Our health is the best when we have a good balance or rest/sleep, leisure/socialising, and work/responsibilities within and outside the home. Homes operate on a 24 hour cycle—daytime and night time activity. You will have different energy levels during the day and if you provide care overnight. All of these factors need to be considered when you are planning a healthier routine and seeking balance in your life. For example, if you do attend to your child overnight and wake tired most mornings, morning may not be the best time for you to do a high energy or important activity that requires a lot of thinking. Be kind to yourself.
If you do have a health issue, finding and using professionals and accommodating what you need to do everyday into your routine will optimise your outcomes.
Family and home routines that support your health allow us to find time to participate in activities that we value, to rest and to be physically active. Sharing leisure time together and enabling all family members to have their own leisure time acknowledges everyone’s need to enjoy activity inside and outside the home.
Family routines that share some of the workload recognise that everyone’s time is valuable. It is important to share work around family members as much as is possible, considering the age and capabilities of children. If you feel like you are providing the majority of care and hold the highest responsibility for the workload within the home, you probably are!
Although all parents understand that it is quicker to do a task than to delegate it to a child who may take ten times as long or do the task half as well, delegating household chores provides children with their first experiences of ‘work’ or productive activity outside of their learning/school work/education. Examples of ‘work’ that you child may be able to contribute include: rinsing recyclable containers or crushing paper containers; feeding or providing water for the family pet; picking up the mail; unpacking the dishwasher; taking out the bins; helping to wash the car; pulling the covers up on their own bed; sorting washing; watering plants or brushing the family dog. Many children like to help and they like to contribute to the family ‘ team’. Maybe your child will enjoy helping out at home and seeing you take a few minutes with your feet up!