The topic of this month which is balance, today’s episode is all about balancing work and parenting stress. Work stress is its own beast, but adding parenting stress opens up a whole new can of worms. So, what can we do about it? How can we reduce stress or at least find ways to combat it? Take a listen to this episode.
Alright, I am not gonna waste any time in this by talking about stress and all that jazz. What I am going to mention is that everyone has their own types of stress. But, it is how you deal with it that makes all the difference. It is unhealthy to bottle it up or try to suppress it. Because after too long it will eventually come to the surface. For me, my stress usually boils over into an argument with my husband over something small. In order to save you and your significant other some arguments, let’s talk about seven ways to balance work and parenting stress.
Have a Vision of Less Work and Parenting Stress
We all have a vision of what our inner peace looks and feels like. Maybe for some it is having zero places to be, getting to lounge around on the couch with a hot beverage and a good book. For others it may be a relaxing day at the spa. So, what does your vision of less stress look like?
For me, nothing makes me happier than having nowhere to go. I am a true homebody by nature. I encourage you to take a few minutes to think about the vision you want for your life. Is there a way you can eliminate your stress by rethinking your schedule or commitments? By thinking of your perfect stress free vision, it helps you realize what needs to change in order to get you what you want.
Start saying No
If you are similar to me, then my friend, you are a people pleaser. That is dangerous especially when it comes to stress management. At my job, I am usually one of the ones that gets asked to do extra things because I am not very good at saying no.
That is going to change though. Over the years, I have started to slowly realize that when I say yes to someone else, I am saying no to myself and my family. So, when you take the time to reassess you realize what is more important to you.
I am also going to start employing the heck yes motto. What that means is whenever I am asked if I want to do this or that, if I can’t answer with a heck yes. Then, it is going to be a no. What if we change this year around and start making a motto to take charge and change how much we commit to things.
Decompress to Reduce Stress
I’ve said this before, but we all need time to decompress. My favorite way to do that is on the car ride home. I have about a 20 minute ride to and from work, so I use my 20 minutes in the morning to come up with a plan that may help the issues that occurred yesterday, The 20 minutes on the ride home, I use those for going through my day and resolving to not think about it again until the next morning.
Now, I didn’t always employ this strategy. My first year of teach, I was a total train wreck. My days consisted of work, coming home, dinner, work more, watch a tv show, work up until bedtime, go to bed, get up and work some more before actually heading to work. I was working myself to the bone.
The same pattern followed the year after I got married. God bless my husband because the summer we got married, I also decided to switch positions. So, on top of managing married life, I was literally starting all over in a new position too.
Then, the year we had our daughter, I decided to switch positions again. I see a pattern here that I never noticed before. But now, I had marital, parenthood, and work stress all at once. No wonder I felt overwhelmed.
That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I knew that I could not live my life the best way possible if I did not take time to decompress at the end of each day. If I did not take time to decompress, I noticed I came home with a short fuse. I would get into more arguments, have less patience, and rehash the day’s events over and over again. It definitely wasn’t helpful for me, so I knew that it had to change. So, I encourage you to find ways to help yourself to decompress too. It won’t be easy at first, but with practice and repetition you will get the hang of it.
I know this will be hard especially when it is so hard to find something positive every day. But I encourage you to find something, even if it is tiny like you went and got your favorite coffee or there was no line to fill up your car this morning. Anything. The more you focus on the positive things the more your vision and outlook will start to switch.
I recently read that if you constantly say you have bad luck, after days, months, years of telling yourself that, bad luck is all you will ever see. The same goes for negative outlooks.
There is nothing that boots work and parenting stress to the curb than positivity. My favorite way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal. Every morning I take no more than five minutes to write down three things I’m grateful for. The trick is to not write down the same three things EVER. I can personally tell you that starting my day out being grateful for simple things opens up my mind and causes me to be more positive.
Make Choices to Eliminate Work and Parenting Stress
The next step to reducing work and parenting stress is to make some choices. If you know that running here and there makes you stressed just thinking about it. Then, it is time to choose wisely. I don’t mean to do a clean sweep and just cut out everything. But, take a good long look at your calendar or schedule and see which activities do not bring you joy.
For instance, say that going grocery shopping takes an hour or two of your time and you feel that you could use that time better elsewhere. Well, hello online order and pickup. I will order my items on Sunday night and schedule it for Wednesday or Thursday after work. The first few times I used to pick Friday afternoon, but by the end of a long week all I really want to do is go home. Plus going on Wednesday night means my groceries are put away and I can relax once I get home on Fridays.
So, for a few minutes today take a look at your commitments and see which ones you could do without. I promise your work and parenting stress will greatly diminish.
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule
Going along with making choices also comes getting in tune with your schedule. By sitting down and taking a look at where you are splitting your time. It will also allow you to see if you have time to take on something else. You definitely do not want to be adding more to your already busy plate.
What I do is I have a planner that has the days broken down by hours. The first thing I do is put in the time I spend at work, exercising, working on my business, spending time with my family and so on. Then, I can see where I have an extra hour or more and really make the most of that time. It also helps me see where I have been wasting my hours on things that don’t really make a difference. This is a tried and true way of getting rid of any work and parenting stress because it helps you take back control of your time.
Do you ever watch insta stories of someone and think, “How do they do it all?” Chances are they have mastered an area of work and parenting stress called getting help. Now I’m not talking about professional help, I mean help with things around the house.
If you are feeling stressed out with the kids, there is literally NO SHAME in asking the grandparents or *gasp* a babysitter to watch them for an hour or two. That will give you a chance to get away for a little relaxation and recharge which we ALL need.
If you feel like you need more help than that then there are services out there for hire. Maybe you need cleaning help, someone to run your errands for you, or people to pick up and deliver your groceries. Whatever the case may be, find something that brings you less work and parenting stress and more peace.
Friend, I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you want a free top secret parent’s guide to kindergarten success be sure to check out the link in the show notes. In that guide, it gives you secret tips and tricks from a tried and true Kindergarten teacher. If you would like to connect with me you can find me on Facebook and IG @tinytikesteacher. I’ll see you on the next episode where we will talk about parent burnout because yes that is a real thing. Peace, love, and less stress!