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Managing everyday parenting stress

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Being a parent is stressful. There, I said it. My little beautiful, sweet little angels are more difficult to deal with than any psychotic manager, high-flying career or high-maintenance team I’ve ever worked with. But that’s just the nature of parenting. We no longer just have ourselves to worry about. I want to give my children the best life I can. It’s important to set a positive example and be a good role model. Keeping my temper is critical because if I’m too stroppy with them I could damage them for life. Feeding them, making sure they’re in suitable clothing and getting them to places on time are all stressful too. I was late for everything before I had children, I have no chance now.

Rattan Direct have put together a really interesting survey about how what’s making us stressed and how we deal with it. The survey focuses on three key areas – how we unwind, what we’ll be up to this Christmas and how Brexit has affected our spending habits around the home and garden.

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How do you unwind?

I think unwinding has a lot to do with switching off from technology. Back in the days before smartphones and social media, it was much easier to unwind. We lived in the moment a lot more and left work in the office. These days, watching television, chilling with friends or going for a nice meal can be really therapeutic. For me though, there is always social media going on in the background, I’ll usually be on my phone on twitter whilst I watch television.

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That’s why sport is so critical for unwinding from my point of view. Yoga is typically cited as being relaxing but for me, swimming and running are just as good. That said, if someone could remind me on mile 50 of my ultramarathon next weekend that this is stress relief, that would be helpful. 

How will you celebrate Christmas?

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Argh, I can’t believe I’m talking about Christmas already. I’m not ready to see the back of the fabulous summer we’ve had. And yet, I’ve already posted about Christmas days out in the West Midlands, some of which are virtually sold out. For me, Christmas takes a very similar format every year. My mum comes over for lunch, we eat too much, the children get tired and over-excited and end up having either an afternoon nap or a fight. Then late afternoon, we go over to my dad’s house and start drinking. On a good year we’ll continue drinking until around the middle of January when I realise I’ve put on 3 stone and forgotten where I live.

How has Brexit altered your spending habits?

When the UK voted for Brexit, it felt a bit like the world had come crashing down around us. The value of the pound went through the floor and everybody panicked. For me, I was worried that my work would dry up due to the client I was working with at the time. As it happens, I’m not working with them anymore anyway, but my work situation is actually much better.

And for the first time since my husband’s accident 12 months ago, we are within touching distance of being able to do some home renovations. So as it stands, my concerns about our own financial situation post-Brexit were unfounded.

Have your spending habits altered post-Brexit? I’d love to hear about how you unwind and how you’ll be spending Christmas too. Do pop over and fill in the survey and feel free to leave me a comment to let me know as well!

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  1. September 25, 2016 / 9:47 am

    Hi Natalie, it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas! I plan to make that Christmas cake recipe you shared again, just a few weeks earlier this year. It sounds as if you have a busy Christmas day. Ours is always quiet, just us and Mum and Dad (maybe a bonus of living abroad?). We’ve already established that we will be having dinner at my parents house and I don’t think Mum will pass up the chance of that (she leaves to feed people!). And not being much of a drinker I happily eat my way through Christmas.

    Unwinding for me is definitely my morning runs, walking the dogs and time alone. I find being around people exhausting, but time alone gives me that chance to unwind and recharge.

    I can’t say that Brexit has affected our spending, not really. But then living in Greece we are more affected by what goes on here.


  2. September 25, 2016 / 8:21 pm

    I have just this second finished my Christmas shopping. I guess this ties in to the Brexit issue in that I have no idea how much work from overseas I will be getting and what the exchange rates will do. Emma x

  3. September 26, 2016 / 11:39 am

    I do think technology makes things more stressful. I have recently started yoga in an attempt to learn to relax. I wish i was a runner like you.

  4. September 26, 2016 / 1:33 pm

    Very interesting to see your perspective on the questions. We tend not to have any tech around whilst having dinner – but yes it is there when the tv is on and people seem to find it so hard to talk.

  5. September 26, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    I don’t get much time to unwind. I try to take time before bed to read my book, but this doesn’t happen enough. X

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