As the clock ticked toward midnight in the last hour of the last day of 2016, I think a lot of us parents were heaving a sigh of relief. “We made it!” we all cheered. Another year of carpools, juggling schedules to get to art class and soccer practice, science projects, dance recitals, oil changes, grocery shopping, homework, laundry AND family dinner check – check and check!
In 2016, we all officially maintained membership in the “SUPER MOMS & DADS” club! But, as you think back over the year, we all know there were days when getting everything done was --well – impossible. It can be tempting to make your New Year’s Resolution to re-double your efforts and do more, better, faster next year….
But before you put that pen to paper, I wanted to pass along a little ray of hope. It turns out there is scientific proof that being a little LESS than a superhero is actually better for everyone. Kei Nomaguchi, a sociologist and the co-author of a recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, concluded that overstressed parents trying to ‘do it all’ might actually have a negative impact on kids’ academic, emotional and behavioral well-being. As Nomaguchi told the Washington Post: “Mothers’ stress… may actually be affecting their kids poorly.”
That was all the proof we at NikoBar needed to make ‘do less’ at the top of our New Year’s Resolutions for 2017. In case you’d like some inspiration, we even made a list of all the ways we’re hoping to pare down and simplify in 2017:
- Hire a local neighbor teenager to help your kids with homework after school.
- Order meals delivered frozen. There are plenty of super healthy options. Even once or twice a week can be a big relief when you add up the time you save planning, shopping and cooking.
- Research after school programs at your kids’ school to cut down transport time.
- Plan healthy grab-and-go snacks that you can order online. NikoBars are a great example of a healthy snack to keep on hand for lunches, playdates, car rides, and after-school sports. NikoBars are both GMO and gluten free bars packed with vegan protein that are the perfect kid-fuel for busy days. Plus, we offer FREE shipping.
- Take a good look at your schedule and see if there are tasks you can eliminate or maybe negotiate a “share” with another parent like alternating play dates or ride shares to make time.
- Pack your kids’ lunch the night before so you don't have to rush in the morning (put in a NikoBar). They come in two yummy flavors kids love.
- Hold a family meeting regularly and figure out where schedules might be unusually tight and trade-off who will take the kids to school in the morning.
Another great way to reduce the feeling that you have to ‘do everything’ and ‘be at every soccer game and dance recital’ is to plan family time on your own schedule that is engaging and fun. Here are some ideas we came up with:
- Do something healthy as a family: walk together, swim, or bike.
- Share a hobby you love with your kids like reading, drawing, or scrapbooking.
- Have your kids help with meal planning and grocery shopping. These can be great teaching moments to discuss healthy eating and some of the choices you make as a Mom & Dad like Niko Bars and why the right fuel is important.
- Grow a family vegetable garden and then cook dinner together – another great teaching op.
- Delegate chores. You can download fun apps where points are earned for completed chores. Give a PRIZE for most points earned OR work towards a family outing when you hit a certain GOALS. **Hint you can customize apps and award points for healthy habits, too!
From all of us at NikoBar, we wish you a happy & healthy 2017. We’d love to hear YOUR smart tips for the New Year for super Moms & Dads, too! Come write us your top tips on our Facebook Page by clicking HERE