It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-at-home parent, working parent, single parent or some variation of the other each takes it’s toll. I’ve worn each of those titles and can say all are equally hard, but also rewarding. Being a parent in any capacity keeps you in a state of perpetual exhaustion. Even when we attempt to relax our minds are still usually going a million miles an hour thinking about what’s coming next.
Creating daily habits that take away from the weight of that load are the first step towards finding that balance. Be intentional about your choices at first and in time it will become second nature. Here are some great habits to create to help yourself lighten the load.
Sanity Saving Habits For Parents
- Give yourself 30 minutes of “you” time each day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a TV show, reading, a video game, or yoga. 30 minutes to yourself is necessary.
- Prepare the Night Before. Have as much prepped for your morning as you can so the early morning rush isn’t quite so hectic.
- Meal Plan. Not necessarily prep, but plan your meals ahead of time. Leave yourself a voice message to remember during your commute to save time.
- Pick One Big Chore A Day. This way you don’t get too far behind and after two weeks you don’t have to dedicate an entire weekend to catch up on cleaning. We all feel better when our house is in some kind of order.
- Take time with the kids for fun. It doesn’t have to be a two hour adventure, but spend some kind of time that doesn’t involve homework or chores with your mini you’s.
- Give the kids a list of daily chores. Each day they should contribute to the house and have their own duties. This gives you a little help, but also teaches them responsibility.
- Regular bedtimes. For the kids and yourself if possible. You being able to have some regulated you time, but also keeping you all on schedule is good for everyone.
- Clean as you go. Save yourself some time and pick up stuff you see in front of you. By the end of my morning I usually have a pile of stuff on my stairs that needs to get put away upstairs, and I barely noticed I was even picking up.
- Let go of perfection. This is probably the most important. Life isn’t perfect. Social media and TV may tell us otherwise, but nobody has a perfect life. Strive for your best and that is truly enough.
- Unplug. At some point each day it’s good for us as humans to get off our phones, computers, and game consoles and remember to experience life in the flesh. It will revitalize you.
At the end of the day it’s about finding balance not perfection. Share the load with the rest of the house, take little moments for yourself and try to regulate your schedule, but leave some wiggle room too. You don’t want to become a slave to your obligations or before you know it twenty years have past and you will have missed so much. I used to feel guilty about taking time for my running or curling up with a book or hopping on a video game for an afternoon, but now I realize those little bits help me still keep a bit of just me and that gives me more patience and energy for everything else. Never forget to take care of yourself, so that you can still take care of everything else.