The days are more sunny here in Southern Orange County and people are on spring break. You know what that means? More time with the family! Typically when the kids are out of school for the week, mom or dad end up finding something to do with them. Some families may even take that much needed spring vacation. More time with the kids should be fun and relaxing in theory, but sometimes it can be exhausting and overwhelming. So what do you do with a whole weeks worth of time without feeling like you are losing your mind?
• Don't break the bank! Do stuff that is free and affordable. Parks, swimming, the beach...you know what I am talking about! Financial stress is one of the top hot buttons for couples and your time off is for creating memories and spending quality time together, not arguing over how much stuff costs.
• Put up a hammock. That's right, kick back and relax a bit. If you are a person that is always on the go, think of what you are teaching your kids. There is something to be said for balance in our lives and teaching our children that they don't always have to be entertained. Kids are shuttled around right after school to tutoring, swim lessons, soccer practice....and more! Is it any wonder that children have more anxiety than ever? There is a time to rest and be sure to put that into your time off.
• Find your own space. Each person in the family doesn't have to be around each other all the time. Make some room for quality alone time. Do something you love too!
• Get help. If you are overwhelmed, ask for help. You do ask for help don't you? In my experience, asking for what we need can be the hardest thing to do for ourselves. However, taking care of yourself makes you a better parent and teaches your kids the importance of community and support. Maybe you feel alone and isolated. Even if it is asking a family member, friend or neighbor or calling someone you trust, you know you won't have to face the stress alone.
So whether you are on vacation, staying at home, or getting someone to watch the kids the whole week...may you have fun, laughter and joy. We already have enough stress in our lives, why create more of it?