5 Habits Working Parents Should Break—Now

As a working mom, I am constantly battling to find balance between work, family and the home. Along with The Snap Mom, I also have a photography business, so I know all about the stress of “getting it all done.” #3 and #5 are areas that I need to improve upon… What about you?

By Rikki Rodgers | Article Source

If you’re like me, a consistent routine helps your family stay organized. But my routine has historically been accompanied by a few seemingly insignificant behaviors that, over time, turn into big problems. After talking to fellow parents, I realized that many of us are ignoring a standard set of troublesome habits that can sap productivity and distract from savoring our time as a family. While it’s not realistic to quit them all cold turkey, here are five to consider ditching ASAP.

1.Checking Email Before Bed It’s tempting to scroll through unread emails as you’re brushing your teeth, but this can seriously affect your sleep. The light emitted by your cell phone or laptop blocks the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and your brain is kicked back into action by reading about tomorrow’s to-do’s. There’s nothing you can do about any of this until tomorrow anyhow, so there’s no sense in going down the rabbit hole.

2. Cooking Separate Meals Cooking one meal for you and your partner and another for the kids seems logical: Kids eat earlier, and adults may enjoy a quiet dinner with less food-flinging and more wine-drinking. But spending the extra time to cook chicken nuggets for the kids and chicken parmesan for the parents sets a dangerous precedent: It enables children to be picky eaters. So, make an effort to cook one meal that everyone will eat—even if you don’t always eat it together.

3. Unnecessary Cleaning Working parents have limited time to enjoy each other and their children, so cleaning should focus on the essentials: your bodies, your children’s bodies and the dishes. If you can afford it, outsource the cleaning (worth every penny), and if you can’t, make “deep cleaning” a monthly event that involves the whole family.

4. Hanging Out With People You Don’t Like You know those friends whose names are typically part of a sentence like this: “We really should invite [names of friends that you don’t really like] over for dinner soon”? Stop hanging out with them. Now. Your time is limited. Weekends, vacations and the blissful hour between your kids’ and your bedtimes should be spent with people who bring joy to your life. Ditch the downers, the complainers and the folks who stress you out.

5. Mistaking Activities for Memories When I was 10, my grandmother chartered two boats and took our entire family on a tour of the Alaskan shorelines. It was amazing—I have incredible pictures of my family standing on glaciers and  hiking alongside salmon-choked streams. But what I remember most is running my sister’s bra up the mast to embarrass her and playing cards for hours with my cousins. The point: Kids just want to spend time with their families; the activity itself is secondary. There’s no reason to plan hundreds of activities every weekend in an effort to fill your children’s lives with rich memories. Giving them your undivided attention is the most important thing of all.