It can feel like we are often pushing a boulder up a hill. Whether it’s making sure that you keep your house organized for the sake of the kids or getting everybody up and ready for school life, being a parent boils down to seemingly hundreds of different duties all working together at the same time which can over time make us feel like there is just too much to deal with. In addition, we’ve got to deal with this thing that they call “life.”
It seems that many of us can feel overwhelmed by the pressures of the modern world that our parents simply did not have to deal with. In the past, there was often one parent working and the other one at home, or it was easier to maintain financial stability. Nowadays, there are a lot more stresses, and as parents, there is only so much we can handle. So, what does it really take for us to get on top of everything?
Dealing With All Those Events
From extracurricular activities like gym or football to the birthday parties that we have to attend almost every weekend, there is a tumultuous amount of events that we need to keep track of. When the weekend is the most precious time for families, having to get up and travel to all of these parties can take a huge chunk out of our lives. Of course, it’s nice to take our kids to these birthday parties, but when there are a lot of events to deal with, we’ve got to draw the line somewhere.
When it comes to kids’ birthdays, you might be better off picking and choosing which events are worth going to. For example, if there is a child who’s not particularly a close friend of your own kids, it might be better to sit this one out. But in addition to this, there’s, of course, a lot of expense. When it comes to all of those birthday cards and presents we have to pay for, it benefits us to be savvy when it comes to our purchases. For example, bulk-buying birthday cards and more generic presents can stretch our finances further.
Structuring Your Life
The biggest issue most of us have is when there is a lot to do or not enough time to do it in. Having a structure to our lives will make a significant difference because if we are finding that we’ve got to get the kids out of the door early, get to work, and then we’ve got precious little time in the evening to do everything, we’re going to feel the squeeze. It’s time to get savvy with your life and structure it better, and this may mean having to sit certain things out.
For example, if you’ve got friends that like to meet up once a week in the evening, you’ve got to make the decision as to whether it’s worth the effort. If you like going out and making the most of your one free evening a week, then so be it, but if it’s to the detriment of your family life and indeed your rest because you are staying out later, you’ve got to figure out a better way to structure your existence. Structuring your life is critical, and you can do this by very simply getting a personal organizer and looking at blocking out each aspect of your day.
It’s also important to look at the tasks that are not adding to your life or are taking a lot longer to do than necessary. It could also be the fact that you are doing too many things. For example, when it comes to cleaning, rather than opting for a quick wipe down of a surface, you go for the deep clean every single time. When you look at a task like this, you can start to work smarter than harder and wipe the surfaces down and only do those deep cleans once every few weeks. One of the biggest problems we can all have, as parents, is thinking that we need to put a lot more effort in to get the results we think we need, but this is where something like the 80/20 rule becomes invaluable. Also known as the Pareto principle, it is the theory that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. We have to think about working smarter rather than harder because clearly working harder doesn’t bring the results we need.
Don’t Go for “Perfect”
Part of the reason we feel like we need to put a lot of effort into life is because we need to get the most out of it, and by making it perfect, we think that we’re doing the best for our kids and ourselves. The fact is that getting on top of this thing they call life is about not sweating the small stuff. Perfection is overrated, and perfection cannot be achieved. It’s one of the most common frustrations that people with OCD have, but also parents. We think that if we can make things perfect for the sake of our kids, they will have a better childhood and learn the right lessons.
The reality is that a perfect existence softens the edges. For example, if you live in a neighborhood that is sometimes a bit too much for you, you’ve got to think about the benefits it gives to your kids. You might not think about toughening them up as possibly your parents or grandparents were wont to do, but there are benefits to not having everything perfect all of the time. In life, we’ve all become too comfortable, and we can sometimes benefit from remembering that nothing will ever be perfect, and we will never be able to protect our kids all of the time, so we need to let go of what they call being a “helicopter parent.”
If we start to think that we can cover every little problem our kids are going to experience, we are doing our children a disservice because we’re not letting them grow, but we’re also making life more difficult for ourselves. Instead, stop sweating the small stuff and start thinking that challenges will be there, so it’s about making sure that you know how to deal with them rather than worrying about them.
Strengthening Your Capabilities
When we struggle to get on top of life, it’s not about the things that are happening in our existence, but it’s about how we are reacting to them. If we want to be stronger parents, better at raising resilient kids, and having to deal with all of these pressures, we can either work at removing a lot of these pressures, but this means we’re not going to be able to deal with stresses when they inevitably come along.
Instead, we might want to think about strengthening our capabilities, and this is where something like understanding our physiological responses can make a big difference because it allows us to understand that, in fact, as humans, we’re all built to feel stress in some way, and therefore having control over our physical and mental responses through certain tips and tricks can make a massive difference.
This is where a YouTube channel like Therapy in a Nutshell is wonderful because it provides bite-sized information that will help you understand your responses better. If you want to get on top of this thing that they call life, it is partly to do with how we interact with this thing they call stress.