If your house is anything like mine, new messes show up quicker than you can clean up the last one.  I spend more time following my two tornados around the house from room to room putting away all the toys, paints, markers, paper clippings, clothes, shoes and the list goes on.  Then try to fill in any free moment with making breakfast, doing dishes, making lunch, doing dishes again, doing laundry, and perhaps running a vacuum around the house.  You can forget about dusting or ironing – this isn’t an option any more.  My only guilty pleasure is going for a massage.  I try to go once every month and here are the 5 reasons why:

1.     Mental Relaxation. 

Of course I could use the TV as a babysitter for a while so I can take a moment for myself, but that’s a habit I really don’t want to get used to.   I certainly can’t justify getting a babysitter in order to treat myself  – after all, that’s the whole reason I decided to stop working and raise our children.  

A parent’s mind is constantly going.  It varies from planning how to fit everything into one day, to occasionally worrying about your child, to organizing the next activity, and yes, frustration and even anger when things don’t go as planned.

Transitioning through these various mindsets can be stressful.  The opportunity to lie down in a dim room in complete silence while there are no children within earshot does not come around very often.  Massage therapy can relieve the stress experienced from headaches and anxiety.

2.     Physical Relaxation

Parenting can require long hours of lifting, crouching, bending over, and being on your feet all day.  Not many other jobs require a person to put up with all the physical labour day after day without any breaks… for lunch or otherwise.  The physical stresses can change from carrying 3 kids at once to hunching over for an hour while trying to teach a toddler to ride a bike without training wheels.

These forms of physical stress can lead to pain and injury specifically in the core (back, neck and abdominals).  In many situations, this is compounded if the Mother is still recovering from delivering her latest bundle of joy.  Although, I speak from experience, it can also affect us Dad’s too.

Regular massage therapy will help alleviate pain and also prevent injury in the future.  Actively releasing the tension in muscles and tendons will also aid in the recovery from delivery.

3.     Children need a break too.

We often forget that children can also experience stress.  It can be contagious.  When the kids are constantly surrounded by a stressed out parent all day/everyday, the children will pick up on it and they are bound to act the same way. 

While you may think that going for a massage is a way to treat yourself, you are also providing your kids with a break as well.  This changes the environment for the children and its healthy for them.  When the primary parent isn’t around, the child can flourish by creating new bonds and other relationships. 

Whether you leave your children with your spouse, grandparents, family, or friends, you can relax knowing that there is a fresh pair of hands that can look after your bundle of joy – and when you are reunited, you will both be happier.

4.     Change in Environment

When a parent is home all day, surrounded by things that need to be done, it can be therapeutic to escape the atmosphere that a parent is surrounded by day-in and day-out.   If a parent happens to fall behind in their daily (endless) list of things that need to be done, it can weigh on one’s mind.  This unwelcome weight can cause stress that is inevitably transferred from the parent to the children. 

While a parent may have friends and family that can provide the odd play date or trip to the mall, there is no substitute for a complete escape – especially in Calgary’s winter season – when a trip to the community playground is out of the question.

5.     You Deserve It.

You work hard everyday raising the future of our community.  There are no monetary perks to the job and there is no bonus cheque at the end of the year.   If you had any other job, you would be able to take it easy for a day or leave early on Friday.  Unfortunately, we don’t get a discount on the products we are peddling either.

The opportunity to take an hour for yourself every month is almost necessary.  For many, it can even be fully covered with the right benefits program.  Take advantage of this treatment.  Make time for yourself.  Set up a regular appointment with a Registered Massage Therapist and enjoy all the benefits that will accompany it – a happier life for the parent, a happier life for the children, and a healthier relationship between the both of them.


~ Craig Swarbrick, Owner @ Mama Massage Calgary