It doesn’t matter what kind of parent you are, but parenthood should not be stressful. If you’re the type of parent who only allows their kid to have all natural organic food and your children wear only bamboo, good for you. You’re doing great. If you’re the type of parent who has to be in the same room with your kids and bed shares until they are three, that’s fantastic. You are also doing great. If you’re the type of parent who gives their kids snacks and lets them free roam. You do you and you’re doing great. If your children are fed, happy, and thriving. You are doing fantastic as a parent.
But what if everything seems overwhelming? That’s normal and everyone has those feelings time to time. Including the parents who look like they have their life together. Yes, I said that. The Instagram moms or dads you see who look like they are absolutely killing it at life; they do not have all the answers. I know because my family looks like an Instagram family. I know people see me as the mom who can handle it all and in reality my life is driven by my Type A personality and PTSD. I do not have all the answers and I won’t say that I do. But, I do know how to make life simpler and less stressful. Here are five ways to make parenthood simpler:
- Make time for you and 100% only you. A happy parent is a better parent. Find someone to watch your kids and go out or carve time during the day where no one needs you. Personally for me, I make sure every single morning I have a cup of coffee by myself while my kids are starting to wake up. I am a better mom if I get alone time in the morning then if I am rushing to make breakfast for a bunch of hungry kids. I also make time after my kids go to sleep and before my partner comes home, to wind down and relax. I usually will read a book or watch a movie.
- Have a flexible routine that works for your family. Kids thrive off of routine and structure. There’s less melt downs and they know the expectations. We do not have an extremely strict schedule, but I call it a flexible routine. We do the same things every day around the same time. But, we do not freak out if something does not get done by a specific time. We may do breakfast around the same time, but I don’t have it written for a specific time. This allows us to take our time and be less stressed. For the activities that do have specific time like doctor appointments, we schedule those for around the same time every time. I try to schedule doctor appointments in the late morning or early afternoon which helps us still keep our flow during the day.
- Do one load of laundry a day. I have found there are two type of people. The people who do one load a day and try to stay on top of it. Or there’s the people who wait and let it build up and do it all at once. I used to let it build, but then I spent all day doing laundry. It was stressful because then I would have ten loads of laundry to put away all at once (large family life). Now I do one or two loads a day and it is easier to stay on top of. It has made laundry simpler and less stressful.
- Declutter as much as possible and make sure everything has a home. I am not talking about extreme minimalism. Kids do not need as many toys as we think. My kids have two Nugget Couches and one organizer with toys. We also have one barbie house with one bucket of barbies in one of my kids rooms. As soon as the organizer becomes overfilled or I start hearing, “We have too many toys.” I know it’s time to declutter. It makes clean up time so much easier. My kids also only have one week worth of clothes each and three pairs of shoes. They do not need more than that. Having less clothes also keeps laundry an easier task.
- Outsource any activity that is too much for you to mentally handle. For some families that can be grocery shopping and use Instacart. For other families it could be a weekly cleaner or gardener. Now for the families who do not have the ability to hire extra help, that is okay. I have been there. You can still outsource. See if someone in your friend group would be able to trade tasks with you. Maybe you really enjoy grocery shopping and your friend loves to clean. See if you can help her meal plan and grocery shop every week and she can help you clean. Building a community can help make parenthood easier.
Hopefully these tips can help you make your life easier and if parenthood still seems overwhelming. Please reach out for help and contact your doctor and see if they have any recourses for your particular situation. No one should be going through parenthood without a support system. If you ever need a listening ear, you can always reach out to me where it says, “Contact Us.” I hope you are having a fantastic week.