Friday, July 27, 2018

Learning to Take the Stress Out of Parenting

Make time for play! This picture is from our Florida vacation October 2017 at Mystic Dunes Resort. 
Too much stress in life is never a good thing, there are many studies that show stress can have a profound effect on your physical and mental health. However, life is generally full of stress that comes from many locations including work, money, relationships, and parenting. Parenting can be stressful even when it's going well because you want what is best for your child. However, there are a few ways that you can learn to reduce that stress and make parenting that little bit easier.

Learn to Simplify Your Life
Sometimes, you sit down after a hard day and think about all the things you did and wonder how you managed to fit everything in. Many of these tasks are things you might have taken on reluctantly or maybe didn’t intend on doing for so long. Other tasks you probably could do differently if you thought about it and saved yourself a lot of time. For example, you might have taken on an additional job at work that has now become a permanent fixture in your day. Or you always go shopping every day to buy that day’s food because that’s what you have always done. These are things that you can usually simplify to make your life easier and give you more time for other jobs. For example, learn to start saying no to doing additional work if it means it will take up your personal time. It can be hard to do at first, but you will soon realize the benefits of doing it. Also, instead of going shopping every day, try to plan your meals in advance and go once a week. You might even be able to shop online and save more time.

Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep as a parent isn’t always easy, especially when they are newborns. However, skimping on sleep has many well-documented problems associated with it, and any one of them can make you feel worse. Try to schedule regular naps with your partner so that you are sharing the load and still getting rest. If you are a single parent, then maybe someone in your family can take care of your child for a couple of hours a week so that you can rest and recharge. When they are newborn, you can sometimes get away with napping when they do, if you can do this, then don’t feel guilty about it, your body and your baby need you to be fresh.

Don’t Take Comments Personally
One thing that most people who have been parents will do is offer advice, even if you don’t want it. Of course, some of this advice can be hugely beneficial to you, especially if you are having an issue. However, sometimes the comments border on criticism rather than help and this can make you feel upset and stressed. It is hard, but you need to learn to let these comments wash over you. Most people will have an opinion on something, but that doesn’t mean they are right. If you can allow these negative comments to fall to one side, you will feel a lot better about your own parenting and also reduce your stress as a result.

Don’t Aim for Perfect
When you first become a parent, you will likely imagine that you will have the most perfect pregnancy, birth, and baby that you can possibly get. In reality, however, this can be far from the truth, and that can lead to bigger issues later on. Those parents who imagine things will be perfect are often left feeling upset and a failure when things don’t turn out that way. The truth is that no parent will say their child or life is perfect, even if it looks that way to you from the outside. If you can learn to accept that there will be good and bad days, then you can allow yourself some slack. If you are finding it hard to cope, then you need to seek the help of your doctor or therapist so that you can let yourself recover.

Be Prepared
Organization and preparation are the keys to having a stress-free time as a parent. You can’t prepare for everything, but trying in anticipate some problems can be beneficial. For example, take a spare set of clothing with you when you go out with your child. That way, if they fall in the mud or they burst their diaper, then you can throw the clothes away and start again. Being organized financially is also a good way to stop yourself from worrying about the future. Turn to top rated life insurance companies for help, so that you can try to make your child’s future better and perhaps relieve some of the long-term stresses.

Make Time for Play
Being a parent day-to-day can sometimes be so hectic that you forget to have fun. Even though you might have a lot to do, try to make some time for playing with your children. You don’t have to go anywhere or spend a lot of money, all you need to do is spend some quality time together. Try taking a little time in between jobs to play with them and their toys or watch a TV show with them. They will get a huge amount from this personal time with you, and it will help you to take things easy and stop worrying about missing out on their lives. Working full time can be particularly hard, especially if you don’t get home until they are going to bed. In this case, make the bedtime routine your thing with them. Read them a story and tuck them in, they will appreciate these moments with you.

It is important to understand that being a parent is a journey and that there will be ups and downs along the way. If you can learn to deal with the downs, then you will be in a better place when you have the ups.

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