Managing a household takes a lot of energy, patience, and time. Adding kids, pets, work, and other elements of life to a household and it’s a recipe for adult/parent-related stress. Being a parent creates a unique set of problems that bring on stress. Knowing how to manage your household stress level will be important to your personal success.
Sometimes stress comes from issues that the parent has in a situation. This can be issues such as not having enough personal time, lack of social life or vacations, financial worries, and more. Stress can come from internal conflicts like prioritizing, selfishness, perception, or behaviours. The child can bring a lot of stress to the situation as well. Children have their own problems that affect the structure, attitude, and stress level of the household.
One thing people don’t consider is the impact health problems have in a household with children. A child with an illness like sickle cell or autism will have a different set of experiences than someone without. This can also go the other way around for parents that have health issues that impact their relationships.
Parents that deal with high levels of stress are more likely to interact with their child in negative ways. If it occurs often enough, stress will impact the relationship. In stressful times, children are more likely to act out or react to the situation in a problematic form. If you are a parent, there are several things that can be done to decrease your household stress.
Organize Your Family Structure
If your house is dirty or hectic, it is more likely to reflect the inner turmoil that will exist between parents and children. Take time to observe and understand the actions of everyone in the family. Use that information to maintain the lifestyle structure of your household. If there is a process that is taking too long and affecting other tasks, work on fixing the situation so that it doesn’t spread to other areas. Assign everyone a role in the house to ensure that there is a sense of involvement. In many ways, you should practice the Chinese art of Feng Shui.
Spend Quality Time with Family
Increase the amount of time that you spend with your family. Look for new or interesting things that you all can do to have a fun time. Dedicate time to family game or movie nights. Take short trips away and explore an area or mall you’ve never been to. Utilize websites or services like Groupon to get ideas about the next thing you can do with family. Establishing a structure or schedule around family quality time will pay off in the long run.
Make Alone Time
Being on-the-go or constantly having responsibilities to take care of is draining. The more responsibilities to deal with, the less time parents generally have to spend on themselves. If you are the parent of a child with a health issue, you may find that you have even less available time. To stay alert and prevent yourself from feeling worn down, make time for yourself that doesn’t revolve around the family. Snag a couple hours alone on the weekend or take some time when the kids are sleep. If they’re old enough, appreciate the quiet time in the house before returning home.
If you feel like you can’t handle the situation or are too frayed to be effective, consider searching for some outside help on issues. Sometimes just having another perspective of the situation can help alleviate some of the stress. Friends and family members can give you helpful tips for problems that you may be encountering. If the problem is more serious, consider seeking professional help. A therapist or doctor will help you cope with health-related situations. Health professionals can also directly interact with your children to provide emotional and physical support.
Build a Support System
Use relationships with other people to build a support system for your family. The network does not have to exist solely to assist the parent, but also the kids. Friends that have kids can set up play dates and share stories about life. There will be occasions when having a friend or support will be invaluable. Call up someone and ask them to watch the kids for you to take care of something or have some free time. Your support system can also help overcome financial hardships by having group loans or “invest pots.” Invest pots is money collected by people that gets redistributed to help others in financial hardship.
Parenting isn’t an easy task, but with insight, it can be simpler. Take the time to understand your family dynamics and put into place a system that helps keep everyone in order. Whether working on internal conflicts, changing behaviours with the children, or seeking professional help, you should be mindful and patient of the lives of your family members. If you can effectively manage your household stress, you will be that much closer to reducing the role that stress influences your life.