It’s school time again and with that comes the ever present list of things to do, places to be and days that need more than 24 hours.
It is a constant juggle to find time for everything the family needs plus some time just for you and if you are a mum who works outside of the home as well you also have to compensate for the time you spend at your job.
Below are 7 ways to stay stress free through the school term and hopefully help you keep your sanity:
- Don’t overcommit. Sounds like an easy one but it is actually one that takes practice and discipline on your part. Just because you are asked to help out at school or sports events or asked to look after someone else’s child etc., doesn’t mean you have to. Be realistic about the amount you take on; there is no point helping out others if you are going to end up stressed.
- Learn to say NO! Two simple letters can make all the difference to the stress levels in your home. Children need to learn that you have boundaries that they cannot keep pushing. Unless you start to say no they will never learn what those boundaries are. They may keep asking but you need to start saying no instead of getting “parent guilt” and giving in to everything they ask for.
- If your children are of preschool age they are able to take on some small tasks around the house to help out. Older children can also start to take on tasks such as washing their own clothes; not only does it take the pressure off you it gives them valuable life skills and accountability within the family.
- Planning the weekly evening meals and the weekly lunches can save you so much angst each day. For the sake of 1 hour on a weekend you can have a meal list ready for the week and reduce the stress of trying to come up with ideas each day. It is so much less stressful when you know what needs to be cooked for dinner ahead of time.
- Buy a slow cooker! If you don’t own one, buy one TODAY! A slow cooker will change your life. You can get them relatively cheaply at department stores and they save you hours of cooking, not to mention how amazing it is to come home to a house that smells of a delicious meal already cooked for you. You can cook everything from soup to roasts, casseroles and desserts in a slow cooker – invest in one NOW and then start googling!
- Buy more uniforms. If you can afford it, buy as many sets of uniforms as you can. It may seem extravagant to have one uniform for each day of the week but I can tell you that it is also the most stress free way of getting through the week. Knowing there is a clean uniform including socks for each day means it is one less thing to worry about at night time and one less thing to argue about in the morning!
- Multi Task. As mums we tend to multi task but you can take it to a whole new level if you do so while you are doing the after school sports drop off etc. Often you will find yourself with time to spare while waiting for sport to finish etc. Use this time wisely and just for you. Use it to meditate, read a book or listen to your favourite music – whatever you are always saying you don’t have time to do…do that! Even if all you get is 20 minutes while you wait to pick up the kids, it’s 20 minutes just for you!
Remember, life isn’t a dress rehearsal, we get one chance so be sure to ask for help when the stress is getting to the point where you don’t know what to do next.