It’s often said that being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Right from holding your baby in your arms, to watching them grow up before your eyes; the pride and joy of having kids, nurturing them, guiding them through their individual hardships and seeing them succeed, is unparalleled. Of course, parenting has its challenges with every step of the way. On top of this, being a stay-at-home parent presents a whole other set of challenges to overcome!
Yes, there are many perks of being a stay-at-home mum or dad; one of the biggest ones includes the amount of time you get to spend with your kids, something that is very important in today’s fast-paced lifestyles. The difficulties, on the other hand, can become overwhelming for those who are new to the experience or simply don’t know how to even begin overcoming them. It’s often a tricky, and sometimes, delicate, situation to deal with. Nevertheless, we are here to share six of the biggest challenges faced by stay-at-home parents, and how to conquer them. Read on!
You Feel Obligated to do EVERYTHING
Sometimes it’s just your mind that leaves you feeling helpless about a situation. For example, you may ‘feel’ like you have to do everything – take care of the kids, do household chores, cook, run errands and more – when in reality, you can get your partner to pitch in, or even your kids (if they are old enough). Being a stay-at-home parent is challenging enough without pressuring yourself into believing that you, and you alone, are required to take care of every little (or big) thing.
You Tire Out Quickly
Picking up on point number one, it’s only natural to feel exhausted IF you are, in fact, taking care of “everything”. Therefore, the logical solution would be to enlist the help of others to relieve yourself of some of the burden you are carrying on your shoulders. For example, many stay-at-home parents hire a maid service to help maintain a clean home and stay on top of their list of chores for the day. This is a great help to parents that have several other responsibilities that require their time and attention. Another way to keep your energy levels up so that you can cope with the challenges of being a stay-at-home parent is to eat healthy. Binging on fast food or eating unhealthy foods can cause fatigue, leaving you tired and demotivated to get on with your day.
Cooking Feels Like a Burden
Preparing healthy, home-cooked meals for your kids is important for their immunity and growth. However, it’s not always easy to get children to eat ‘healthy’ food when they’d rather survive on junk food and candy! Therefore, you need to find ways to incorporate greens and other vegetables into a meal that is both, yummy and nourishing. This, along with lack of time and energy, can make cooking feel like a burden on many occasions. The solution? Well, the internet, of course! You can find a large variety of simple recipes that are healthy, quick to prepare, and very popular among young children!
Time to Rest Seems like a Thing of the Past
With so much to do, including the kids keeping you on your toes, finding time to kick back and relax can be difficult. What’s worse, this can lead to extreme exhaustion and, subsequently, serious health problems. Our friends over at House Cleaning Portland says “If you allow yourself to burn-out, you won’t be able to take care of your kids the way you want or require to.” Remember, nothing is more important than yours and your family’s health. Therefore, it’s critically important that you get enough time to rest and recuperate by having a daily schedule which allows you to fit in 1-2 hour breaks between your day-to-day responsibilities. As mentioned earlier, you can enlist the help of others to free up more time in your day for relaxation.
Frustration Can Get the Better of You
The challenges faced by a stay-at-home parent can lead to a lot of frustration which is why we classify it as a challenge itself. Whether you’re short-tempered or a cool-headed person, eventually, frustration is bound to get the better of you. While many individual have their own ways of handling frustration, many struggle with it. Frustration can impact your entire day (or days) in a very negative way. You will be less productive, have trouble thinking clearly, and always be on edge. This, in turn, interferes with the way you communicate with your family and causes tension within your household. A few tried and true ways of dealing with frustration include:
- Meditating every morning and/or taking deep breaths
- Dealing with the root cause of the frustration
- Converting frustration to motivation (to resolve the issue that’s causing it)
- Talking about it (to your partner or a close friend)
- Reminding yourself that it will pass
- Taking a break from whatever it is that you’re doing to calm down
Not Having Any ‘You’ Time
Taking a breather from your everyday routine while your kids are keeping themselves busy isn’t exactly ‘you’ time. Having real down time means spending a good deal of time by yourself, doing something you enjoy, or even treating yourself to a massage or something else that’s relaxing. Anything that will keep you away from your regular routine and take your mind off it can be classified as ‘you’ time because you are simply focusing on yourself for once.
The next time you feel overwhelmed with your duties as a stay-at-home parent, remember that every challenge you face can be overcome!