It’s the Monday, 2nd September, and for many of us the start of a new school year. Working parents and carers hop right back on the hamster wheel of waking up, and already being stressed about getting dressed, preparing healthy lunch boxes, swimming bags, finding the pairs of socks in the washing basket – my kids only wear mismatched socks by the way. Among slacking on some of the priorities, matching socks just had to go.
I was reminded about the safety announcements on airplanes before each flight: In case of loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop. Put your own mask on first, before putting on the masks of children travelling with you. Sounds selfish? In case of emergency, it makes sense.
So I would like to adapt this safety warning to our own busy lives: In case of mounting stress and pressure, be sure to take care of yourself first, so you can take care of others. I was reminded of how important this is, and how utterly impossible, when a close friend, a single mum had a health scare. And scarier was the thought, who will go to work, and who will earn the money, and who will look after her children?
In the last edition of Red magazine (September 2013) there was a great feature called “Generation juggle”, which analysed a survey they carried out with 5000 respondents on work-life balance.
The survey found, that “half of working parents say they feel stressed all the time” and we know, that chronic stress leads to illness, and illness means absenteeism, from work and care responsibilities.
There’s got to be a way to find a balance between being productive and creative at work, earning a decent income, yet being able to do all the never ending chores that needs to be done in any household.
Any ideas and comments are welcome, on your new school-year’s resolution, how will you stay healthy and look after yourself, to be able to look after those around you.