As a busy working parent, you know there are never enough hours in a day to do everything you want to do. Trying to find a balance between the office and everything there is to do at home can quickly become overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you try to find some balance:
1. Communicate with your spouse.
If you and your husband both work, teamwork is required for finding balance at home. Discuss this openly and honestly, so you can work together as a team to make sure that all household tasks are covered every week. If you are going to have a late work night, make sure your spouse is prepared and vice versa. Resolve that most household jobs (emptying the dishwasher, washing dishes, preparing meals, doing laundry, picking up the house) should be the responsibility of whoever sees it needs to be done. As your children get older, they too should be expected to help. Being part of a family is being part of a team.
2. Don’t try to be a super mom or super dad.
Sometimes our desire to be Martha Stewart gets the best of us, and we stress ourselves out when we don’t need to. While putting a healthy meal on the table is important, it doesn’t need to be gourmet. Seriously, think about it…children probably like cereal more than they like quiche!
Likewise art projects, parties, and other activities don’t have to be over-the-top for your children to appreciate them. Keep it simple, plan ahead, and be realistic with what you want to accomplish. If you find joy in doing the activity, by all means do it! But, if it just stresses you out, don’t do it!
3. Ask yourself, “What’s really important?”
Do you really need to run that errand today? Is the house really that dirty? Can the laundry wait until the weekend? When you are stressed out and feeling pulled in a thousand directions, stop and ask yourself if what you are doing really needs to be done right now. Many times it doesn’t, and your children would rather have you sitting next to them, chilling out, or playing a game rather than having you run around being stressed out. Keep in mind they are only little for a short period of time.
4. Get a good night’s sleep.
Research has shown that everything seems more overwhelming when you are tired. That’s why it’s critical to try to get eight hours of sleep on a regular basis. If you do, your immune system will work better, and you’ll also handle stress better. If you don’t believe us, try it for a week. You’ll notice a difference…we guarantee it!
5. Schedule exercise time as well as fun time.
You know when you are expected to be at work, eat meals, and go to bed. It’s also important to schedule time during the week for exercise and things you enjoy. If you don’t, these activities will be the first things not to happen. Make sure you and your spouse have regular date nights to keep your relationship fresh, treat yourself to activities you find joy in after the kids go to bed, and plan family time that gets all of you moving and having fun together versus staring at the television.
Speaking of fun, Ebenezer Child Care Centers will be hosting a special Working Parents’ Luncheon on May 1, on “How to Escape Adulthood – Living and Working with Less Stress and More Fun.” Professional speaker and author, Jason Kotecki, will be presenting this high-energy, jam-packed program loaded with humor and fun. It will leave you with a renewed passion and optimism for life; provide you with techniques to have more fun while getting more done; and motivate you to live a richer, more balanced life amidst the craziness of being a working parent. For more information or to register for the luncheon visit https://www.ebenezerchildcare.com/pay/conference-registration.php.