Being a working parent is challenging enough during the school year. Then, when summer break hits and they’re set free while you’re still working, your stress levels start multiplying. Juggling work and making sure your kids are happy and healthy at the same time isn’t easy. In fact, it’s exhausting.  First of all, you should be proud of yourself. You’re doing a great job.  It won’t always be this challenging. One day, your kids are going to appreciate you for all that you’re doing for them (even if they don’t quite recognize it yet!) In this article, we’re going to give you our top 7 stress management techniques to help you navigate balancing parenting and work during the summer.

Finding balance

With many people returning to the office full-time, or adopting a hybrid work-from-home schedule, the financial and mental pressure to balance being present at work while also arranging care for your children when school is out can be overwhelming. Here’s our list of the top 7 techniques to help you handle the stress of working while school is out.

1. Set healthy boundaries

Working parents wear many hats, operating as parent, provider, homemaker, chef, chauffeur, spouse or partner in addition to other roles outside of the family, like friend or volunteer at your local school or church. You might have a hard time saying no, but sometimes you need to. Saying no when you’re stretched too thin will not only help protect your emotional energy, but it will enable you to wholeheartedly say yes to the things you really want to.

2. Schedule you-time

Taking time for yourself can often feel like a luxury you can’t afford or don’t have time for — and that’s exactly why you need to schedule it into your calendar like it’s an official appointment. Instead of treating time for yourself like something you only do when it’s convenient (which, let’s be honest, it rarely is), make self-care a non-negotiable part of your day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

3. Work smarter, not harder

Seeking help doesn’t make you less of a parent. If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family nearby who are willing and able, enlist their help. Whether this means asking for help with childcare, cooking, cleaning or errands, don’t be afraid to lean on your support system.

4. Get creative with your kids’ activities

Let’s face it — turning on the TV or handing your child an iPad doesn’t always work to keep them busy, stimulated and entertained. If you have a backyard, consider using the outdoors as a babysitter instead. Depending on your child’s age, you might be able to fuel their creative side with hobbies or encourage them to play board or card games with each other. As long as they’re safe, occasionally being bored won’t hurt and might even inspire more creativity and imagination.

5. Practice centering techniques

Stress might be unavoidable at times, but it doesn’t have to derail your life every time it emerges. Prioritize preventative measures against stress. Make time to meditate, journal and exercise. You might also consider developing skills to better manage stress, such as breath work, adopting a “let it go” mentality and learning to put difficult situations in perspective.

6. Release the need to be perfect

You aren’t perfect, but neither is any other parent. You’re doing your best. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself permission for your best to be enough.

7. Go to therapy

There’s an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child, but these days, a lack of community leaves many working parents feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.  It’s no wonder why — you’re trying to do everything on your own without the help of a village. If you need extra emotional support as a working parent during the summer, you can lean on the compassionate staff at Mazzitti & Sullivan. At Mazzitti & Sullivan, we’re dedicated to serving you with the highest level of care so that you can achieve success in both your home and professional life. We believe everyone experiences life in their own way, and that’s why we provide an individual-centered approach to counseling where your specific needs and goals are at the core of our efforts. To get started today, give us a call at 1-800-809-2925. We’ll be more than happy to help.
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