When you were a child, it may have seemed as though your parents had it all figured out. Dropping you off at soccer practice and after-school programs, keeping track of your progress, all while managing to work full days. Some single parents work a full-time job, care for their children, and make sure that there is food on the table every night. As you’ve grown, you’ve likely come to see your parents in a new light. Upon having children yourself, you may find yourself wondering the very thing you were told to expect: “How did my parents do this?”
Each person handles parenting and adult life differently. While it’s never a bad idea to take inspiration from the successful parents of the generation before you, you don’t need to hold yourself to anyone’s standards except your own.
One of the most noticeable differences between different parenting approaches is the amount of attention to mental health. Some commit to achieving a high standard of results, such as working 12-hour days, taking the kids to school, and making dinner every night, no matter what they’re going through internally. While some admire the stoicism, taking this approach can have lasting detriments on your mental health. You can take care of your mental health even if your parents didn’t invest in theirs. You’re not alone if you do: according to the American Psychological Association, nearly half of American households seek mental health treatment each year.
Structure Your Time to Keep Your Head Above Water
The combination of parenting and work can wear down your mental health, leaving many to wonder how they can balance making a living with taking care of their family. How do you take care of your mental health while staying afloat? Time management skills are crucial to achieving that balance. Develop a strong awareness of your time by creating a schedule. Keep track of your appointments, commitments, and even your leisure time. If you don’t like the idea of organizing your life using an app, you can keep it simple and write your schedule in a notebook. However you do it, it’s important to document the moving parts of your life so you can stay on top of your existence.
Create a system that works for your needs, and don’t hesitate to try a new approach if you’re finding it hard to cope with daily stress. Consider labeling your tasks by levels of urgency or importance, giving you the motivation to establish your priorities and act accordingly. Understanding how you work can also help you do your best each day. Knowing if you are a morning, afternoon, or evening person will help you make efficient decisions. Schedule your relaxation time separately from the times you feel you will be the most productive. Upon making your schedule, you will likely realize that you have more free time than you expected. You can waste a lot of time when acting without intention. Be consistent in working towards balance, and you’ll find your efforts go further each day.
Get the Kids on a Schedule
Once you’ve taken control over your professional and personal schedules, it’s time to get the kids on track. You can manage your children’s schedules to directly reflect your own or the other way around. However you choose to build your child’s schedule, they need a dependable routine to thrive. Establish a pattern of activities for your child before, during, and after school. You can even build in structure for the weekends. Setting a schedule for your child can be highly effective in making your role as a parent much smoother. When you and your children consistently follow a schedule together, your mind will become calmer, and you’ll have more time and energy to devote to spending meaningful time with your loved ones.
Invest in Your Mental Health Every Day
Before you can take control of your work-life balance and your child’s schedule, you have to get your mind in check. Treat your mental health as the priority that it is by being mindful of your emotions, doing things that make yourself happy, and watching out for things that may trigger you. Having a peaceful mind can make it much easier to navigate the currents of your life. Try incorporating yoga, exercise, meditation, healthy eating, and sufficient sleep into your routine to keep yourself in the healthiest possible shape. Learn to spend quality time with yourself and bond with people who make you feel good. The company you keep can have an impact on your mind and the way you see the world.
No matter how challenging things become, you can balance your professional obligations, personal happiness, and the life of your children by adequately preparing and caring for your mind. Keep track of your responsibilities and goals using whichever form of time management works best for you. A dependable routine can serve as the basis for a productive and satisfying life. Be sure to care for your mental health and give yourself the proper outlets for pent-up stress. Always remember that you don’t have to build a successful life for yourself and your family on your own. At HealthyU, our mission is to help you and your loved ones learn to overcome your obstacles and achieve lasting fulfillment. We provide training in social skills, time management, and mental health for adults and teens. Bring us your concerns, and we’ll guide you towards a breakthrough. Contact us at (619) 542-9542 to learn more.