A lot of people ask me how they can support a friend who is going through something hard, and the answer is almost always about reducing their stress by reducing the number of things they have to think about, whether it be meals or house cleaning.
As a parent, there are things you can do yourself to reduce the number of things you have to think about. Here are a few ideas:
- Make an honest list of the things you need to do each day and figure out what can be delegated
- Set up routines and rhythms for yourself and your kids
- Routines give you less to think about each day, which is why they're good for the whole family.
- Rhythms are designated times and days of the week for various activities, which make sure things get done without question
- Create standard operating procedures for things that need to get done, so whomever is doing it knows what "done" looks like.
- Simplify your meals so they are either taken care of or are low stress
- Meal delivery services
- Grocery delivery services
- A list of the things you know your kids will eat
- Making meals ahead of time by making extra, and freezing for later or trading with friends
- Setting up a routine or rhythm for each day of the week for help with activities etc the kids need to do
- For example, if Tuesdays and Thursdays are soccer. Jane will take the kids on Tuesdays and Jim will take them Thursdays
There are a lot of systems you can set up in your household to reduce your stress by reducing the number of things you need to think about. What systems do you have in your home?