a couple holding their 2 kids, representing life and parenting

4 unmissable tips for balancing life and parenting

Balancing life and parenting is no small feat.

As a parent, you’re constantly juggling different priorities: from family life and spending time with your kids to focusing on self-care, to also pursuing your personal goals and ambitions.

Sometimes it can feel like finding the right balance is a challenge, but we have some top tips and suggestions for how to make the parenting journey feel slightly less of a roller coaster.

Four essential tips for balancing life and parenting

1. Time Management and Prioritisation

Effective time management is the key to achieving balance. Creating a daily or weekly schedule could help you allocate time evenly and help you prioritise tasks based on their importance and deadlines.

Popular time management methods include the use of calendars and diaries to block out specific time slots and avoid clashes – however, it’s likely that you’ve tried something like this before!

Another great suggestion comes from Oliver Burkeman’s book ‘Four Thousand Weeks’. He suggests keeping two to-do lists: one ‘open’ and one ‘closed’. The idea behind this is that the ‘closed’ list includes your biggest priorities and no more than ten entries at most. You can only add tasks from the ‘open’ list to the ‘closed’ list once you have completed any of the ‘closed’ tasks first.

This means that your most important tasks get done first, ensuring that you are actually completing tasks that you genuinely care about. You’ll never get through all the tasks on your ‘open’ list, but that’s life! This strategy ensures you leave plenty of time for the important things in your life.

Another one of our top tips is to fill your freezer with quick meals that your family can enjoy and meal planning for the week ahead – it might not be the most fun task, but it will allow your family to eat healthy on those busy days.

2. Make the most of your support system

It’s important to remember that we all lead different lives with different responsibilities. Sometimes it can feel like a lot is resting on our shoulders, but the proverb ‘it takes a village’ couldn’t be more true here.

If you’re ever feeling like you need an extra pair of hands, it’s important to communicate this with your circle, whether that’s a significant other, a parent, sibling or close friend.

Reaching out for help and support is important, but don’t hesitate to delegate tasks if you have the opportunity to, both at home and work. Plus, involving your children in some age-appropriate chores could be a great way to help as well! Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength rather than weakness.

3. Setting boundaries and clear limits

First thing’s first, the ‘perfect balance’ may not always be possible and that is okay. Instead, it is worth focusing on what is realistic for you. There may be times when your work life takes precedence, but equally when family time has to be your priority.

Communicating with those around you is so important: for example, could your employer allow you to work flexible hours to accommodate a family need, or are you able to outline a firm end time to your day – for instance, logging off no later than 5:30pm?

By communicating to your employer, clients, family members or your support system what your clear limits and boundaries are, they are better able to understand what they can expect of you.

4. Practice self-care and don’t always be a ‘do-er’

Burnout is on the rise, which emphasises that now, more than ever, self-care should always be a top priority. If you can’t show up for yourself, it becomes more challenging than ever to show-up for other people.

Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally is so important and finding time to exercise, sleep and engage in activities you love can help rejuvenate you and make you feel your best self to show up for your kids. Try to take just a few minutes out of your day where you can prioritise yourself – maybe skip the doom scrolling session and engage in a hobby or activity, like yoga, watching a film or reading.

Life can be tough sometimes, but if you ever feel chronically stressed or like you are unable to cope, please reach out to a friend, family member, or health professional.

Parenting is a rewarding journey, but it can also be challenging. Sometimes we need a little extra support to navigate the ups and downs. That’s why we’ve gathered a collection of valuable resources the address combating stress, self-care and parental support – we hope these can help you with your parenting journey!

Suggestions and resources:

Breathing exercises

10 stress busters

Meditation can be a great way to cope with stress – here are some recommendations: headspace, calm and balance

Young minds have some great resources for parents

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