Look at the scale. See the middle part, the fulcrum? The scale cannot work if the fulcrum is broken. Now recognize that parents are the fulcrum, and that your family will not work, nothing will be balanced, if the parent is not strong and healthy. On airplanes, we are told to put on our oxygen mask first, and then our children’s. This is true in our homes too: we need to take care of ourselves first, to make ourselves strong, and then we can have a strong, happy family.
Being a parent is very hard work, and can lead to us feeling unsettled and stressed. But that only contributes to our kids feeling the same way, which then increases our stress! Our level of balance we experience changes from day to day, but following some of the tips below can help us to feel more balanced.
Have a calmer morning:
Follow the same routine every day (when possible!)
Before your kids wake up, exercise or shower or have a cup of coffee.
Pack your lunches and backpacks, and lay out clothes the night before.
Expect your children to do as much as they can to help.
Keep breakfast simple, and use the time to talk.
Have a more relaxed evening:
Give everyone in your family time to relax and unwind.
Make easy, fast dinners during the work week.
Stick to a consistent schedule of homework, stories, and bedtime.
Put the kids to bed early, so you have time alone with your partner.
Remember to have fun:
Being able to laugh often is a great skill.
Be willing to play like a child, and to be silly.
Plan “Fun Time” into your family’s busy schedule.
Your child is this age only once; enjoy it while you can..
Let go of guilt:
Recognize that guilt does not accomplish anything.
Do things to help you feel good about yourself.
Recognize and appreciate that your kids are healthy and happy.
Give yourself a pat on the back for all you do.