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Jan 08

MumsThread On Parents Taking It Easy On Themselves

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baby, shared parental leave, feminism, equality, childcare, leave, maternal, work, working mothers, lean inThis column is late. It’s late because my son was ill. But mostly, it is late because I decided to take it easy on myself. We are doing our Christmas gift lists at the moment and they are a huge amount of work. That on top of all of my other jobs and activities, along with caring for an ill child, meant I was working hard and working a lot. So I decided to be easier on myself. Not killing myself by overworking, getting a takeaway so we didn’t have to cook, or going into the playpen with the toddler so you don’t have to chase him around the home. Unless you are a surgeon, or you work in a war zone, parenting is the hardest job in the world. It is 24/7 with no sick days. But you already know that. What you might not be doing is taking it easy on yourself. So I am going to tell you of because self care is important. Be kind to yourself. That is the only way you can be the best parent to your child. Here are some tips for you to help you take it easier on yourself.

 

Prioritise.

Some things are important, and those should always be done. Others can wait. Sure the oven needs cleaned but you have been on your feet all day and it can wait a few days. Every day do what really needs done, anything else can wait.  As for cleaning, make your home as clean and tidy as you are comfortable with. Unless you really want to, don’t waste your time making your home look like a show home. Your time is limited, don’t waste it cleaning.

 

Life Hacks.

There is usually an easier way to do something. A quicker way to cook, an easier way to clean, a better way to do your work quicker. Efficiency is important when you have a child. Cook one pot meals, it cuts down on cleaning afterwards and is quicker. Always cook too much so the extra can be used for lunch or supper the next day. Do your emails on the go, or when you are out and the baby is napping in the pram. Make sure you get the other half to pull their weight. That always makes a difference.

 

Don’t care what other people think. Know that compromise is fine. 

So what if your child is not wearing matching socks, If sometimes you feed him food from a jar or that you sometimes need to put a cartoon on? The most infuriating thing when you have a child is that everyone has an opinion on how you should raise them. That’s fine. Every one is allowed an opinion, but they should have the grace to keep it to themselves. It is your child, not theirs. Good for her, not for you. People will be rude and sometimes bitch. Ignore them. They clearly don’t care about your feelings, so don’t care about theirs. I have no childcare. I work and take care of my son. I do it well and I do it efficiently. My son rarely watches cartoons during the day, it doesn’t stop people bitching the times that he does. And on the subject of cartoons: I don’t get the snobby attitude towards TV. I know for a fact that some cartoons have helped my son progress. Say this aloud: screw them and screw their opinion. For extra help read the The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k: How to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like it is a great book for clearing your mental clutter.

 

Clear the physical clutter.

 

The thing that has made the most difference to my life is clearing out clutter. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to worry about. The less things to clean and the easier the surface area is to clean. It just makes sense that the less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to worry about. Personally, it has made such a difference to my stress levels and our home is looking much better.

 

Do you have any tips? Share them below.

 

 

This article was originally published in December 2016. We republished it because it was popular.