Working from home might be a blessing to some. What’s not to love about not having to commute to the office and working in your pajamas? But for a lot of parents, it’s a major challenge. Priya Amin shared her experience, delving into how exhausting the parent life can be. It’s a constant juggling act between work, chores, and childcare. And things have only gotten more difficult with the pandemic. Are you in a similar situation? Then read on to learn five tips to help you cope with parental stress:
1. Manage Your Expectations
In this new normal, you can’t expect things to be like they were before. We’re living in uncertain times, and it would be best for you to adjust your expectations accordingly. Your kids’ online classes aren’t nearly as engaging as their face-to-face sessions, so don’t be too harsh on them if they find it difficult to focus. If they throw a tantrum because they’re bored, remember that being cooped up in the house is, in fact, boring. The pandemic is making things hard for your whole family. But by managing your expectations and acknowledging that things aren’t going to be perfect, you’ll be more patient with your kids and yourself.
2. Establish Boundaries and Routines
But of course, there will be times when tempers flare. Maybe your kid walked in while you were in an important meeting or forgot to do their homework when you asked them to. These are frustrating situations. A quick remedy is to agree on a schedule and a set of rules. This, according to resilience coach L. Barbour, can help promote a sense of security within your family, which can make all the difference for your stress levels and daily routine. “Each family member has needs and priorities, too,” Barbour shared with Marcus in an interview. “We want our family to express their needs so they can feel acknowledged and appreciated. This is where you and your family can experiment with different approaches.” For example, decide on your “office hours” and set aside pockets of free time to check on your kids. During office hours, let your kids know that they should only talk to you when it’s necessary. You can even set up color-coded signs near your workplace to show your kids when you’re available.
3. Stay Connected with Loved Ones
This goes for the whole family. 12 News stresses that social connection is now more important than ever. Despite the need to self-isolate and follow social distancing guidelines, people can still cultivate their relationships. It’s why applications like Zoom and FaceTime have seen a rise in usage. Schedule regular calls with your friends and family to de-stress. You could also arrange virtual parties for your little ones and their friends. These give you and your family something to look forward to.
4. Don’t Be Ashamed to Ask for Help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends and family. Be honest about what you feel and ask them for advice. You could also talk to your boss about getting some time off or changing your work schedule. Many employers are flexible with their remote work policies, so try to work something out. Another option is to hire a virtual caregiver. Our Virtual Childcare services are safe, and each caregiver brings with them a unique experience. Just make sure your caregiver is compatible with your kids. And remember: You don’t have to be alone in this.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Being a parent is hard, especially now, in the middle of a health crisis. But it isn’t right to skip meals or lose sleep to get work tasks or household chores done. Parenting Now writes that parents should make time for self-care because it is crucial to the whole family’s health. After all, it isn’t about neglecting your own needs for your kids’. It’s about finding the right balance, so you can take good care of your little ones without suffering from burnout. Take care of yourself, so that you can take care of others.
Article authored by Regina Jordan
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