Tuesday, 7 January 2020

How I'm Planning To Reduce The Stress Of Family Life in 2020

*Collaborative post

I love this time of year.

The end of one year bringing the chance to reflect on the happy moments that have been as well as the opportunity to consider the things that haven't worked well for us over the last 12 months, along with the chance to figure out how to fix those things and look forward to a fresh new year - making plans and putting goals in place.

The looming new year feels like a blank canvas - as though anything is possible, and the prospect of a fresh start is so very appealing to me.

Over the course of the last year, I've kept a regular monthly gratitude journal - detailing all of my "wins" of the year, from the bigger things to the smaller moments that would probably otherwise have been forgotten. Reading back over my year of happy moments has left me feeling incredibly thankful for the year that we've had - one that I might otherwise have considered non-remarkable had I not made the effort to record all of those little things.

But looking back over 2019, I realise its actually been full of little moments of personal growth - overall, it's been an amazing year and I'm so glad I made the effort to record these moments.

Reading back over our year has also allowed me to highlight areas where we've struggled, giving me the chance to look at them with fresh eyes and try to address them for the coming year - to make any small changes we can to reduce the stresses and strains, to try different approaches and see if perhaps small changes can make big differences to our every day life.

As home educators, our biggest struggle is - without a doubt - keeping on top of the house work!

With both of us working from home, you might think that it would be easy to stay on top of the household chores and keep things in order - but you'd be wrong!

With our 3 children at their current young ages, they demand pretty much all of our time - throw earning a living from a home business and being responsible for their education into the mix alongside keeping up with all of their many classes and clubs, and it leaves little opportunity for anything else.

So for 2020, I've decided to make some little changes in order to keep our home life running more smoothly and reduce the stress on us.

As keeping up with the laundry is one of the jobs we struggle with most, we've decided to start using a home pick up laundry service - I first read about Laundryheap online a few months ago and thought it was genius! The service allows you to book a laundry collection at a time that suits you, a driver then arrives to take your laundry away - and returns it to you fresh and clean within 24 hours!

The service also allows you to organise dry cleaning and ironing services too, all done with a few clicks on your mobile phone and at very competitive rates too - how handy is that?!

With live chat support, real time driver tracking and free deliveries and collection - Laundryheap offer an unbeatable service, and one that we're really keen to take advantage of!

As well as taking on some help to get the laundry under control, we're also considering the possibility of taking on a tutor to help with some of Tyne's lessons - it's something we've been thinking about for a while but now that Noah is doing home ed lessons too, I'm finding it more difficult to split my time between work and teaching - and so a few hours per week of maths tuition would be really useful. We've also been looking at some local independent schools who offer a few hours per week of flexi schooling - again, something that we're considering to lighten our load a little.

We also plan on trying to move to a bigger home at some point this year. It's something that's been on the cards for a while now as we moved into our current home when there were just 3 of us - now that we're a family of five, there simply isn't enough space here and so it's really time for us to move on.

The one thing that's been putting us off making the move is the sheer stress that comes with moving house when you have young children - it's something that we're both absolutely dreading!

And so with that in mind, we've been saving money to make sure that we can make the experience of moving home as stress-free as possible.

We plan to employ professional movers so that we can focus on the children while our belongings are packed up and taken to our new home for us. We also want to ensure that we have a couple of weeks crossover on our tenancy agreements, to allow plenty of time for us to move things over from house to house.

I will also be making sure to employ someone to do our move out cleaning - I did this when we left our last home and it made the whole process so much smoother. A professional cleaning company conducted a thorough deep clean for us, which enabled us to provide the receipt to our landlord - meaning that there could be no arguments about whether it was cleaned to a high enough standard!

I'm really hopeful that with these small but effective changes in place, we'll be able to reduce some of the stresses and strains of family life to make things run more smoothly over the next 12 months - leaving us with more time to enjoy those happy moments!

Do you take the opportunity to look back over the years that's been and make small changes for the year ahead? What changes do you have in mind for 2020?

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