In fact my Kindergartener is extremely difficult. Almost impossible to deal with when she gets that tired.
Usually I can keep it together for a while. I try my best to remain calm and patient through gritted teeth as my youngest lays on the floor crying that she can’t get up because her legs don’t work.
Then she’s super “firsty.” She asks for juice. I get her some. She starts crying and says she really wanted chocolate milk. I cave in and get her chocolate milk. Now she wants juice.
I lose it.
I have to put her in her room or go lock myself in my room for five minutes to recompose.
But sometimes I look back the next day and smile. She is usually super well-behaved and is a very sweet Mommy’s-girl. It’s just hard to deal with an extremely tired, irrational five year old.
(On another note I wish Kindergarten was only half a day!)
But when I look back to a couple years ago, keeping my act together and looking back and smiling was so much harder. In fact, I probably would’ve cried in those situations. Right now I can keep calm a good 90% of the time. I feel in control. Confident, even. A few years ago this just wasn’t the truth.
Parenting can be hard no matter which way you cut it.
But do you know what makes it even harder? Being an always stressed out person. And do you know what stresses people out? Money. Or the lack of it.
(You can see from the latest Holmes-Rahe Life stress survey that three of the top ten life stressors have to do with money. And these follow death of a family member and jail time.)
I am convinced that the stress I felt over money a couple years ago was reflected in my parenting. And I’m now convinced that the complete lack of stress I feel now has enabled me to be a better parent.
If you are always stressed out it doesn’t take much from a whining, crying, irrational child to make you lose it. Because that’s some stressful stuff.
Here are some of the steps I took to create financial stability as a parent that can help you too.
Build Up Your Savings Account
Having money you can fall back on is a HUGE way to eliminate financial stress. Even if you are in debt I think it’s important to first build up your savings account to a point that makes you feel comfortable.
Having that money to fall back will greatly increase your financial stability.
If you don’t have much money to work with start by putting $5-$20 per paycheck in savings. Put whatever you can afford while still meeting all of your other monthly obligations.
Get RID of Your Debt
If you have consumer debt you need to make a plan to get rid of it. It’s not going to be easy and probably won’t be fast. But debt is not worth it. It’s bad for your finances and it’s bad for your health.
I prefer the debt snowball method of paying back debt as it allows you to feel more accomplished sooner. To use the debt snowball method simply list all of your debts from smallest balance to highest balance. Make the minimum payments on all of your debt and throw anything extra to the smallest balance until it’s paid off. Then move on to the next smallest balance.
(Oh and be sure not to take on anymore debt.)
Find the Right Job
If you hate your job or feel like you aren’t making enough money then make a plan. Start a side hustle, ask for a raise, or start looking for another job.
(Be sure to keep your current job while you’re looking for something else or building up a side business.)
Just be Proactive
None of the things on this list are easy to do. None of them will come quickly. Take baby steps.
Determine where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. The process of simply being proactive and taking charge will decrease your stress and increase your happiness.
Do you think financial stress makes parenting harder?