Parents are some of the most resilient people in the world. Raising a child is a difficult task and trying to balance both your professional and family life can be incredibly tricky. Parenting itself is a demanding task and some people are more than willing to quit their job in order to look after their children. This can lead to a feeling of guilt because trying to balance between your personal and professional life can be a daunting task.
This imbalance can ultimately lead to stress, and it’s not unlikely to take it out on your partner, friends or even your child. Parental stress is a serious issue, but here are a couple of simple ways to reduce the amount of stress you experience.
Prioritize personal comfort whenever possible
If you come back home from a stressful day at work and find yourself struggling to cope with an uncomfortable bed, or if you realize that your shower pressure has been reduced and thus you aren’t getting a good clean, then you need to fix these issues as soon as possible. Personal comfort can help you improve your take on life and make it seem more positive.
Focus on improving your quality of life even if it means spending more money. For instance, if your bed isn’t comfortable and you wake up feeling groggy, then consider getting a good down comforter, a new mattress and a new set of pillows if you want to experience more comfort. Waking up feeling refreshed due to a good night’s sleep is important and the only way to get this is if you invest in your bedroom. We spend roughly a third of our entire life sleeping, so it makes sense to give ourselves the comfort we deserve when we’re dreaming.
Give yourself some space
Be it away from your family or just your children, make sure you don’t neglect your personal time alone. It could be a few hours each week practicing yoga, indulging in your own pleasures, or perhaps even reading a book in the garden while the sun is high in the sky. If you have to get away from your children, then don’t forget you can travel with your friends or your partner on the weekend to have a quiet break away from all the stress and troubles in your life.
The idea is to give yourself some time off. Our brains can only focus on so much at a time, so if you fill your brain with stressful and negative thoughts, you have less time to focus on the more important things in life such as your personal well-being and stress management.
Trust in your children
Something that a lot of parents experience is stress due to being overprotective. For example, you might feel stressed because you aren’t able to pick up your children from school one day, or maybe you feel guilty because you were late to your child’s parent meeting due to work. However stressed out you feel, you need to understand that being overprotective and stressing out because of unavoidable incidents is not the right way to go about your life.
You need to realize that your children need to be encouraged to be self-sufficient.1 If you stick with them all the time and don’t give them at least some freedom, then you’ll spend most of your life worrying about them and being overprotective. Give them some space, teach them how to live life without having to rely on you, and trust that they will grow to become fine adults that you don’t need to worry so much about.
Seek help when needed
A lot of parents turn to services in order to get help with their parenting stress. The most common service is a carer or a babysitter. You’ll need to ensure that the carer is suitable for your child and that they are compatible. It might take a long time to find someone suitable to take care of your child, but once you do, it’ll take a whole lot of stress off your mind. You’ll be able to spend more time away from your child to destress and relax, you won’t have to worry about picking up your children from school all the time, and there are fewer decisions to make when trying to balance your personal and work life.
However, if the stress is getting unbearable and even a babysitter isn’t helping, then your next option is to turn to a counselling service. Our mental health can quickly degrade if we aren’t careful, and getting a professional opinion on our situation can make a world of difference and open up new options for us.
Sticking to a schedule
Uncertainties in life can quickly become sources of fear. By sticking to a schedule, you can remove those uncertainties and live a life that is predictable, less stressful, and easier to manage. A great example of this is when you’re struggling to make time for yourself in addition to taking care of the children. You might also experience a bit of trouble in the morning because you don’t have enough time for all the tasks you planned, and it could leave you in a state of panic as you walk out the front door.
If you stick to a schedule, life becomes much easier to cope with. For instance, you could wake up at 7 AM, prepare breakfast for your child and spend some time packing their lunch and ensuring they have everything in their bags. Then you could add a couple of minutes leeway in case they are taking a bit longer than usual or if there’s traffic during the school run. When you come home from work, you can dedicate some time to your children, but you can also plan for the babysitter to take over after a certain time so you can go out and enjoy spending a bit of time with your friends. Stick to a schedule, expect whatever’s coming up and you’ll find that life becomes a whole lot less stressful.