Life as a parent has its ups and downs. While you ahh over baby pictures and milestones, there are tough times too, some of which have nothing to do with your child. The stress we feel as parents can profoundly effect our children and their lives. This week, we’re talking about the tough times and how to stay sane when you really feel like kicking things and tearing out your hair. (I don’t recommend either, btw. Toe ouchies and baldness are not going to improve your situation)
Being wound too tightly is never fun. Here are some tricks to keep you sane:
- Exercise. Don’t skip it because you’re busy! Exercise is very important You time, it’s good for your body, and it’s good for your mind. Consider trying yoga. It has been proven that yoga decreases stress and anxiety. Plus it’s fun!
- Deep breathing. Remember when your mom told you to take a deep breath and count to ten? It works! Breathe slowly in your nose and out your mouth ten or twenty times. Deep breaths. (and don’t hyperventilate like you know you want to because your child dumped her milk on the carpet AGAIN! *gasp* )
- Keep a planner and/or calendar. Being organized means forgetting appointments and special days less often, which equals less stress for you. It also means you have a place to plan out when you will get things done, one step at a time, versus, “Garage sale tomorrow. What am I going to do about tables? Where can I buy price tags? Do I have anything in the closet that needs to go?”
- Plan out your dinner menu in advance. Knowing by the day what you plan to serve for dinner takes out the fruitless conversations about what to have for dinner. You know you ultimately decide anyway. Why ask anyone else? You can be flexible with the menu if something comes up last minute, but at least you have a list of available menu choices.
- Make a shopping list. I’m surprised how many people don’t do this simple time and money saver. I have no idea how you shop without a list. I make the dinner menu up, write the shopping list based on what I need for the menu, add non-food items, look up coupons, and hit the store!
- Ask for help. Family and/or friends would likely be willing. Trade off with another family for babysitting. Ask your sister to pick you up a few things when she goes to the store. Ask your retired mother to pick up a present for a mutual friend's wedding instead of you each making a trip.
- Get up early. This is a huge bummer sometimes, but nothing stresses me out more than having to rush. I also dislike waking up right as the kids do, as they want everything NOW! NOW! NOW! (Dude. I have GOT to pee before I get any yogurt for you. You'll just have to be patient. Also, it’s early. Quit smiling.)
- Set things out ahead of time. Clothes for the morning? Set them out the night before. Make lunches the day before. Make sure you know where your keys are. Pack the diaper bag first thing in the morning or last thing the night before.
- Pray or meditate. Or both. Having some time to speak with God and/or yourself is essential for the soul, especially during tough times. It doesn’t have to take long, and it doesn’t have to be every day. And it doesn't matter where you do it, either. (Sometimes, the only time I'm alone is when I shower. God knows what I look like naked, and he doesn't care that I'm washing my hair while I talk to him! He's awesome like that.) The quiet time truly helps.
- Make time for family and friends. Everyone gets busy, but don’t get so wrapped up in what you have going on that you forget to live. Go out with your spouse. Blow off some steam with your besties. Have a long talk with your grandma. Reconnect with the people that make you feel good.
No matter what is stressing you out, know that it will get better eventually. One of my favorite quotes is this: “It will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, then it’s not the end.”
I hope you have found some sanity here at The Case of the Missing Cheerios. As always, we accept topic requests at any time. If you’d like to make a request, comment, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Case-of-the-Missing-Cheerios-blog/317836935013256 . Don’t forget to like us on facebook! Thanks for your support!
See you next week!