April Showers brings….stress?

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This time of year is especially difficult for parents. Doesn’t it seem as if we have to be a number of places at the same time – all the time? Kids sports, school spring concerts and family events seem to collide.

I used to think that holidays were a stressful time of year. But that was BC (before children) and all the events associated with having children that seem to make life more challenging. Here are a few simple ways to make life easier:

Think Nancy Regan – Just say no. But figure out who you should say no to. The people that matter most in your life should be on top of the yes list. You know that already; this is just a friendly reminder.
No it isn’t possible for you to attend two of your children’s games across town at the same time – they haven’t yet been successful at cloning parents. Don’t be guilted by this, and be in one place and pay attention. Each child will get his or her own personal attention from you.
This will sound like a contradiction but it makes sense – get up 15 minutes earlier and still get more sleep. Yes, that means forget the late night talk shows and turn in a little earlier.
Everybody is on the road along with you, so allow more time than you need
Permission granted – so the house is a little dusty – haven’t you seen the poem circling the world via email about the cobwebs and kids? Here is the abbreviated version – The kids grow up very fast so the cobwebs can wait. Any questions?
Ignore the phones – all of them, at least for a little while
Prevention is a cure – fix little problems before they become big ones like low tire pressure, gas in the car, milk in the house making extra copies of keys before you lose them. Hide them or give one to a neighbor..
Does it make sense to buy in bulk this time of year – yes!
Cook ahead and invite the kids to help in the planning and preparation on a Sunday for the week ahead.
Ask them to figure out ways to manage better and then ask them to sign up to help. Who can set the table, take out the trash, fold the towels, etc. Remind them they are part of a family.
Pick your battles
Talk to a calm friend about the things you don’t see that might be causing you unneeded stress
Add an ounce of love to all that you do especially for those that you love
Laugh – research has proven that laughter is a great stress reducer. With kids I’m sure you can find something to laugh about.
Breathe – Live by the airline rule – parents put on your oxygen mask before you put on your child’s. Translation – take care of yourself so you can take care of your family.

Remember – most people are doing the best they can – so are you.

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