Updated: Feb 26, 2019
Your kids can trigger you as no one else can, they are a little mirror of your energy, feelings and behaviors, so when you feel stressed, your child will feel it, too. This week, I am focusing on tips and tools that you can use to #bettermanagestress with a full time job and a family; create a healthier #worklifebalance and more #sustainability.
Being a full-time working parent is not an easy task
All people that are working full-time moms or dads have a huge amount of respect from me.
Not only do you need to be performant and deliver results during the day, but as soon as you come home, you continue to share your energy and attention with your little loved ones. And if that's not enough, often, after the kids go to sleep, you will reconnect to your work computer, and attend late-night meetings. You catch-up on an emails and stay on top of the demands of your high-tech well-paid job.
Constant unforeseen situations and emergency calls, especially when the kids are little, can be weekly occurrences in our already full-slammed calendars. #stresswithkids can be different every day: one day you need to go see the pediatrician, another you need to handle all the household tasks, and another you promised your kid to go see the next Disney movie. The most stressful part as a working parent is that you are never off: when you are off from work, you are taking care of your child, you wake up when they wake up - you are always there for them.
In order to stay on top of all levels of your life, you need to identify your values, set your priorities and invest your energy wisely.
Tips to manage stress as a parent
Get to know yourself and your priorities:
Whenever things get tough, you know what to focus on!
Live your priorities!
Block time on your calendar for yourself
Ask yourself, do you really need to do that today or can it wait until tomorrow? Can a meeting be postponed? Does an email need to be answered that day or not?
Set boundaries: me time, couple time, family time, work time
Stay flexible (there will always be something unforeseen, stay open and flexible to all the challenges that will come to you)
You can't pour from an empty cup - Be careful with your resources:
Take time for yourself - You have so many roles as a parent, you can't be perfect in every single one of them at all times, accept that. Always do your best - and your best might be to cook, cuddle with your child and go to bed early.
Start taking single days off to organize things or to be at home and recharge
Find out what really recharges your batteries that can be the smallest things, for example putting on make-up mindfully, do things that bring joy to you
Agree on mom-pauses and dad-pauses: take an afternoon or evening for yourself, get a manicure, have a guys night to watch a Basketball game or explore a new hobby
Use time with your children in the afternoon to recharge for yourself:
Decide if being on your phone or mindless while playing with your kids is what you want
Use the time with them to be disconnected from your work-life
Do things that make you happy and relaxed, too - that will help in managing your stress and using the time you have to recharge together
Being a working parent is very hard. There are always moments as parents, when you feel like a mess and that's totally normal. You are not alone.
Sharing daily challenges with parents that find themselves in the same situation can be extremely helpful and a huge relief when you are lost for options or ideas.
Surrender to the process - change takes time:
Stay positive: Don't beat yourself up and go into a negative talk with yourself. If something happens that you weren't prepared for, ask yourself: What can you learn from that challenging situation?
Be a role model: You are a role model for your child, no matter if you want to, or not. The way you treat yourself will be the basis of how your child will treat itself in the future. Do you want your child to talk to itself negatively or what do you want your child to learn?
Go your way, go that first little step - small steps will take you there - go and do a little tiny step every day, it might take you longer, but you will still get there.
How you can start practicing mindfulness and positivity with your children
Ask your child what they are grateful for today
Give them easy examples of what YOU are grateful for, it can be as simple as a walk in the park, birds singing in the morning or having toothpaste to keep your teeth clean
The goal is to show them that we should be focused on the positive side of life, and not find all the negative things in this beautiful journey called life
The good and the bad of the day
Ask your child what they liked about that day
Follow by asking them what they did not like so much about the day
If your child goes back to saying similar or the same things every day, remind them what you did together that day
And if your kids ask you what you liked and disliked about your day, you can use that to indirectly give feedback to them as well and have them learn what you think or worry about ("I didn't like that you didn't put on your clothes this morning when I asked you a few times.")
More about Stress Management with kids
Link to Podcast Interview with Kati
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