Secret to stress-free parenting

OK I haven’t invented the wheel. I just noticed something.

Parenting can be hard. Once you become a parent, and if you have a job, it seems that everything else is taken away from you – your hobbies, interests, activities you enjoyed.

There are some people that even decide never to become parents for the fear that will “change them”, and affect their “identity” and “lifestyle”. Of course that is a ridiculous excuse (I can say that having enjoyed a lifestyle of sport and numerous hobbies).  Kids replace all that and are much more, they are the ultimate treasure.

But I spontaneously discovered that all a parent needs to recharge their ‘lifestyle batteries is a one month off, just once in three years. My toddler is with her grandparents, enjoying the seaside of Croatia for this entire month. It was a tough decision to make for my wife and me, but we decided that it is better for her to spend the summer at the sea instead of suffering the heat of the hot asphalt of Belgrade city. And being this small we’ll probably miss her more then she will miss us.

So this month I got to do things I never had the chance to do in the past three years:

  • I rode a bicycle all day
  • I discovered new restaurants
  • I played video games 10 hours consecutively
  • I started writing a book
  • I read a book uninterrupted
  • I woke up late on a weekend
  • I rested after work

The list goes on.  And it works! I am refreshed, recharged, ready to take on anything.

Which brings the question of how do you achieve this? I can not imagine any other way but having grandparents look up after your kids for a whole month.

Which brings to the following conclusions:

  1. Respect your parents.
  2. Have kids sooner than later, while your parents are still able to take care of them.
  3. Occasional gifts help. Buy them a trip somewhere. Treat them nice.  One month off is a huge reward.

Having said all this, and I am currently in the middle of my month off, I am starting to notice that my enthusiasm for the free time is slowing down. With each day I am losing drive to do things. I have two more weeks to go and I am starting to count days. That is because already, all I really want at the end, is to just hug her again.


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