School Holidays As a Busy Parent: How to Thrive (Not Just Survive)
20 Apr 2018
20 Apr 2018
There’s a certain “survival mentality” that busy parents tend to adopt during the school holidays. You know the one we’re talking about…It’s that mentality you adopt when every day feels frantic, stressful and disorganised. That mentality of taking every day as it comes and praying for the time when order is finally restored.
Now, it goes without saying: we love our children and there’s no greater joy than being a parent…But this is a safe environment. There’s no judgement here. And let’s be honest: sometimes it feels like there’s no win-win for busy parents during school holidays.
If you’re ‘lucky’ enough to wrangle some time off of work to spend with the kids, congratulations! You just landed a new role as a full-time entertainer and taxi – skills include carting children from one house to the other and finding activities that will manage to hold their interest for more than half an hour.
For those who have to work throughout the school holidays, life becomes even more hectic. You’re getting up earlier to drop the kids here and there. You’re going to bed later because you’ve spent the last hour trying to get them to shut down the iPad and get some sleep. And, on-top of all the phone calls you have to field at work, you’re also having the kids ring up every hour to ask if they can have the leftovers for lunch or go to their friend’s place for a sleepover.
Fourteen days. Fourteen days is all it takes to completely disrupt your previously seamless routine.
In the chaos of school holidays, it’s very normal for any focus on yourself and drive to improve your health to simply go out the window. While you’re focussed on the kids interests and wellbeing, it’s all too easy for your health to fall to the bottom of the to-do list – leaving two weeks to come completely off track with your health goals.
But, despite the craziness of the school holiday period – it’s so important not to forget about you. Now, we know what you’re thinking. In fact, we can picture you now – rolling your eyes and getting ready to close down this page. “Find time for me! Good one” you laugh. But hear us out…
There is a way to make sure you are still staying on track with your health goals over the next two weeks. There is a way to keep up with the kids and find time for yourself. There is a way to thrive these school holidays (not just survive). And here’s how…
We know that over the next two weeks, you’re going to be short on time. So here’s 3 easy, time-efficient steps to help you stay in control over the holidays:
Even at the best of times, we know that busy parents (mums in particular) tend to put everyone else’s interests ahead of their own. But one of our favourite sayings here at LifeBuddi is: “If you cant do it for yourself, then do it for them”– and it’s an important quote to remember during the school holidays.
If you find it difficult to prioritise yourself for your own benefit, then do it for them. You need to be at your best in order for them to be at theirs. Taking the time to care for yourself will enable you to have the energy to support them and their needs over the holiday period.
So, what will work for you? Is it getting out for 30 minutes and going for a walk in the sunshine? Is it keeping up with your healthy meals? Maybe it’s having five minutes to yourself each day to meditate…
Whatever it is, put yourself in the picture. Prioritise yourself so that you can be at your absolute best for those most important to you.
How many times do you approach the school holidays (or a busy week in general) thinking that you have everything mapped out, only for things to not quite go to plan? When there’s so much going on, it can be easy to forget to go for your scheduled walk, or to give into the temptation of comfort food or that bottle of wine calling your name from the fridge.
Throughout the holidays, start each and every day with a clear head, and most importantly, remind yourself of your ‘WHY’. With this in mind start to map out what it is realistic and reasonable for you to do that day. Ask yourself: What do I want to achieve today? What obstacles might get in the way of me achieving that?
You may need to adjust your routine to adapt to the kids being at home but your WHY will keep you focussed. The key here is to think about things you can do that keep you moving forward. For example, an hour in the gym might not be realistic, but a 20-minute walk at lunchtime or in the morning before the day starts might be.
Or, maybe you can’t commit to any big block of exercise at all. In that case, why not focus on breaking it into small chunks? Try 10 minutes of activity in the morning, 10 minutes at lunchtime, and 10 minutes in the evening. Or, for an easy solution to get your steps in for the day, simply try parking your car further away from your destination.
The main takeaway here is to break things down into small increments if you need to, and appreciate that things are going to be a little different for the time being.
You don’t fully appreciate the power of a deep breath until you become a parent, and this is especially true during school holidays.
Over the next two weeks, if you feel everything start to escalate beyond your control, the best thing you can do (for yourself and everyone around you) is to pause. Take a a brief time out – even for just a few minutes – and breathe. Connect to yourself again. Recognise how you are feeling. Reflect on why you are feeling that way.
We know this sounds like a simple remedy – but that’s because it is! And that’s the beauty of it. By just taking a few moments to breathe, you are allowing yourself the opportunity to reset and regain control of the situation.
So, there you have it. Whether it’s during the school holidays or just a busy week, “ME” time is something we all struggle to find. The tips shared above will help you to take back control when it seems impossible to stay on track. If you take time to prioritise yourself, organise your week around realistic activities that you like doing, and take a few deep breaths, you will be well on your way to thriving (and not just surviving) these school holidays.
If you need some extra support during the school holidays (or you just have a crazy week ahead), head over to our free Facebook Group “LifeBuddi Lifers” – an empowering community where like-minded women break the struggle of staying healthy. By being a Lifer, you’ll find your “ME” time, stay motivated, and take health out of the too-hard basket, everyday. To join for free, simply click follow this link: www.facebook.com/groups/LifeBuddiLifers
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