4 Easy Tips On How To Stay Sane When You Have Kids
If we don't learn a few sanity-inducing tips and tricks, we'd probably just collapse in a big, messy heap (much like that pile of laundry!) at the end of the day. Read on mummies, and stay cool!
They are the loves of our life but they also have the ability to drive even the most saintly of us around the bend. Some of them sport Jekyll and Hyde personalities – sweet one moment, drumming their feet on the ground in complete rage the next.
Who are these strange beings? Why, our children of course! Kids, especially when they are young, can sometimes be the ultimate test of an adult’s patience… and sanity.
Don’t get me wrong – I adore my children to bits, and can’t think of a life without them.
But not too long ago, I had the Mother of All Bad Days courtesy my little darlings. This day came complete with a 4am (very shrill) wakeup call from my oldest child who had an earache, as well as a vomit fest courtesy both kids.
And I thought to myself through a puke-tinged daze, ‘how do people stay sane when they have kids?”
So, dear parents, when find yourself sucked into the general chaos that is the result of parenthood, try these sanity-inducing ideas.
How to stay sane when you have kids!
Alone time is a must, even at the risk of being ‘selfish’
We give our all to our children and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
From the moment you found out you were pregnant and you gave up your favourite wine and chocolates for the health of your developing baby, to your firm decision to continue with breastfeeding even though it hurt so bad – we unselfishly give up many things we love for the sake of those we love.
But all this selfless giving can, over time, become draining and might even bring out the worst in the best of us, taking away from our parenting capacity rather than adding to it.
Make it a point to give yourself some alone time, too. Even something as simple as taking the afternoon off while a trusted person watches the kids, makes a world of a difference to a parent’s stress levels. And as important as this alone time with just yourself is, dates nights with your partner also do your stress levels and relationship a world of good.
Please don’t miss the kids too much when you’re away, too!
Don’t sweat the small stuff
I know, it’s hard to ignore that pile of laundry that needs folding or your child’s messy playroom. But, for the sake of your sanity, you must – for the moment at least.
You have enough stress in your life so why create more for yourself by fretting over tasks and chores that can wait?
Focus on the more urgent tasks at hand (like prising that pencil out of your toddler’s fist that he is trying to poke up his nose), and everything else, i.e. the small stuff, can wait.
Early bedtime for baby means sanity for mummy
An early bedtime for children has a range of health benefits that you just can’t ignore. But these health benefits definitely extend to parents too as proven by research.
My kids are fast asleep by 7.30pm every day (with some leeway on weekends and holiday), and while some might call me crazy to send them to bed this early, it certainly benefits me and my husband in many ways. Not only do we have much-needed time to ourselves but I get time to myself to do whatever floats my boat, really.
If your little one is a late sleeper, try sending him to bed early a few days. and you’ll never look back once you get a taste of that ‘freedom’!
Regular meet-ups with your Squad
Whether you are a stay-at-home or working mum, the combination of work and kids and nothing else, will drive you round the bend at some point. Adults need adult company and adult conversations (not related to work/ kids/ both).
So make it a point to organize regular catchups with your Squad, whether it’s just for a quick coffee or a proper girls’ night out. And remember, don’t talk about your kids, or work!
Parents, the point of this article is not to point out how annoying, demanding and fickle-minded little children can be. Well they are sometimes, but this is not because they are out to get us. It is just how children occasionally are as they push boundaries (and buttons!) and eventually learn what is acceptable and what is not.
But until that day comes, us parents also need to learn how to tide over the difficult times as easily as we embrace the many beautiful moments parenthood brings… and not feel guilty about doing so.
What helps you stay sane on a bad day? Do share your own experiences in a comment below!