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Wednesday, March 26, 2008
“Stress Busters” – My Top Tips for Handling It All
By Nina Restieri
As a mother of four, founder of my own company, loving wife, loyal friend and community activist, I understand the constant struggle of balancing it all. That’s what drove me to start momAgenda, a range of stylish organizational tools meant to help busy women keep all of the pieces of their personal puzzle – family, career, home and social life – together. But we all know that even the most trusted tools sometimes fail you, which is why I have developed the following three rules to live by:
Keep It Consistent
I find that everyone is happier in my house when there is an established routine. When the kids are young and you don’t have the structure of a full day of school, it is a good idea to create structure in the home. Regardless of your own schedule, you as a mother will benefit from this as well. Set up a schedule that incorporates preschool, naps, meals, baths, play groups, and activities. Make sure to leave time in the schedule for play!
Nobody can do it all alone. Make sure you rely on your partner for emotional support as well as assistance with household duties and parenting responsibilities. If your children are old enough, make them an active member of your house as well. Try delegating chores, for example, your seven year old can clear the table at the end of meals, your six year old can set the table with you, and your teenager can help with dishes or yard work. Write it all out for them so they won’t be confused – plus it provides satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment when they check off a chore.
Take Time for Yourself Each Day
This one can be hard. We put so much energy into our kids and don’t think to take care of ourselves. I remember once trying to take time to meditate when my kids were young; I snuck up to my room while our babysitter fed the kids dinner. My middle son promptly came upstairs to my locked bedroom door and started knocking loudly. When I didn’t answer he started repeatedly hurling his body against the door! I learned my lesson; now I schedule my breaks for when the kids are at school. You can also try it when they are napping, out on a play date, or when you have help. Here are some ideas for your break time: take a bath, read a juicy magazine, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, or call a friend and catch up. Do what works for you!