You are going nowhere
Dealing with parental stress
No matter how tempting it can be on occasions to walk out the front door and leave your squabbling children to their own devices, quitting is not an option. This is one workplace that cannot be swapped for another, which you think would be less frenetic and where you might feel more appreciated. Some preventative measures would be the same as to counter professional burn out, such as self-care, trying to get more sleep and exercise and to eat healthily. Other tips include:
1 Manage the lens through which you see parenting and adjust it to give yourself a break, advises Colman Noctor of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services. If your expectations are realistic, you will be less disappointed.
2 Don’t get sucked into the “attention economy”, he adds. Everybody is vying for your attention, so you need to prioritise.
3 Learn to recognise stress, see where it’s building and be aware of how it changes the way you deal with people, says Geraldine Kelly of One Family.
4 Try to have the family working more as a team, she suggests, getting children involved in running the household.
5 Where there are stressed parents, there are stressed children, so take opportunities to regroup and slow down together, through walks in nature or snuggling on the sofa.
6 Take stock and enjoy the moment, says Rita O’Reilly of Parentline. “Children don’t need an activity every day of the week – look at substituting it with family time in the park.”
7 It’s okay to ask – that’s the theme of National Parents’ Week that started on September 18th. Whether it’s practical help or advice you need, don’t hesitate to ask family, friends, neighbours or ring Parentline on 1890-927277.