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We would all love to have a happy, stress-free family life perhaps just like we used to see on TV when we were young. It all looked so easy then mom stayed home with the kids, dad went to work, came home to a hot, home-cooked meal and then played game
We would all love to have a happy, stress-free family life perhaps just like we used to see on TV when we were young. It all looked so easy then mom stayed home with the kids, dad went to work, came home to a hot, home-cooked meal and then played games with the kids. Everything was in its rightful place”there were no messes, you never tripped over a toy, there was no dust, the dog and cat behaved and weren't sleeping in your bathroom sink or slurping the toilet water! Everyone had a great time! Anyone out there have that kind of childhood? Not many, I would guess! If you did, count your blessings because you really did have a dream childhood!
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It may be unlikely to get that picture-perfect life, but we can certainly reduce the amount of stress we have at home. Here are just a few ways to do that.

Don't sweat the little things. For each individual, the definition of small stuff can vary. So, decide what you can live with and what you simply can't deal with and let go of those things that don't matter so much to you. If that laundry can wait, then let it! If your partner hasn't put away their stuff well, that's their problem and not yours. Whatever isn't that important to you let it go!

Together as a Family


Eat and play together as a family. Sit around the table and eat together , have some conversations, read books together, play board games together. Studies have shown that more family time and less TV time mean happier families and better grades in school.

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Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries! Kids do better when they know the rules and know that the rules will be applied fairly and consistently. Parents have to agree on these rules and agree to keep them even when it would be easier to give in and give up. When everyone knows and plays by the rules, there are fewer arguments and fewer problems.

Have fun! Life can be tough if you let it get to you. Having some fun with the people you love can relieve some of that stress. And while it won't make the stress go away, it certainly seems a better option that letting the stress get to you at least that's the way its worked for me.

Fix those things that you've been putting off and here, I mean the broken lamp as well as the will, the banking mess, the life insurance policies once you can get your life somewhat more organized, you will have less on your mind and enjoy your family even more.

Keep working on your relationship!


There is a tendency to put the kids first. This is absolutely true and good but, it pays to remember that the kids depend on you for a happy home and if you and your partner are having problems because you haven't invested enough time and energy into your relationship, the kids will suffer.

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If you are going it alone and single parenting and I have been there get the help you need from family, friends and local service agencies. Even if you are not single parenting, remember, there is help out there and it's a good idea to make use of that help. Everyone needs help and everyone needs to get a break from time to time.

Don't try to do it all! If the kids are old enough, give them chores to do. My son just told me how surprised he was that his girlfriend did his laundry for him he told me I've been doing my own laundry since I was 15! He wasn't thrilled about doing it then, but in retrospect, it helped prepare him. Teach your kids how to make meals and snacks for themselves and later, for you! Most kids enjoy learning how to cook and feel good about doing things for themselves. If the job as a parent is to raise decent, honest kids who can make their own way in the world. Well, they also need to have the training in how to do that!

Money is always an issue particularly in tough economic times. It's easy to say don't worry about money, not so easy to do. Some ways to relieve some financial pressure is by doing simple, easy things for fun, eating together at home rather than going out to eat, saving 5-10% of your paycheck in an emergency fund (or as much as you can), making sure big financial decisions are agreed on before they happen and discussing financial issues and expectations openly and honestly.
Good luck and have some fun!

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