By Heather Williams
You wake up in the middle of the night and dread checking the time because you already feel the pressure of getting up to start another hectic day. Even though it is time to get up, you continue to lie there. While lying down, you slowly release a deep breath of air (people do that a lot when they are annoyed) before you look over at the glowing red light on your alarm clock displaying the time reading 5:13 a.m. At 6:30 a.m., that awful buzzing sound of your alarm clock will alert you to get up and start your day. This particular morning, even with the alarm set to wake you up to your favorite radio station, you are ready to smash it and not tend to any of your duties. In reality, you will just get up and push through the day.
Getting things accomplished day to day can be complicated at times, but sometimes we allow things to be that way. Everyone has experienced a hectic day where they have wondered how they made it through. We wake up in the morning to get dressed and some of us have children that we have wake to start their day also. We get them off to school and ourselves to school, work or wherever we need to be. Tasks are taken care of but not always completed and are left to be finished the following day.
Then we are off to head home and relax. Correction, now we have to get our children from school, a childcare provider, a sport activity or a friend's house. I mean come on, the point is our day has not really ended. For most of us, the real work is just beginning.
We juggle so many balls and often we come close to dropping them. Being so busy causes one to ask, “When do we include time for ourselves?”
I am not speaking of the random times that frees up when something falls through, but much needed time to have fun or just relax.
A lot of work goes on behind the scene when you have children. Managing them alone consist of bathing, clothing, cooking, feeding, nurturing and playing with them. Some things you will do less or more of depending on their age. This brings in the new issues that occur as an active parent or guardian. Having a first time student or a child starting at a new school can be hard the first few days or weeks. Some children have trouble getting along with other students or getting good grades. Typical things you will have to deal with may add or take away time from your busy schedule.
With so much to do like run errands, take care of sick children or purchase sports equipment and fit after school activities into your schedule, it is important to look for signs of stress in ourselves and our children too. This is why it is important to not consider your home and work life as a juggling act but as a time to effectively manage the time that is available.
Taking time out to have some fun is just as important as relaxing. Yes, there are things that always need to be done but our bodies must get appropriate rest to function properly. Also add a healthy diet and make sure you are getting the proper nutrients. It may seem like that piece of cake has filled a hunger void but it does not do much to add to your daily essential vitamin intake for the day. Pre cut vegetables or fruit for a couple of days and place them in a plastic bag for a quick snack.
You may also have family members or friends who can help by picking children up from practices or school. Team up with someone at work who can cover for you when emergencies arise and you do the same for them. Planning ahead for emergencies can cut your stress level in half especially if you are at work or in college.
Make sure also that fun time is also made for special bonding time with your family. Turn off your phone and walk away from the computer for a couple of hours a day. It can wait for a couple of hours. It takes away the stress and the feeling that you're always juggling especially when a great time is waiting for the entire family by playing baseball or board games. You cannot relive a childhood that is being missed. Your family and children should be your number one priority.
Even if this is new to you, take one day at a time. Just as long as it took you to get where you are, it may take the same amount of time to figure out ways to balance your life. Be kind to yourself and tell your family about the changes that are being made and why. Working together eases the stress and also adds a positive element into your life and everyone else's around you.
Heather Williams is a freelance writer from Lansing, MI. She values informing the public on multiple up-to-date topics.
Editor’s notes: TNCP staff contributed to this story.
This article was printed in the October 18, 2015 - October 31, 2015 edition.