Finding a balance

Finding a balance

Being a parent means you’ve often got so much to do with a relatively unstructured schedule that needs to be both proactive and reactive. Before children, we may have felt we had things under control, been organised and had some me time. Then with a blink of the eye we are thrown in the deep end with a seemingly demanding baby and then we join Playcentre. So how as a parent do we determine when we put the washing on, when we will tidy up, what extra activities we will do with our children, how many play dates we will do, when we will check our emails, let alone how we can fit in a social life without being completely exhausted and becoming burned out? Maintaining a healthy balance between being a parent, pursuing interests, Playcentre training and down time is not easy and requires not only good time management skills but also some self care skills.

Time Management

  • Stop multi-tasking
    – Focus on one task and on what matters.
  • Only take on what you can finish
  • Take a step back
    – Prioritise your tasks by ‘must do, should, want’.
    – Group together similar tasks.
    – Break big tasks into small pieces.
    – Remember it is healthy to say “no”.
    – Set reasonable goals.
    – Know your limits.
  • Remove distractions
    – Silence your phone.
    – Only check your email/phone once you have finished what you need to get done.
    – Only have the tab/document you are working on open on your screen.
  •  Brain dump your thoughts
    – Have a spare piece of paper to write down distractions that you remember for later.
  • Manage energy levels
    – Take breaks.
    – Make progress visible and celebrate completions.
    – Keep a ‘done’ list.
    – Listen to music.
  • Support
    – “Can this only be done by me?,” if not than ask for help.
  • Schedule time for you
    – You’re valued, resourceful, a thinker and important… look after yourself.

Self Care

  • Creativity
    – Creativity is a powerful antistress endeavour. When you are on session get involved with dancing and singing. At home you could draw, paint or make a really nice meal.
  • Nature
    – Spending time outdoors is a natural antidepressant. Enjoy the natural scents and sights.
  • Ask for support
    – Staying busy generates feelings of significance and contribution and it can easily get addictive. Some of us find it hard to ask for help, it is okay.
  • Communication
    – Try and find time with people in your life that keep the right things in perspective. Getting a friend’s perspective on the stressful situation can help tackle the matter in a new way.
    – Be honest with those closest to you and tell them how you are feeling.
  • Have a balance
    – Eat healthy foods, exercise, get fresh air and connect with friends.
    – Give yourself permission to make mistakes and cry.
    – Try and get some ‘me’ time.
    – Have a good laugh whether it is chatting with friends or watching a funny film.
    – Slow down and enjoy the moment you are in.
  • Sleep
    – Sleep is a rare treat with preschoolers but sleep is essential for our bodies. Try and take naps when you can get some free time. 
  • Go off grid
    – The current culture is that we are continually in information overload. Try some time away from all technology.