While being a parent is one of the most rewarding jobs, it can be a pretty stressful job too. And, a lot of times it feels like there is no relief from this job. This is especially true for those who are stay and/or work at home parents. When you aren’t taking care of the kiddos, you’re trying to get work done, bills paid or housecleaning done – all while being constantly interrupted. Plus, let’s face it, there are days when absolutely nothing gets done because the little ones are in need of our attention more.
Well, if you are like me, you often feel frustrated, tired, stressed and just plain grouchy at the end of the day. And, when I have a few days like this in a row, I swear I’m borderline crazy. Thankfully, I have found a few things that help me keep a more positive attitude and sanity, which make me a better mom for my kids. They all involve getting out of the house! Here they are:
• Driving – It may sound a little weird, but there is just something about taking a drive (out of the city) and turning up the radio that helps me clear my mind. I have to do this when my oldest is at school and the baby has just been fed…and, yes, it is a “waste” of gas, but sometimes a small drive is all I need to feel refreshed.
• Shopping – I’m no different than any other woman when it comes to shopping. I used to shop all the time, but once my husband and I had kids, those days became pretty scarce. So, it’s a pretty big deal when I’m able to enjoy a kid-free afternoon shopping. I try to do it at least once or twice a month. Of course, I spend most of my time away shopping for the kids (boys suits, dress shoes, toys, etc.), but that’s okay. It doesn’t really matter what I’m shopping for, once I come home I feel more like the “me” I know and less like the crazy person I felt like earlier.
• Lunch Dates – Even if I have my youngest son (going on 2 months), meeting a friend for lunch is always a sure-fire way to bring my spirits back up. Just being able to sit down and talk with another adult helps me tremendously…even if it is only for an hour.
• Girls’/Guys’ Night Out – Finally, when I’ve had a couple of stressful weeks or even a month, I try to plan a night out with some of my closest friends. Paying a sitter for a few hours is always worth the cost!
Just remember that just because we are now parents, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to get out and do the things we enjoyed before our kids came along. In fact, we should make time to continue doing them every now and then because spending a little time away from the kids always has a positive effect on us and how we treat our kids.