Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs there is, and unlike other jobs that follow definitive work hours, raising children is truly a full-time role. A study conducted by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities showed that adults living with children reported an increase in stress levels in 2021. Common reasons for stress, the participants of the study cited, include finances, food insecurity, and childcare difficulties.
Fortunately, there are ways to make parents; lives a bit easier and less stressful. Investing in the right tools can go a long way in managing the little stressors that can add up over time. If you’re a busy mum or dad, here are some essentials you can use to make the parenting game much easier.
Aside from being required by the law, car seats are essential for parents because they make travelling with your children much safer. Start by familiarising yourself with the requirements before purchasing and installing the seat. Consider the ISOfix system for car seats, which uses straps to connect to metal anchors in your vehicle. This system is ideal since it guarantees safety and has a universal design, making it easier to select an appropriate seat for your child.
Car seats are hefty investments. However, it will save you more trouble when travelling as you won’t have to worry about potential injuries that may result from having a child moving around in the back seat. Plus, car seats double up as carriers, which can make it easier to get your children in and out of the car. Parents that have more than one infant or toddler can also consider twin car seats. Twin car seats will save you from having to struggle with a number of variables at once.
The Right Pushchair
While pushchairs seem like a straightforward tool for moving children around, getting the wrong one can issues for parents, such as back pain. And with the prevalence of back pain in adults reaching almost 20% across the UK, it becomes more important for parents to invest in well-designed pushchairs to prevent chronic pain from developing.
Prams that are too low can cause discomfort and exacerbate back pain. To choose the right pushchair, look for models that have adjustable handles or ones built high enough to prevent hunching over when going out on a stroll. A pram should also be easy to move around with the least amount of effort required. So if you have more than one toddler you need a model that is lightweight and not too cumbersome.
iCandy’s double pushchairs show how tandem models are much more convenient than side-by-side designs. Not only do they take up less room on a pavement, they have parent and world facing modes which will allow you to maintain better contact with your child. This will help settle them, which is very useful if you are rushing about.
Mindfulness or Meditation Apps
Spending time with family is essential for bonding, but too much of a good thing can be detrimental, even if it’s quality time with loved ones. A National Geographic feature found that parents will sometimes hide just to get some alone time. Setting boundaries with family and taking some time alone, even for 15-30 minutes, can make parenting easier as you get to relax and take a much-needed break.
By spending a few minutes alone each day with a cup of tea or a mindfulness app like Headspace, you can recharge and face the challenges of your role as a parent with more clarity, energy, and ease. The important part is to let yourself accept that alone time is necessary and ultimately beneficial for both you and your children.
Parenting is both a rewarding and difficult job, and while most parents truly seem like superheroes that can do it all, a few nifty essentials will really help ease any unnecessary stress. Once you have selected items for yourself, the next step is to select things that can help your kids, such as toys, books, and clothes. Fortunately, the guides we have written here at The Parenting Jungle can help you get started.