Like parenting isn't hard enough. Introducing Covid-19 and then wham; it just got harder for parents and for children! Can you believe it? The thing is; parents need to reach out and get help where they can. There are options from food delivery, virtual babysitting and tutoring to me time through meditation or creative breaks to give parents the reboot they need to keep going.
At a time when daycares have large waiting lists and are closing childcare can be an added worry. Acquiring good safe childcare has changed and the way you get it has to change too as well as how you welcome babysitters into your home. You shouldn't stress childcare and know that there are resources out there for you and your family.
When parents are stressed there are some things parents can do to relieve that stress.
7 tips to help Parents with stress:
- Make sure that you take time for yourself. Everyone says it but are you doing it? I challenge you to take some time to yourself every day for a week and see how you are feeling less stressed at the end of that week. It doesn't have to be a long bit of time but even a guided meditation with Alexa where you can choose a simple 5 minute meditation will be helpful.
- Look at services like meal kits that will help with meal planning and grocery shopping. There are a lot of them out there and a lot of them are very affordable.
- Create a routine for both you and your kids. You had a routine before Covid so getting into a routine now will help you and your kids to know what is expected and especially for kids to realize that every day is not video games and TV. Creating routines will really help you manage your stress and the kids at the same time.
- Identify what you can control and what you can't. You really need to let go of the stuff you can't control like whether or not the schools open or wearing masks (masks are essential now no matter what. If you look at the success of European Countries you will realize this is true and really shouldn't be a debate).
- Remember to be thankful for every day that you have and to think more positive thoughts then negative ones.
- Be active. Yes, you can't go out but you can download exercise videos and do them, plan a movie night with the kids that includes popcorn and all the other amenities you experience when you go to the movie theater, go to a Drive-in if you are lucky enough to have one locally, play board games together as a family or even do a puzzle together.
- Last, but not at all least get, childcare that you trust so you can take some time with your partner. Even if it's just to go on a bike ride, hike, or a picnic together reconnecting with your partner can't be ignored. Give yourselves to laugh together about how hard the kids are being and how you'd like to lock them in their rooms until they leave for college (we all have those feelings as long as you don't act on them you're normal). When you let a caregiver into your home take their temp, have them wear masks and write out what your family does to avoid Covid-19.
Of course there are a lot of other things you can do but you really need to do them. Your mental health is not only important for you but for your kids too. Parents are NOT IN THIS ALONE nor should you be. If you aren't afraid to let your kids go out to the zoo or museums as things open back up you shouldn't be afraid of letting a babysitter into your home to give you a rest.