The fall brings some fun and also busy days and weeks for families. What are your kids involved in; soccer, football, dance, gymnastics, youth group, band practices, swim team, volleyball or something else? Each activity has great opportunities for our kids, but they also come with a cost on the family's time and energy. If you are a parent who's running kids to activities, making meals, scheduling appointments and keeping up with all the school stuff like permission slips, lunch money, conferences etc, then YOU have a lot on your plate. You are taking care of your family and lots of details to keep things running smooth, so let's talk about WHO's taking care of you.
Hopefully you have great support in your life. People who take the time to take care of you and "fill your cup." But a lot of parents are feeling like they don't have a great support system. And whether or not you have excellent support, self-care is incredibly important for parents who want to be at their best for themselves and their families.
Support and self-care are two of the 10 steps to navigate parenting challenges that I write about in my book Parenting Marathon. There is a lot of practical thoughts and easy next steps for you in the book but I'll leave you with one first step here.
Start with small chunks of time. Waiting for self-care until you can carve out a day or weekend away isn't enough. Today set aside 10 minutes for yourself to do something that is relaxing, brings you joy or fills your cup. Caution: Don't use this 10 minutes to clear out your email, answer text messages or schedule that dentist appointment. This 10 minutes is a self-care pause. Need ideas on what you would enjoy doing in those 10 minutes? I have a whole list in the free resources page shared in the book. Maybe it's listening to music, enjoying the quiet, prayer or meditation, watching the birds, drawing... you get to decide. Set a timer maybe and protect that little chunk of time.
*go visit the animal shelter or pet store
*make a bird feeder with a milk jug and some duck tape
*make a summer journal with a daily question or topic
*write and illustrate a comic book
*make mini figures out of clay and add them to your house plants
*visit the farmers market and buy something you've never tried before
*run through the sprinkler
*make a hopscotch board (It's really fun to play hopscotch on a trampoline if you have one! Use chalk to make the hopscotch board)
*sit outside for 10 minutes and record the types of birds you see, use a bird book to find their names
*make a summer art project on a large sheet of paper that you can add to throughout the summer
*try out an oldie but goodie like a jump rope, hula hoop, skip ball or kids' pogo stick
*make a bike obstacle out of chalk on the driveway
*make an obstacle course in the yard or at the park
*give your kids a scavenger hunt for the yard, or on a family walk (taking photos of the objects is a fun addition)
Share your fun ideas with us here!
Summer success planning:
I personally have grappled with the start of summer for years now.
On one hand I think of summer as this magical time of fun, connection and happy memory building.
On the other hand, I start to worry about this big transition and change of structure for my kids.
How do I balance the right amount of activities with the need for downtime?
What about behavioral challenges?
How can I use good communication with the other adults involved (co-parent, grandparents etc) to make this summer successful?
Check out this recorded webinar on Summer Success Planning for Parents and Grandparents.
It will help you get the ball rolling on finding the right summer structure for your family, communication between adults, and behavioral challenges.
Use the coupon code SUMMER2023 to get 10% off all products
Wishing you a joyful summer!
Parenting is no 9-5 gig! When we dreamed of starting our families, we knew it would be amazing, challenging, rewarding and tough!
When the parenting seasons are really tough, parents are at risk of feelings of guilt and burnout. This parenting job doesn't come with paid vacation, or "off duty" hours. If you're struggling with feelings of parenting guilt:
"Nothing I do is enough"
"I'm messing everything up"
"I don't have the time I need for my kids"
"Everyone has this figured out better than I do"
Or Parental Burnout
"I don't know how long I can keep doing this."
"I love my kids, but I don't want to be around them."
"Enough already, I just feel like escaping."
Check out this one hour recorded webinar on Persevering through Caregiver Guilt and Burnout
The recorded webinar takes an empathetic look at parenting guilt and burnout and equips you with practical strategies to help you persevere and regain balance and joy in your parenting experience.
This webinar is for any parent or caregiver feeling guilty or burnt out.
*Adoptive and foster parents are at high risk of burnout, as are parents of kids struggling with mental health or are neurodiverse. If you or someone you know could use support please reach out.
Bonus: The recorded webinar comes with discounts on all the other products and parenting tools and courses available from Lives Touched, including the Family Healing and Growth Course
Reach out if you could use support on your journey.
Have you ever felt like as soon as you get a handle on something in parenting...the game changes and you're back to trying to figure it out? It's a part of the parenting journey and for me, it's happened over and over again.
I remember feeling like that when my kids were little and I would finally get a grasp on nap times and bedtimes...only to have my kids grow and change and what worked before didn't seem to work again.
How about trying to motivate a kid?
*A sticker chart? Nope... those only worked for a few days, or maybe a a few weeks.
*Taking away their favorite things... hmmm, sure fire way to get a meltdown started.
*Hitting my frustration tolerance and raising my voice? No good, that leaves me and my child feeling bad.
Of course we could talk about addressing challenging behaviors...
Maybe you're finding your tools aren't working as well as they used to.
Maybe what works for your friend's kids, or your sister's kids just doesn't seem to work with your unique child.
Regardless of the age or season our kids are in, we can become more confident leaders in our homes.
Here are a few things to think about: