overdose", but you may even end up resenting your kids for taking up all of your time.
Instead, make time for yourself and give yourself a break! It’s the key to being a happy, successful father.
Here are some tips to help you:
Give yourself a Sunday morning
Even if you can’t take time off during the week (thanks to work and family life), at least give yourself time off during the weekend. Set aside a block of time (two or three hours is good) to do your own thing, whatever that is. Make sure to give your wife that same time, and it will be much easier for you both to have your "you" time.
Consider a more flexible job
Evaluate your company’s policy towards working at home or having flexible working hours. If the company doesn’t offer you what you need, consider changing jobs. Being able to work from home may mean less money, but it can definitely give you more time with your kids-- which means less guilt at spending time alone.
Telecommuting isn’t an option for everyone, but perhaps you could find a house closer to your work. Either that or consider finding work closer to your house. If you spend two or three hours commuting every day, that’s a lot less time you can spend with your kids, not to mention on yourself.
Make the most of the commute
If you can’t find any other way, why not enjoy the time you spend in traffic? Download your favorite sit-com and "watch" it while in traffic. You’re not really moving anywhere, and you don’t need to keep an eye on the TV show. You can also listen to music and audiobooks, dictate a blog post into your Dictaphone, or even write a novel thanks to Dragon Naturally Speaking--a speech to text program. Find a way to make that morning commute fun, and it will be your special time every day.
Network with other parents
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have people who will be happy to take care of your kids for you? It may mean that you’ll have to take care of their kids, but that’s the beauty of being a parent. You’ve already got one, so what difference does one more make? Have a "babysitting exchange" program with other parents, and it will be easier to organize time off for yourself and your spouse.
Streamline your life
Cut out any social commitments that will stop you from spending time with your children, as that will help you to feel less guilty when you take that time for yourself. Say "no" to people when they ask you to do things you just don’t have the time for!
It’s tough to find time for yourself, but it is possible! No matter how busy you are, it’s essential that you give yourself the break you need.