As a parent, you inherently have a lot on your plate and the “art” of juggling work, family relationships, household duties, hobbies, kid’s after school activities, and everything in between can create lots of stress. While many of us would agree that each of the items listed are good things to give your attention to, stress is a less than desirable outcome from the struggle to find balance in it all.  Stress has a multitude of physical and emotional health effects that impact your and your family’s quality of life as well as your ability to parent.  In today’s blog, we will be discussing some of the ways that stress affects parenting.

The Effects of Stress

Physical and behavioral

There are a variety of physical and behavioral effects that are associated with stress but let’s take a moment to consider how these symptoms affect you as a parent. Low energy is one of the ways that stress affects parenting.  When feeling drained, most of us want nothing more than to rest. In those moments it becomes easy to avoid dealing with issues that may arise with your children or to put off interacting with them. Stress can also cause insomnia, but unfortunately, lack of sleep can create additional stress and lead to a vicious cycle. Additionally, stress can lower your immunity, and a lack of sleep can further increase this risk. This can be detrimental to your ability to parent because being sick can be incapacitating and makes dealing with the daily issues of parenting that much tougher. Stress can also manifest itself through procrastination and avoiding responsibilities which could mean that your kids don’t get your help with their homework or may be late being picked up or dropped off at school or activities.

Emotional and cognitive

In addition to the physical and behavioral effects, there are emotional and cognitive aspects to how stress affects parenting. When you are stressed, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, like you are losing control, or like you need to take control. As a parent, these feelings can lead to “helicopter parenting” in which you are monitoring and present in all aspects of your child’s life as a means of feeling in control. It can also be difficult to relax or quiet your mind when you are stressed which often leads to becoming easily agitated, frustrated and moody.  These emotional effects may result in you overreacting to situations or having outbursts at your kids over things that usually wouldn’t elicit such a reaction. You may also find yourself being more forgetful and disorganized than when you are not stressed which can lead to forgetting important events for your kids.

Stress Relief

Since it is not possible to completely avoid stress in life or how stress affects parenting, it is important to identify appropriate ways to deal with stress that works for you. Make sure you are taking the time to eat well and choose foods that are nutritious rather than “comfort foods.” It may be important for you to set limits that allow you to have time to take care of yourself. Remember, it is okay to say, “no” and learning to do so can be a powerful weapon in fighting stress. You may also want to consider hiring a nanny because their presence in your home can remove a significant amount of stress and improve familial relationships.

Hiring a nanny can be a great way to reduce your stress.

Make sure that your nanny is a great fit for your family as bringing a nanny onto your family’s team that is a poor fit will only bring you more stress. Bringing a nanny onto your family’s team frees up precious time and allows you to have a few moments to focus on yourself to relax and maybe even enjoy a yoga class or other relaxing activity. Contact Nannies Plus today to get started finding the perfect nanny for your family!!

Medical information sourced from WebMD