Being an at home parent may be the best job youíll ever get, but itís
HARD. Youíre on call 24/7, and when you go on vacation, you still have
the same responsibilities. And if you have a home business or work at home
job, life can be even more challenging.
The first step to coping with burnout is preventing it in the first
place. Donít overfill your schedule with activities for the kids or yourself.
Take a little time for yourself every day. You donít need to be alone,
but you do need to relax a little. Whether this may be during the kidsí
naps or when theyíre in school, even taking just a few minutes for you
can really help. Then you can take advantage of the time to get things
done with a clear head.
Make sure your expectations and those of your family are realistic.
If youíre running a home business or have a work at home job, you canít
be expected to keep as perfect a house as a mother who does not. Pick a
day to do the laundry, the vacuuming and other housework that doesnít need
to be done on a daily basis and leave it until thenÖ unless the urgent
need arises, of course.
When you get angry, donít consider yourself an imperfect or bad parent.
We all get angry sometimes. What is more important is how you react to
Make sure you get enough sleep. The more tired you are, the more stress
you are going to feel, and the harder it will be to cope with it. If necessary,
take a nap at the same time as the kids do, so theyíre not getting into
trouble for lack of supervision.
Plan fun activities once in a while to relieve stress. Depending on
your needs and the needs of your family, this can be alone or with the
entire family. Go to the beach, a park, zoo, mall, wherever it is you can
relax and just have fun.
Consider planning or even cooking meals and snacks in advance. Itís
easy to give your children healthy snacks if you have sliced vegetables
and/or fruits ready to go in the fridge. A few minutesí work early in the
week can save you time. Meals may also be prepared in advance and frozen
for those nights when youíre simply too tired to cook. Plan your meals
for leftovers that will freeze well, and say goodbye to expensive frozen
dinners from the grocery store.
If writing out your schedule helps you, then keep a written schedule.
If it makes you feel overwhelmed, then donít. Just because your best friend
says it keeps her on schedule to have a calendar with everything she needs
to do on it doesnít mean the same will work for you.
Finally, donít let other parents make you feel you owe them favors just
because youíre at home and ďhave time.Ē Youíre doing a full time job taking
care of your family, not just loafing. Your schedule may be just as full
as theirs, if not more so.
About The Author
Stephanie Foster is the owner of http://www.homewiththekids.com/
and knows how hard it can be to be a stay at home parent. For more family
and parenting tips for stay at home parents, visit http://www.homewiththekids.com/family/.