9 things every overworked parent should know
We know it’s hard being a working parent. There is never enough time in the day to breathe let alone deal with family and personal issues. You just feel you are in a constant state of rush and hurry. You are the permanent white rabbit, late for an important date. Well if you find yourself down the rabbit hole of the overworked and not enough time for family, here are a few hints to help you get back on track.
You are their future, your job is not
First of all, remember why you are doing it all. You are working for your kids to give them a better life, but make sure the cost of that better life in the future doesn’t sacrifice the most important years of their life now. If you don’t spend the time with them in the early years, don’t be surprised when they don’t spend the time with you in your later ones. Don’t be surprised if they don’t do what you want in life. Don’t find yourself asking why after you spent 12 hours a day working to put them through college, why they dropped out and joined an artist colony. Don’t sacrifice your children’s lives for their future, you need to make a good balance. (we know, it’s easier said than done). Just ask yourself, do they need me more now?
Don’t force your child to do too much to cover for you
Another thing that overworked parents do, is heap a lot more responsibility on the child. They try and turn them into an adult before their time. Making dinner, cleaning, etc. You are trying to make a better life for them, sure, we get it, but at the expense of taking their childhood away? Remember your childhood, what did you love and hate about it? kids still need to be kids to grow into healthy well-adjusted adults.
Yes, we know, there is never enough time to sleep, but you have to do it. You will find that you deal with things better, and perform better when you have at least 8 hours of sleep a night. What’s that you say? You only need 6? Or 5? Well, trust us you are fooling yourself. There is a very very and we repeat a very small amount of people that don’t need much sleep, don’t fool yourself that you are one of them just because you can survive on less. What it means is you’re working mentally at half what you could do with a full night’s sleep. Even being short of sleep 1 hour a night for a week will score you the same on the mental fatigue tests as taking an all-nighter and not sleeping at all. So, trust us, sleep and you will find you have more time. Strange as that seems.
Take some time for YOU
You have no time for anything, how can you have any time for you? If you think this you will just burn yourself out. For your own mental health, you need to take occasional time just for you, even if it’s just going out to a move by yourself, you need YOU time. Without you time you will just be more stressed and unhappy, and that will transfer into the rest of your family. Until you take care of yourself, you can’t take care of a happy family.
Hugs and more hugs
There is a psychological aspect to hugs that people tend to forget. Even if someone is mad or upset, about a 10-second hug will calm them down quite amazingly (assuming you can get them to hug you, it might have to be a preemptive hug). The more hugs you add to a day the better it is. They are calming and let you feel that you are not alone. A lot of people are not “touchy” people or “hug” types, if they are family, then you need to teach them, for both your mental healths.
You don’t have to be perfect
Another fallacy of being overworked is you have to be perfect. You don’t have to, at least not at home, just do the best you can. You don’t have to make a perfect dinner each night, there are nights that getting Chinese, or pizza, or being a microwave queen is fine. Just do your best and the rest will fall into line.
Sometimes you just need to go out with friends for a bitch session. Have a beer or some wine, and complain the hell out of things. Share the complaints with a friend, they will complain back about theirs. By the end of the night, you will find that you let all the inner tensions out and feel much better, and the next day will be a lot easier.
Organize and budget time
And here we have the crux of everything, get organized. Treat time like money, budget it. We can’t emphasize this enough. Wasting time for no reason is wasting money for no reason. That doesn’t mean we think sitting in the garden watching clouds is wasting time, if you have budgeted it, then it is all good. But if you are supposed to be cooking, or playing with kids, and you are watching TV, then you are wasting time, as it was not budgeted. If you keep control of your time, you will find that life becomes a lot easier.
Routine is directly related to budgeting time. It means that you have to get used to what you are doing and how you budget that time. Remember to make sure that there is 8 hours of sleep and time for yourself budgeted every week. Also, make sure there is enough spare time for unexpected things. Just like unexpected bills, you have to budget for unexpected times.
We hope this helps you get things with your family back under control. We know it’s hard, but sometimes we work crazy hours even when we don’t have to, as we think we are supposed to. Very often working late at the office doesn’t make a bit of difference overall to your career. Go home on time, and only occasionally work late, the world will not end. If the job wants you to be there 12 hours a day or will fire you, then it is time to find another job. We wish you the best with your family and life, remember it’s not just your life, you influence everyone.