Work, Kids and Lover: The Deceiver Trinity

Life is full and enjoyable for those who absorb every opportunity like a peach. Young parents are very happy to pick fruits from the trees: a career, a relationship, children, the search or renovation of a home, a circle of friends, a busy schedule and a smartphone that vibrates almost continuously. It is not surprising that they sometimes miss each other in crowds. As a young parent, how do you create a balance of time for yourself, your work, and your family?

The current generation of people in their 20s and 30s face a lot of stress in life. This is not always voluntary. A full-time job – almost a requirement given the cost of living – a hobby and a relaxing evening with friends really does guarantee a busy week. Even weekends nowadays look like unopened advent calendars as there is no hole left available. Add a child (or kids) to that and there’s hardly time to relax. Not to mention a moment to look deep into your partner’s eyes and hang out together for a day “as before.”

“When a couple has children, these little ones put a huge strain on the relationship. Children simply take up a lot of time and energy,” agrees relationship and sex therapist Rica Bonet. You notice that this pressure creeps not only into the relationship with the partner, but also with others. “We often set the bar too high. Women especially, I’ve noticed in my work. We always want to be present and preferably always have fun.” Dorien Camps (35), founder bossy And a mother of three, she feels that high. “Your mother is expected to be as if you don’t have a job, to work as if you don’t have children. In addition, you also want to maintain a social life and play sports sometimes. This is a challenge with children.”

Planning and setting priorities

Parenting was a learning experience for Doreen. Her firstborn, the magazine bossy, appeared just under a year before the birth of her now three-year-old son. A year and a half ago, her family expanded again, this time with twins. “Having twins was obviously not planned, and all of a sudden we have three kids. That’s so great, but it makes it so much harder to come up with a good plan,” she says. “At the same time, it almost forced me to outsource more things. I learned to let go.”

To make ends meet, Doreen and her husband—who also works as a self-employed person—contacted Foodprepper. Twice a month, the family receives a box containing Necessities For a healthy week. In addition, Doreen has a personal trainer who makes her work out once a week. In this way we incorporate healthy eating and exercise into our lives. If you want to do it all on your own, it’s hard to keep the balance.”

Take the help and leave it, is her advice. Also: Set a realistic schedule and prioritize. “I plan my days carefully, including time with friends or my own time.” She knows that time not spent efficiently disappears like sand between the fingers. “I am very critical of my time and how I want to spend it. This way my weekends will not only be full of dates with friends. You see people who get energy from constant friends, but with me it can be done in a therapeutic way, otherwise my barrels will be empty quickly.” .

You are expected to mother like you don’t have a job and work like you don’t have kids.

– Dorien Camps, founder of BOSSY

Lazy parenting

After all, sensing what gives you energy and identifying what doesn’t has a positive effect on your environment. “What you do for yourself, you also do for your relationship,” says Rika Ponnet. “If you just relax for a day, you come home a different person.” In other words, self-care also benefits the family. “Don’t forget to consciously make time for your partner.” Bonet sees it a lot: Once the kids come along, the romance is gone.

“However, it is imperative that you continue to see each other as partners, not just as parents. So definitely don’t call each other mom or dad. Couples who do this are actually reducing each other completely to this role and ignoring each other completely. It’s really important to make time for both of you.” as a couple.” Doreen and her husband take the latter very seriously. Once a week, or once every two weeks, the two of you go out. “We call that ‘Holy Wednesday,’ and these evenings are really holy,” Doreen says. “We are often tired, but a little quality time helps. You can then carry on a conversation without having to deal with kids who can knock over glasses or not finish their plate.”

Another piece of advice Ponnet gave so as not to lose sight of your relationship as a young father, despite all the hustle and bustle, is to simply approach raising children a little “lazy.” “We can let it go now and then instead of always being busy,” she explains. “Not everything goes the way you expected or thought it would, no matter how hard you try. Make peace with that and just do it all a little more relaxed. I would advocate for more lazy parenting.”

Finally, a couples therapist says a little mindfulness can’t hurt: “Live in the here and now.” Whether you’re raising a single baby, twins, or a Von Trapp offspring, it’s always tough. “The first three years are hard anyway. This initial care day and night demands a lot from you, but you have to realize that after that there will be more room again, for yourself, for your business and for your partner.”

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