De-stressing is often thought of as a luxury, not only because it's associated with things like getting a massage or a day at the spa, but parents simply don't have time alone to do it! This is a major problem of course, because parents need that de-stress (especially when it can't be afforded) to effectively raise their children. If you're having a bad day you're not going to react in the same understanding manner you might if you weren't stressed and feeling like you might explode. It's only fair to the kids, and yourself to make the "me time" work. It isn't an easy feat, by any means, whether you have a supportive partner, unsupportive partner or none at all, but you need to do it. Here are a few ways to make life a bit less
chaotic stressful and a tad more sane.
This is one situation where less will actually give you more in life. Choose to add less on your To Do List. You may still care about every little quirk your husband has, or how your kids act at the grocery store, but pick and choose what will really stress you out. Practice choosing two and letting one go. Even if you're not letting something go forever, let it go for that moment and re-prioritize the situations around you. The kitchen doesn't need to be cleaned right that second while five people are asking you questions. Dinner doesn't have to be gourmet every night, or even made by you all the time!
Ask For Help
This isn't something easy to do, but it's important. Did you know that a lot of times husbands and wives have no clue what the other is really upset about? It may seem totally obvious to you, but unless you set aside time to discuss how you're feeling and plan out a separation of chores and what you both need help with, the problem can't be solved. If you have too much on your plate, as the other parent for help! Designate some things to them and understand that it will be done how they do it, not how you do it, but it will get done. If you're both burnt out seek outside help from nearby family for babysitting and to get time to yourselves and regroup, or look into city programs for families in crisis who need short-term babysitting and counseling.
Pay For Your Time
There's a meme about how parents have to choose either a clean house or a happy kid and it's spot on. You can't do it all. I recently hired a house keeper for the first time and it was a really strange feeling to me. In my mind, I had a stereotypical image of people who hired others to clean for them. I also felt the pressure of having to do it myself since I work from home. But in the end I just couldn't keep up with it all. I did tip number one and let go of the fact that my home wasn't as pristine as it used to be now that we have two pets, but then the mess kept piling up and I couldn't handle it. In the end, I got a nice cleaner who charges $50 every two weeks and budgeted to include this in our monthly bills. It keeps me a bit more sane, keeps my husband from making comments to me, and saves me time I could put toward work or having fun with my daughter — well worth it. Some families get Au Pairs, a mother's helper, a gardener, or meal prep delivery to lighten the load. Think about where you wish you could spend the least amount of time, or what takes the most time that shouldn't and re-prioritize. Find someone who is affordable that you trust and add their services to the budget so that you don't need to worry about shoveling snow, raking leaves, prepping food, or rushing to get the kids from school to ballet for example.
Though putting too much on your plate and an overload of multi-tasking can be what gets you in the stress mess, smart, stress-free multitasking is revitalizing. This is one way I'm going to knock out a few "birds with one stone" myself, actually. I pretty much never have alone time with my husband, I barely see him, but we just started going to CrossFit classes together and he loves that. So I'm working out (which I really need to do) and bonding with him all in one shot, pretty nice. I've also wanted to take an adult ballet class for about 10 years now and decided to finally do it. With that, I'm bonding with my daughter over a shared interest, exercising and learning a new skill all at while getting to do an activity just for me. Find ways to multitask to benefit your life instead of overwork it. If you used to paint all the time and realized that you stopped with being a busy parent then start painting with your child. Create painting time where you both spend 30 minutes just painting and learning from each other. Snag a deal for a Paint Night near you and go on a date with your partner to paint. If you don't include it in your life, your outlets will be lost and you'll feel stuck. Love to run? Jog with the stroller or sign up for races with the kids. If sports is your thing then teach your child how to play, too, and if they're old enough bring them to watch you play on a team.
Whether you utilize one or all four of these de-stressing secrets to finding more time for yourself, I hope this article helped. If you have more tips for finding time to de-stress, please share them in the comments below! Looking for ways to stretch your budget to afford de-stress time? Check out my tips here!