8 Ways to Lighten Your Parenting Load

Raising kids is supposed to enrich our lives, yet parents today are so overwhelmed that they hardly ever remember to stop and smell the roses.  Mighty Mommy shares 8 tips on how to lighten the load and enjoy your role as a parent.

Cheryl Butler
5-minute read
Episode #258

Raising kids is supposed to enrich our lives, yet parents today are so overwhelmed with work, school, acitivities, stresses, they hardly ever remember to stop and smell the roses.  And as we scurry about trying to manage family, home, and careers, not only are we cruising right for major burnout, we’re doing it in front of our children and teaching them that living stressed out is normal. 

Of all the developmental stages kids go through, toddlers and teens seem to generally be the most taxing on parents' mental and physical energies. Most parents have terrific long-term goals for kids, such as making a positive contribution to the community and being successful in work and relationships. But wouldn’t it also be nice if our kids actually liked us when they grow up?.

Don’t let parenting become a heavy burden in your life.  Mighty Mommy shares 8 tips from her own experience of raising 8 kids to help you lighten your load and enjoy your life as a parent:

Tip #1:  Do One Thing to Improve Your Parenting Skills

We sometimes need to take continuing education classes for our professional careers. And just like any other job, parenting can sometimes require a tune-up so that we keep our skills sharp and fresh. 

Consider attending a parenting course, reading a new parenting book, or working with a trusted friend to improve your child-management skills.  You can also check out the dozens of Mighty Mommy podcasts and articles that cover all aspects and stages of parenting. You can find them right here at Quick and Dirty Tips.

Tip #2:  Take One Thing Off Your Plate

Many parents don’t know how to say no.

Whether it’s a request from the PTO to make cookies for the bake sale or helping the soccer team sell tickets to their carwash fundraiser, we say “yes” without even thinking about it so that we can keep everyone happy.  If you want to reduce some of your parenting stress, pick one thing, no matter how small, and simply say "no."

See also: 10 Healthy Habits to Strengthen Your Family


Consciously choose something such as not committing to another play date for your son this month or bowing out of helping organize the neighborhood yard sale. This will allow you to keep that time free for whatever activities you want to do with your family (or even for some much-needed "me time").  Get yourself into this habit once a week and soon your plate won’t be quite as full.  

Tip #3:  Build in Regular Down Time

A common response when parents are asked how they’re doing is “I’m so busy!”  It’s not often we hear a working mom or traveling dad reply with something like “I’m really enjoying game night with my kids every Thursday.” 

Fun, rest, relaxation, and silly times have been squeezed out of our lives in the pursuit of more....what? Busyness?  Start building some regular down time into your family’s weekly calendar.  Even if its ½ hour some night to have hot fudge sundaes together and talk.  When you make an effort to spend time together doing fun stuff, you’ll ease your weekly burdens.


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.