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4 Tips for Stress-Free Parenting

Written by: Mireia Lopez, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

It is so easy to get carried away with routines and habits as our busy life takes over: laundry, cooking, shopping, school, outgrown clothes, messy house… and with all that we can easily forget about the things that really matter: connection, time off, making memories, laughing together… we all have standards we want to achieve like having food in the fridge or having a clean house, but how much is too much? It is very overwhelming and frustrating when we try to do too much so everything is “as perfect as we think it should be”. But I wonder… what is perfect? Is a clean house perfect if that means we are stuck at home all day? Is a day out perfect if that means we are so stressed out because the house isn’t clean? Here is the truth: there is no such thing as perfect!



3 facts about perfect:


  • PERFECT things are different for each person. What is perfect to me won’t be perfect to you. What is perfect for you today won’t be perfect for you tomorrow.

  • “PERFECT” isn’t real, it’s just an idea of how things should be. Ideas come and go. But here is the good news: you can change “perfect” by changing your idea of it, you can create what you want perfect to be, and you can decide what is enough.

  • “PERFECT” is something that keeps us motivated and frustrated at the same time. Motivated because we want it, frustrated because we can’t have it. It is finding the balance between achieving and accepting that will make us happy, and isn’t happiness as perfect as life can be?

Keeping this in mind (perfect is an idea, and you can change ideas and even create new ones!), you can now use the following 4 tips to change your idea of perfection and start focusing on the little things that are most important to you and your happiness. By doing that your stress levels will drop and you will become a much better parent.


1. Lower your expectations

A clean house can wait, a big healthy meal can wait, and your weekly shopping can wait. You wash the dishes so they can be dirty again. You fold the clothes so they can go in the laundry basket again. And this is all good, it must be done, but remember, time doesn’t wait. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. It’s not like those dishes that get used again and again. Time is not reusable. You use it once (or even if you don’t use it all) and then it’s gone, so use it wisely. Lowering your expectations doesn’t mean everything has to be a mess while you all have fun painting the walls with tomato sauce (which might actually be fun if it’s not your own house!), it just means that you need to be aware of the age of the kids and their needs and skills and to know that your house is not going to be suitable for magazine pictures for a few years because there are real happy humans living in it!


2. Switch perfect for enough

Instead of trying to achieve perfection, try to achieve enough. We only have 24 hours in one day, 16 hours left after sleeping (if we are lucky), there is only so much we can do in 16 hours. We can do more things if we don’t waste time trying to make them all perfect. It’s ok if we don’t mop the floor every week, it’s ok if our kids have porridge for dinner today, it’s ok if we just go for a walk instead of going to an amusement park just because everyone else seems to be doing so. Our kids don’t need more than what we can give them, they might want it, but they certainly don’t need it.


3. Change priorities

Make a list of the things that put a smile on your face: those should be your priorities along with the things that make you and your family stay alive! Food, safety, clothes… These are survival things, but what comes next? Does exercising make you happy? Organizing play dates so you get to see other parents too? Seeing your kids eat their healthy dinner? Visiting places you have never been before? Schedule those things into your weekly routine and then fit the other survival activities around it, you will be surprised to see how many of those happy things you get to do!


4. Create time for yourself

Not having time to do things, especially for ourselves, is the perfect excuse to avoid doing something that we think is not important enough (probably linked to feeling selfish). But you are not alone here, and do you know why? Because none of us have time, we make time, and making time for yourself takes courage. Doing this will have a direct impact on your parenting role. Do you want to improve your parenting style? Make time for yourself. When you are happy, calm, and fulfilled, you automatically become a better parent because your parenting is just a reflection of who you are and how you feel.


In conclusion: Only you know what makes you happy, and it is your choice and responsibility to make time for those things that bring you joy. Don’t blame others for the lack of sunshine, you are the owner of your own actions. Without joy, we can’t be the parents our children deserve.


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Mireia Lopez, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Mireia Lopez is qualified as a Primary school teacher with a Masters in Psychology. She is the founder and director of Discovery Playtime and mum to two children who inspired her to start her business. She is passionate about play and child development and promotes the power of play so parents and educators can understand the impact that play has in the development of skills during childhood. To create better generations and more independent and confident adults we need to start by improving the way children play and interact with the world.

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