By Siobhan O’Neill White
It’s not easy being a parent right now! Between home schooling and keeping the children entertained while they cannot mix with their friends, it is almost inevitable that tensions will run high. I know for me, every time one of my children comes into the kitchen, opens the fridge and proclaims that ‘There is nothing to eat in this house’ it feels like there is steam coming out of my ears. Heavens forbid, they would make themselves a sandwich! But no, that would require some effort and they would rather scoff a yoghurt or bag of popcorn because its easier. And I just know, if I wasn’t working from home in the kitchen, they would be searching for crisps and biscuits! When I feel myself getting very tense (shout out to all the Mammies who are nodding along right now!), I get my runners on and either go out for a walk, do an exercise DVD at home or if I am really lucky, have a bath and try to ignore the noise of them for half an hour. The thing is, I always feel better after taking some time out. For my husband, his release is spending half an hour on the playstation or reading his kindle. There is a lot of pressure on parents right now and if you feel yourself getting stressed, its ok to have a few minutes for yourself to unwind. Even if you have to bribe the kids to watch TV or to play a video game for a bit so you can read a magazine, do it. It will make you a calmer parent and will give them some relief from all the home schooling.I recently picked up a great little book called ‘Parenting in my pocket’ by Parenting Coach, Allen O’Donoghue. It has lots of parenting advice and tips and we have been dipping into it a lot; especially when Covid restrictions are high. With 20+ years experience, Allen also runs online courses to help parents deal with stressful situations at home. You can find out more at helpme2parent.ie.and if you feel like chatting with other parents to blow off some steam or have a natter, log on to free parenting website mams.ie.