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AIBU to ask you to tell me you de-stressing tips and tricks?

(107 Posts)
babacoon Mon 20-Jan-14 09:46:14

DH and I have a very hectic life. We have one DC (4 years) and have zero family/ friends around. So one of us has to be looking after DS and at all times, whilst the other works. this means that DH works most nights and we have little to relax together. When one is working, the other is doing house chores etc. The weekend is spent in groceries, cleaning, cooking and storing for the next week etc.

I do get some time to myself over the weekend but come Monday and I feel so tired and stressed. DH and I feel like we are always worrying about something, always rushing to get something done.

So what are your tips to de-stress and unwind your self over the weekend so that you can start afresh on Mondays?

thanks smile

ashamedoverthinker Mon 20-Jan-14 16:53:54

Lower your standards - no one will turn up to inspect you.

ocelot41 Mon 20-Jan-14 17:02:51

I am really glad you have asked this question as we are in a similar boat (but nursery school age children). For me fitting in 2 x 45 min exercise classes is helping - although negotiating the time with DH is tricky. We are also going to be trying babysitting swopsies with a friend nearby so we both get a date night (ghastly phrase) every other week rather than once in a blue moon. Just a couple of hours out of the house helps us talk as a couple again. Will be watching this thread with interest!

FixItUpChappie Mon 20-Jan-14 17:23:25

I have a stressful job. I do not discuss it at home whatsoever. I don't bring stuff from home like pictures etc to decorate my office. I have a no mingle work-life policy. This has helped a lot.

When we get home, no matter how tired we are, we go for a quick walk around the block or jaunt to the park. It really does help.

Other little things - we use a slow cooker whenever possible so we aren't cooking when we get home. We limit sleep ins on weekends because while they are lovely they shorten the day substantially. My DH and I try to take about one vacation day a month where we send the kids off to daycare so we can focus on cleaning/household fixes/errands etc.

I am resistant to getting bogged down in "getting things done" on the weekend. I would personally prefer to jam tasks into weekday evenings so that weekends are free for family time. Enjoying each other, taking the kids out and giving them our full attention.

Pixielady83 Mon 20-Jan-14 17:31:23

I love a good soak in the bath. I also treat myself every few months or so to lunch out with a friend and a spa treatment. Even if it's only once or twice a year it's still a nice treat and makes me feel like me again. Our housework standards are lower than pre kids too - the important things like bathroom and kitchen are cleaned regularly, laundry done and put away, dishes etc but other stuff gets done as and when if we have people visiting who have pristine houses

WitchWay Mon 20-Jan-14 17:35:08

Fresh air & exercise, preferably together - I go out on my bike, sometimes with family, mostly alone - amazing what it does for me grin

flyingbebe Mon 20-Jan-14 18:03:22

When I had a stressful day at work, I used think it over to death about what I could have done better on my way home (which took about half an hour). I gave myself that time to worry about it and when I got home, I told myself that I was done worrying about something I couldn't change. Telling myself not to worry about it wouldn't work, so I gave myself an allocated time and after that time had finished, so was worrying over it.

Normally I would find a book quite helpful, something about getting involved in a completely fictional world and someone else's problems meant that I stopped thinking about my day for a while and allowed me to calm down.

violator Mon 20-Jan-14 18:17:41

We also have one DC and both work fulltime. DH leaves at 8am and is home for 7pm. I leave at 1.30pm and get home at 11.30pm.

Every Saturday morning DH takes DC swimming. I do a quick clean up and grocery shopping in that time. Once a month I give the house a good declutter and clean and the rest of the time it's about maintenance, it takes 10 minutes to clean the floors, 10 to clean the bathroom. I do dishes as I go. We don't have a dishwasher or a tumble dryer.
I do laundry twice a week, there's only 3 of us in the house so no need to do it every day. Most of my clothes don't need ironing, I hang things very carefully! DH irons his own shirts for work. So a maximum of 20 minutes' ironing a week.

Some Sundays I'll make a large lasange and a pie, or a curry they keep us all fed for a few days and can be frozen, you can easily throw some salad together. That takes an hour. Is your DC fed at nursery? That's one less meal to think about.

Maybe you need to lower your standards a little if it's taking you all weekend to clean and cook.
When I first returned to work fulltime I was in a tizzy but then I slowed down and realised that the house does not need to be immaculate, and is less messy than it was when we were home all day. I often grab an M&S meal for dinner. Whatever makes life easier is good for everyone.

Try that and you might find you're not as stressed.

For stress relief I like Mindfulness, going to the gym, meeting a friend for coffee or a cinema trip.

Twicethehugs Mon 20-Jan-14 18:19:08

A well timed thread for me as I'm going back to work soon so more ideas are good. I've got twins that are nearly one. So far what I've found helpful is meditation/mindfulness - body scans are a good place to start as helps you notice any areas of tension in the body and gets you to focus on body rather than mind if your thoughts tend to run away. Also acceptance of the situation, not always easy to do but if I can it helps as otherwise waste a lot of energy worrying about things I can't change! My husband works long hours but comes home early on a Friday if he can so I can go swimming all on my own which is lovely, even having a shower without babies around. Exercise with long walks with the buggy too. And doing small nice things with my husband e.g. Occasional take away/ meal out/bag of giant chocolate buttons/walk - no family around either so all either with our babies or with them asleep upstairs. I agree with lowering standards too - our house is clean enough but usually pretty messy!

Mabelandrose Mon 20-Jan-14 18:56:06

Gardening, walking, baths, and massages/facials/hairdressers.

woodrunner Mon 20-Jan-14 19:02:04


My top tip for weekends is: section off the time into three chunks each day - morning, afternoon, evening. That's six in total or seven if you include Friday evening. Each chunk is about three hours with space either side for eating and all the routine stuff like baths and phone calls.

Make sure you and DH have one chunk each totally to yourself - he can go and watch footie at the pub if he wants, you can go swimming alone (or whatever) while the other person minds DC.

Then spend at least one as a family doing nice stuff, preferably outside. Go to the park, to a petting zoo or farm, or to the seaside, cycle in the woods, or walk round a castle etc. Getting outside helps cure that horrible jet lag feeling you get when DC are small and you're exhausted.
If the weather is truly filthy

Spend one together with your DH with or without friends. Get a sitter and go to the cinema, or have close mates over for dinner and wine. Keep it simple. Even if it's just an M&S £10 dinner in and a dvd - it's still time you have agreed you'll enjoy together, which is subtly different from dropping onto the sofa watching rubbish and eating crisps.

One chunk (usually Saturday morning in our house) is the 'get organised' chunk where you get ahead on laundry, everyone mucks in and does chores. As DC grow, this is when they can do their homework/tidy their rooms etc.

That leaves one chunk of time left to do whatever else needs or wants to be done - going round the shops or going to church, having DCs friends over or just vegging on MN etc.

It sounds horribly over-planned, but the reality is, it stops feelings of guilt or resentment over who gets to do what when. It encourages family time together, both mucking in to do chores and also getting out and about to have fun together. I organised our weekends to work like this about two years ago and at first it felt a bit control-freakish but now it's so natural that weekends just work out this way without any negotiation. We know we will all go out as a family, we know Dh will do his own thing at some point, then so will I, and we are all far better at give and take.

woodrunner Mon 20-Jan-14 19:03:36

If the weather is truly filthy - erm, do something nice inside somewhere, obv!

IsSpringSprangedYet Mon 20-Jan-14 19:12:47

Sorry, nothing constructive to add, but just realised I don't de-stress at all. I tend to come on here or facebook and procrastinate blush

Hoping to get jogging again if I can arrange someone to watch the baby for an hour for a couple of mornings. That would be how I would normally relax, then a long shower after. Lovely. Hope you work something out.

Merguez Mon 20-Jan-14 19:44:00

At the age of 4 your ds could be in nursery for two half days a week. That gives some time for the partner who is at home to catch up on chores so you both have time to relax at weekends.

Reastie Mon 20-Jan-14 19:48:34

Marking place. Must destress <writes it on the stress inducing to do list>

Kindlethefourth Mon 20-Jan-14 19:59:36

Find an ironing person!! Best feeling in the world when he disappears carrying a basket away. Worth every single penny

Kindlethefourth Mon 20-Jan-14 20:00:09

And batch cooking and freezing for mid week has given me so much time back.

daisystone Mon 20-Jan-14 20:02:21

Another vote for hot baths. Hot baths are the cure for everything. Stress, period pain, despair, general knackered-ness. They are particularly good if accompanied by a large glass of wine and the radio.

15 minutes lying down on the bed deep breathing with eyes closed is good too.

SpanishGoatFlower Mon 20-Jan-14 20:12:49

Hot baths and listening to classical music with a glass of wine and a candle burning.....mmmm

stayanotherday Mon 20-Jan-14 20:43:39

What a great thread!

woodrunner Mon 20-Jan-14 21:09:23

totally agree with Isspring that jogging is the best de-stresser in the world, but not sure I'd have been able to face it when sleep deprived and shattered.

Pilgit Mon 20-Jan-14 21:15:15

what we do - don't always achieve but....
1) give chores a finite time frame - chores always expand to fill the time available.
2) lower your standards - does it really need to be done? does your bathroom really need cleaning daily/weekly?
3) make sure everything has a place so everything can go in its place (easier to tidy up)
4) have a hobby that makes you think about something else - I knit (and mumsnet....)
5) make sure you do at least one fun thing as a family every day of the weekend - it doesn't have to be massive or expensive, the park, a board game (or a sock fight - for some reason my youngest finds emptying the sock box the height of humour and throwing socks around the FUNNEST THING EVER - strange child, but simple pleasures)
6) plan meals
7)use online supermarket ordering - no grocery shopping (I used to it on my commute to work from my phone)

Fishmilkshake Mon 20-Jan-14 21:16:53

Babacoon, bikes and cycling gear are not expensive. You don't need fancy stuff, just a second hand bike off eBay or even freecycle, an old t-shirt and leggings or just your normal clothes if you don't go that fast (which I don't). I find it wonderfully exhilarating and it helps me think. (Being pregnant/ pushing buggy/ going at a small child's pace for years, it feels amazing to just freewheel downhill!)

Also, are there any more major aspects of your life you could change? I spent ages thinking I wish we had a car, wish we had a dishwasher but we can't afford them. I stopped working for a few months (redundancy) and I realised if I am not killing myself to do the nursery run, get to work and the same in reverse every day, I don't actually need a dishwasher. I have plenty of time to just do the dishes! I can shop locally and find out where does great cheap fresh veg, where to buy nice bread for 99p etc. Before when I was working this just wasn't an option.
I have gone back to work now but those few months did me a world of good.

Btw good luck, it does get easier when they go to school full time, til then you must remind yourself not to wish the years away, they pass quickly enough and you never get them back.

NorksAreMessy Mon 20-Jan-14 22:05:24

Go outside.
It doesn't matter what you do when you are there, just eating toast and drinking tea outside rather than inside makes you de-stress
Walking is perfect - I see lots of others have said that before me
Garden pottering, worm hunting, anything that gets you out will help you de-stress.

Good luck

tinytalker Mon 20-Jan-14 22:18:10

Take up a craft. I found that I was really good at needle felting and make little teddies for friends, book marks, magnets, xmas tree ornaments etc. I find it very therapeutic whilst listening to music. Find something you are interested in and would love to try and look up tutorials online. You get a great feeling of satisfaction too to give something you've created.
Also try meditation, I do TM. I bought my kids the Relax Kids cds which they listen to at night and if they are stressed out after school.
I like read the papers or a good book too, nothing too taxing!!

gordonpym Mon 20-Jan-14 22:19:46

I started boxing 2 years ago and I love it! I'm tiny, but I truly enjoy punching the big (and young) guys, It's really hard, but it feels so good!

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