Life as Parent and as a … Spouse, Friend, Employee, Professional, etc.

olympia parent group
This local mother/daughter duo enjoy the sunshine during a Meetup in Olympia.

Submitted by Gyro Psychology Services, Inc. 

olympia parent group

We all know that life can get busy. We are expected to fulfill so many roles on a daily basis, including the role of husband or wife, parent to our children, employee or co-worker, supervisor or manager, community member, and friend. Juggling all of these roles can be really difficult, especially when there are unanticipated stressors or challenges that pop up from time to time. Here at Gyro Psychology Services, Inc., we work with a lot of children whose parents are exhausted from all the energy it takes to maintain all of these relationships, and to do them well.

Most people think of the word “stress” and think it only applies to some catastrophic event or an overly chaotic environment. Researchers in the field of psychology tell us, however, that the daily hassles in life can contribute to overall stress. Even the things in life we perceive as “good” can produce the same stressing effects on our minds and bodies, like a new relationship, a change in job placement, or, like we hear so often, keeping up with our kids.

Parenting is Stressful

As parents, we feel like we should be able to naturally maintain some kind of order in our households, right? It should be fairly simple. Our kids should listen when we tell them to, “because we said so.” Yeah, they will mess up from time to time, but in general, we can manage them on a daily basis without too much help. After all, we grew up watching our own parents teach us right from wrong, so how hard could it be for us to do the same? Right?

Not necessarily. In fact, hardly ever is this true. What we find as we grow into the role of parent is that our kids are different than we expected them to be. They’re smarter, sassier, more sensitive, or more active thangary cooper we anticipated. Some days it is harder to “roll with the punches” than other days. We try to use different approaches to discipline, and they don’t always work. We lose track of time at work or with other daily hassles, and we end up losing out on quality time with our kids. As parents, we find ourselves thinking, ‘This parenting thing is really hard sometimes.’

We understand. The staff at Gyro Psychology Services see it and experience it every day, too: it’s hard to manage a busy life and be a good parent at the same time. That’s why we tell so many parents how important it

is that they take time out for themselves. Parents spend so much time taking care of their children, their spouses, their friends and family members, and their co-workers, that they often neglect their own sense of satisfaction and wellbeing.

Parents Deserve Time-Outs

So think about “time out” for yourself, as a parent. When athletes take a time out from the game, it’s a break from the fast-paced action of the sport. It’s time for the players to huddle up with the coach, strategize, take a breath, drink some water, and feel re-energized to start playing again. Parents need time outs, too. Allow yourself to take that much-needed break and catch your breath, stretch your muscles, take a sip of water.

What do you love to do that re-energizes you? You could go for a walk. Hit the gym if you like to sweat. Take a bubble bath. Start reading a new book or magazine. Plan a date night. Listen to music, get a massage, or watch a movie. Pamper yourself from time to time.

And in those moments when you don’t have the time to take a big break, take a short time out. Step away from the situation, and take a few minutes to breathe deeply. Visualize a dream of yours. Ask yourself: Will this matter in a week? Will it matter in a year from now? When you are 70?

If you’d like to know more about resources that can help you and your kids live a healthier, happier life, give us a call at Gyro Psychology Services, Inc. We work with youth aged 2-25 and their parents to promote balance and stability in daily life, providing effective and compassionate mental health and behavioral health care.


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