The feeling of being overwhelmed can exhaust even the most dedicated parent; all parents have experienced it at one time or another. The feelings often appear when parenting active toddlers. Stay at home parents often feel overwhelmed when the day becomes long and exhausting. A working parent will experience the feelings after coming home from a long day at work or when having to rush around to one activity after another. Learning to successfully deal with the feelings can help make parenting a more rewarding experience for both the parent and the child.
Most parents try to fill their child’s day or evening with activities that help the child grow and learn. Dance lessons, gymnastics, art or play dates have parents running around after work to one appointment after another. Weekends are often filled with an exhausting schedule of events. Each week a parent should set aside one day that is simply to stay at home. Spend time with your child. Do not have a set schedule to maintain. Do whatever feels relaxing with your little one. Rent a movie, read books, color or simply play a game with your child Down time can help revive an exhausted parent and it can also help form a deep bond with your child.
Try to maintain a daily routine. Children benefit from a routine. It can also help a busy, overwhelmed parent outline the day in a schedule that is easily understandable. Set a bedtime and stick to it. All parents need a little bit of downtime each evening to simply relax. Putting the child to bed early will allow the parent one or two hours of silence to read a book, take a bath, watch a movie or have time alone with their spouse. After putting your child to bed its always nice to simply sit and listen to the silence. Some parents feel guilty for enjoying silence top deeply but a house with a toddler or two is often a loud experience throughout the day so silence truly is heaven.
Some parents feel overwhelmed when they begin to feel that they have no time to themselves. Every parent needs personal time. Time to read a book, take a bath, run to the store or just remember what its like to be peaceful. Some parents have a feeling of guilt for needing private time but this should never be the case. All parents need time to themselves. It doesn’t have to be hours alone but a simple hour can help rejuvenate any worn out parent. Consider calling the babysitter and taking time to do something relaxing. Have your spouse watch the toddler while you take a break.
Spend time with your child simply playing each day. Time with your child will help you appreciate the small things. Sometimes just letting the housework go or ordering take out for dinner instead of cooking a big meal can be relaxing and help relieve any feelings of being overwhelmed that you may experience. The house cleaning can wait, the dishes can sit in the sink until morning or the load of laundry can be done on a different day. Just spend time with your child and don’t worry about every small aspect of the day.
Staying active can also help a parent cope with feelings of being overwhelmed. Try to exercise daily. Sometimes going for a walk will help alleviate any unpleasant feelings. Getting outside into the fresh air can also help rejuvenate a parent. Consider taking the children to the park and letting them play while you sit at a picnic table and relax.
Simple coping strategies can help any parent overcome feelings of being overwhelmed.