Who said raising kids was easy? In fact, the reality is far from it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy every single moment of being a parent. There are times when you will face stress and frustration, but without these instances, you simply wouldn’t be human. Getting stressed every now and again is completely normal. However, there are plenty of ways you can keep yourself calm to appreciate the rewarding job of parenthood.
As your children get older, there is far more to think about when it comes to parenting, so how can you get a handle on things and keep your stress levels to a minimum? Here are a few tactics you could try.
• Simplify your life
When you are a parent, the time you once had for the simplest of tasks is most likely a thing of the past, so making the necessary short-cuts is often the only way to keep your life under control. Most of us take on more than we can cope with and it is only when we stop and take a minute to breathe, that we realize it is all too much. Even when it comes to shopping for kids’ clothing, the task of searching for suitable items in the correct sizes is more than enough to deal with, without having to look after a temperamental child.
This is where online shopping can come in useful. You may only have thought about browsing the net for your own clothing needs rather than for your kids, but it can have huge perks for simplifying your day-to-day life because mall shopping with children can be a real nightmare.
Online kids retailer, Kidpik offer hundreds of cute clothes for girls online that are hand-picked to compliment her personal style. A subscription can be purchased, and a monthly package containing a surprise outfit will be delivered to your door free of charge. Those dreaded shopping mall trips will be a thing of the past and purchasing clothing for your little one will never have been simpler. It is definitely the ideal solution for time-conscious moms who need a quick fix for finding suitable clothing for their children.
• Get enough sleep
Not having enough energy after a terrible night’s sleep would make anyone stressed and irritable, let alone a parent who needs to be responsible for their child for the entire day. One of the best ways to cope with your stress levels is to get enough rest, whether that be having a long sleep in the evening or taking an afternoon nap when your baby or toddler nods off.
The recommended amount of sleep would be between 7-8 hours to recharge your batteries to full capacity, but gaining quality sleep is easier said than done, especially if you are a light sleeper. If you don’t have enough rest night after night, you may experience symptoms such as memory loss, poor focus, lower mood and even a weaker immune system which may mean you are more inclined to catch illnesses.
• Don’t aim for perfection
It is often the case that parents feel under pressure to be the perfect role model and if specific targets aren’t met or other parents are handling situations differently, they have doubts about whether they are doing their job properly. Constantly striving for perfection only puts you under more pressure that just isn’t necessary. If you are too tired to get the house spic and span before guests arrive or you haven’t had the time to make sure your child is dressed to impress before their friends show up for playtime, always remind yourself that your best is good enough and that is all that matters.
• Make time for play
For many parents, ticking off the to-do list is often considered to be the most crucial aspect of being a parent, but what about that all-important family bonding time your child desires from you? With more time spent on ticking the boxes to achieve what society expects rather than what essentially makes you happy, is only going to build on the constant pressure you are already facing.
Find an allocated time slot to relax and have fun with your children, even if it means making a few sacrifices. Laugh, tell jokes, draw or go to the park and spend an hour in the fresh air. These memories will never be replaced, so be sure to make time for what truly matters to you most about being a parent, rather than what others expect.
• Encourage positive behavior
One of the significant factors of heightened stress levels is when your child just doesn’t want to cooperate and throws a tantrum because they can’t get their own way. The longer you pay attention to a tantrum, the longer it lasts. Therefore, you should try and diffuse the situation as quickly as possible by walking away. According to research, one of the best ways to ensure your child stays well-behaved is to thoroughly praise their good behavior at random intervals.
As soon as you notice your child doing something good, praise the action and explain why what they did is really great. This is otherwise known as ‘positive reinforcement’. The more they are aware of their rewarded actions, the more well-behaved they should become over time.
• Get some support
If you are finding it tough to keep on top of your day-to-day schedule, don’t be afraid to reach out and seek the help of others. If you are a single parent or your spouse is at work, and you simply can’t make it to the school on time to pick up your child, ask for the help of other mums, rather than pushing yourself too hard to be in numerous places at once. Slow down and focus on one thing at a time if possible. Juggling too many tasks can lead to ridiculous amounts of stress. Remember, you are only one person, and sometimes, it is okay to admit you are struggling.