Since becoming a parent I had never known what stress really was and how it can affect me. Parenting is such a roller-coaster of emotions and questions. There are days when I feel so high that I can take on the world and loads more kids but on the bad days when the kids are really loud or just acting bold, I find myself physically shaking, exhausted and feeling like crap and questioning myself as a parent. It always comes back to the same answer, This is my life now and I love my children and I want to be the best I can be for them.
It is important to take time for ourselves though and recharge. We are only human after all, and we do get bad days. Stress and anxiety, if not dealt with can lead to much bigger problems with illnesses and depression. Here are some ways you can manage,
- What are your interests? What did you do in your spare time before you had children? Focus on that again and take up a new hobby.
- Call a friend who doesn’t have children.
- Sit in the car and blast out your favourite music. There are days I don’t even mind being stuck in traffic.
- If possible, do the grocery shopping on your own and take an extra half hour and go for a coffee.
- Spend some money on yourself for a change, even if it’s just something small.
- Take the help when offered and don’t think twice about it.
- Read a book.
- Get the kids and yourself to bed earlier than usual. Easier said than done sometimes when there’s so much to do, but try to give up one or two nights a week. It’s amazing how much better you can cope when you feel refreshed.
- Watch a silly film.
- Look at the world through your children’s eyes. Go play on that swing in the playground, run around the park and get dirty.
- Try to keep your sense of humour.
- Go for a walk or take up an exercise class. I find swimming or is great for releasing negative energy.
- Arrange a night out with your friends.
- Stop overthinking and analysing yourself and questioning every little thing.
- Think positive. Focus on what you are doing right for a change. Look at your kids. Are they overall happy and healthy?
- Don’t overdo things. Remember this is not a race.
Some days, and I hate to admit it, can be horrible but if you can manage to get through them and try to focus on the good, this whole parenting thing can be quite enjoyable. If you feel it’s more bad than good however, don’t hold it in and do try to talk to someone like a good health nurse or a doctor.
Children’s Books by Denise McCabe are available by clicking here or pop across to My Books section to have a further look