I was recently asked by a mom on Facebook for strategies to be more calm and less stressed as a parent. As a parent of twin boys and an older girl all under 5 years old, she is rightfully feeling overwhelmed!!!
So in my reply to her, it occurred to me that there are five real strategies that have made my life so much better (not that things are perfect ALL the time, we still have those days where several days attack me at the same time!):
- My default answer is ‘yes’ to any offer of help. Even if I can do it perfectly well myself, it saves me energy and gives me capacity.
- I learned how to ask for help myself and not wait to be offered some. And often, it’s not on an exchange basis – I can’t help them directly, but it’s clear that I would help someone else in the future when I get the chance.
- I get the kids to do as much as they can at their age to help – and it’s surprising what they can do – my 18 month old could unload the dishwasher! (yes, there was a broken plate or two at the beginning, but they really learn fast).
- The one book that helped me hugely was “How to behave so your kids would too…” – see previous blog about main messages http://blog.mybesthelper.com/2012/12/10/secrets-of-a-child-whisperer/
- Last but not least, asking other parents for advice helps.. all kind of tips and tricks that make their lives better. I have accumulated tons of these over the years!
And, what strategies have helped you? Namaste!
Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD, Mother of three, CEO myBestHelper