Are you a busy mum who finds evenings stressful and very tiring?
Well you are not alone.
Most of us dream of having a home cooked dinner on the table, well-behaved children eating it, chatting about the day’s events and then the kids sliding off to bed without prompting.
Sadly the reality is often a million miles from that. Kids irritable, you exhausted, and a million things to do when all you want to do is sit down and relax.
The thing is having stressful evenings affects not just how you feel emotionally and physically, but it also impacts the rest of the family as well. So investing time working out how you can make this a happier and more relaxing time of the day is going to be good for everyone.
Step 1 Overcoming stressful evenings
Ask yourself what you find draining about the evenings. Make a lis of every single thing that is challenging event down.
Step 2 Overcoming stressful evenings
Now spend ten minutes thinking about what you can do to make evenings become more enjoyable, not just for you but for your family too. Think of ten things you could do differently that would make a difference.
If interruptions are a problem – perhaps turning the answer phone on might help.
Maybe having dinner earlier or later.
Are the children craving attention? If so perhaps you need to set aside a few minutes dedicated play time with them.
Do you find yourself getting caught up in watching television or find yourself side tracked by some other activity which could be left until after the children are in bed?
Step 3 Overcoming stressful evenings
Now think about what your ideal evening would be like. In most homes parents end up responding to what is happening rather than planning what they would like to happen.
Take a blank seat of paper and create your ideal evening. Divide your evening up into thirty minute time slots. Write down everything you need to do, and want to do each evening and estimate how much time you will need.
If you find you have too many things to do in too short a time – then you need to ask yourself whether:
• They really need to be done at this time?
• Whether someone else can do them?
• Whether these items or actions can be discarded
• How you can do them differently.
Be radical – and think outside the box. If the kids and you are exhausted from all their after school activities – consider reducing the number they go to.
If you are fed up with cooking different meals for different people – menu plan so that everyone is eating the same core ingredients.
Create an evening timetable. Try it and see if it works. If it doesn’t then amend it accordingly. If it does stick to it – at least most of the time. By having a structure that you are working with both you and the children will know what is meant to be happening in what order. And that I promise you will make evenings less stressful for everyone.