Ruth Riley- Coping with Stress for Parents

Written by Ruth Riley
When it comes to parenting, stress is part of this amazing package we signed up for. It’s in the job description. There’s just no avoiding it.

The key is learning to manage stress so that you can be the parent you want to be. That means seeking out and utilizing the right resources and people. And, most importantly, being self-aware enough to know when you need help.

There are lots of ways to manage and cope with stress. Not every method works for everyone, so it’s important to learn what works best. Here are a few good ways you can manage parenting stress.

Make Time for Yourself

It sounds obvious, right? But if you’re reading this, you probably know that parenting is a 24/7 job. Sometimes quite literally.

And that’s why it’s “make time for yourself” and not “find time for yourself.” Be intentional about making time for yourself. Free time isn’t going to be served on a platter for you anymore.

Whether it’s 20 minutes a day to take a walk around the neighborhood or 15 minutes to squeeze in a workout, find that time for you.

If you had a pre-parenthood hobby that was your stress release – golf, running, yoga, knitting – allow yourself time for that. At the same time, accept that you may not have 5 hours to play 18 or an hour go for a long run. Adapt and find what you’re able to do.

Make Time for Each Other

If you have a partner in this journey, it’s so important to make time to be together. It’s very easy to get caught up in the daily routines and the endless cycle of cooking and cleaning. Days and weeks all blend together and time passes quickly.

Whether it’s a monthly date night at your favorite restaurant or working together on a new yard project – make some adult time.

Find or Rediscover the Fun in Life…Through Parenting

Life after kids won’t be like life before kids. Trying to make it will result in frustration and stress. Good parenting plays an important role in the success of life as a parent. You may visit this site for more tips and advice.

Instead, focus your energy on finding some common ground in what you like to do. Sure, when they’re infants, it’s not exactly a one-for-one trade.

But when they get into Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street, they enjoy the nostalgia. You know all the characters. When they learn the games you love like Candy Land and Uno, enjoy a little friendly competition.

With a little effort, you’ll find some activities that you can all enjoy.

Talk to Other Parents. Share Experiences.

Having a newborn or an infant can be an isolating experience, especially if your closest friends don’t have children. Your days are wildly different, and it’s easy to feel like you have no one to talk to that’ll really understand your stress.

Connecting with your own parents may also seem difficult since it’s been potentially decades since they went through similar experiences. Plus, parenting now is much different than parenting then. That’s not to say it’s easier or harder. It’s just different.

Find a way to connect with other parents. You’ll be amazed at how similar your parenting journeys are. You may even get some validation that you’re not losing your mind and that what you’re going through on a daily basis is par for the course.

The best way to find parents to connect with? Go where they are. Parent-child music or art groups, library events, and even Facebook can be easy ways to meet new parents or reconnect with old friends who now find themselves in the parenting world.

Lean on Your Village

Being a new parent and trying to establish new routines and a relationship with your child, it can be easy to dismiss help when others offer. However, you and your partner can’t do this alone. Remember that old saying “it takes a village to raise a child”? Well, it’s true.

Find your village – your parents, relatives, close friends. Many people are more than happy to help out new parents with previously-simple tasks like cooking, grocery shopping, and maybe even an occasional diaper change.

You’ll be amazed at how much a little help here and there can lighten your load and decrease your stress.

Again, your goal here is not to eliminate stress entirely because that’s nearly impossible for parents. However, if you can learn to manage and decrease your stress level, it will help you not only be the parent you envision being but it will also help you deal with stressful situations as they arise.

Choose the tips above that work best for you and slowly incorporate them into your daily routine.