5 Ways to Find Balance as a Busy Parent
While there are few things that every parent can agree on, one thing reigns true on a global scale. Parents to newborns, young adults, and every age in between can agree that parenthood is busy, and finding balance is difficult at every stage of life.
Truthfully, there’s no way around it. If we had a magic wand or a genie in a bottle, we’d gladly let you borrow them so you could wish your worries away. But, there’s no genie, no magic wand, no amount of money or time or energy in the world that can truly take the “busy” out of parenthood. So what can we do to find balance in the midst of the chaos that comes with raising children? Turns out, there are quite a few things you can do to lighten the load, and we’re excited to share our favorite 5 with you! You’re going to want to save this one.
Schedule Self Care
Before you roll your eyes and scroll past this one, you should know that self care for parents is possible. In fact, it’s more than possible, it’s well within your reach. A necessary component of maintaining a clear head and recharging your batteries, self care is one of the best ways to tip the scale closer to balance in a life that can often feel dominated by conflicting schedules and seemingly endless chores. First, decide what self care looks like for you. Many think that self care means bubble baths, a good book, and uninterrupted quiet time, but it doesn’t have to look like that for you.
Maybe your version of self care is a solo trip to the grocery store, or a walk around the neighborhood, or taking notes from your favorite motivational podcast. Once you’ve decided what lies in your realm of self care solutions, block off some dedicated time on the calendar to make it easier to commit. Whether it’s 10 minutes or an entire weekend away, prioritizing your mental and physical health via self care will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever life with kids has to throw at you.
Parent-Friendly Exercise Exists
Aside from the physical benefits of consistent exercise, healthy habits help you become more mentally fit, too. If your first thought when you hear the word “exercise” is a 1-hour workout class, inconvenient trip to the gym, or 5K jog around the neighborhood, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that exercise is rarely on your agenda. Reframing your approach to physical activity might be the perfect way to incorporate more healthy habits into your routine.
Just like self care, exercise looks different for everybody. Meditation and yoga are a great way for parents to ease back into a fitness routine, and YouTube offers thousands of 20-minute classes that you can do from the comfort of your own home during nap time, after the kids go to bed, or first thing in the morning. Not only will you benefit from a few moments of alone time, you’ll also begin to create a routine that you can rely on.
Connect with Your Community
Sure, you’re a parent. But before you were a parent, you were just...you. A person with a social life and probably a craving for social interaction. While the world is operating a little differently right now, your innate need for socialization and friendship is still very present. Connecting with your communities is a crucial way to maintain balance in your own personal life.
Your existing friendship circle, parent groups on Facebook, and apps like Peanut are all great sources for connection and interaction. Whether you need to vent, share a laugh, or discuss this week’s highlights, finding time to socialize is a necessary component of a balanced life.
Books for Parents
If one of your goals is to read more, here’s a pro tip: put books in places where you’d like to read. Want to squeeze a chapter in before bed? Keep your book on your bedside table. Looking to listen to more audiobooks while in the car? Put a sticky note reminder on your dashboard.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most recommended books for parents looking to find more balance in their lives, check them out:
Parenting with Love and Logic - Foster W. Cline
The Whole-Brain Child - Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids - Laura Markham
How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids - Carla Naumburg
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk - Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Apps & Tools for Parents
We’ve mentioned the Peanut app, but if you haven’t explored your phone’s App store, you might be missing out on even more tools and resources to bring balance to your life. Here are the apps that parents swear by in 2021:
Peanut - moms connecting with moms
Wolf + Friends - a community for parents of kids with special needs
BabyCenter - trusted, accessible baby advice
Find My Kids - keep track of your children on-the-go
Cozi Family Organizer - organize schedules and routines with ease
How do you and your family stay balanced in the midst of busy schedules? Share your book recommendations, favorite apps, and best advice with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.