The summer break is a big one. Many kids are home from school or studies for at least 6 weeks and families are having to juggle parenting, child care and employment. On top of that you have the pressures of the festive season, parties, social obligations and family.
This time of year can also be particularly challenging for some families who are facing prejudice and judgement from close family, friends and relatives. Often we also have the mix of alcohol and mental health challenges that can really add to the toll.
We need to ask ourselves one question: During one of the most intensely emotional, busy and expensive times of the year...how can I look after myself?
Here are some helpful tips that have worked for many parents and caregivers:
Have a close contact person you can reach out to when it just gets too much, you just need to vent, ask for help or get some reassurance.
Ask for help. This can be a hard task to do for many parents but an important one to keep in mind.
Get some rest and eat well - when you can.
Don’t stress. Often children’s habits and practices change over the summer break with school finishes and days are filled with busy times, visiting relatives, going overseas...it might mean their bedtimes and routines might be a little different than usual. Understand that this is ok for many families, and often a few days into the holidays things level out. It’s a huge time for the kiddos as well!
Embrace your inner child. Childhood is a small time in one’s life, it goes very fast, embrace it, have cuddles, keep things simple, play games and be silly. The kids will have fond memories of these moments!
You can say “no”. Being invited to many catch ups, parties, drinks….you can say “no” if you feel it is getting too much. You can also leave early and that’s ok too.
Check in with your mental health. If you find yourself in a situation that is affecting it, reach out to someone.
Self care can mean different things to different people. Consider what does it mean to you? How can you fit it into your life?
And finally, have fun. 2018 was a big year! You did such an awesome job parenting!
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Beyondblue 1300 22 4636