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S.O.A.R. Beyond the Stress! An ode to working parents

I was delighted to have my article (below) published on A Lust ForLife this week. See:


It’s hard being a working parent -being a parent full stop. The working part adds another dimension of chaos. While mid- term was a great break, I am looking forward to settling back into the school routine. However, the harsh reality is that we are merely two days in and already it feels like a few months and life is hostage to activities such as (do these sound familiar to you?):

  • The school and crèche drop offs
  • Managing the demands of work
  • Racing home
  • Afterschool Activities
  • Dinner
  • Prepare for the next day

Of course, this does not include laundry, groceries, homework. Neither does it include quality time with my children, my hubby, friends or myself.

But how can you do it all when there are just not enough hours in the day??!!

Think  S.O.A.R.

We all know that life is a whirlwind and goes by in a blink. In the midst of all the coming and going that are the tasks of being a working parent, it’s important to know that life is how you see it. You get to choose the view! It’s not about resisting the activities on this list above or creating another list to manage it (!!) Rather, it’s about :

  • STOP – when you feel overwhelmed or stressed, purposely, take 5, have a cuppa / sit still and take a moment to yourself. When you’re truly still, you leave yourself open to thinking with a clear head, allowing you to reframe or think differently (and sometimes this is all you need to feel at ease!)
  • Own your choices – at some point, this path was our ‘game-plan’. We hoped for a family and all the joy that children bring. Some of us also made a decision to work in parallel with raising our children. This is the path we’re on and we can choose for it to be ‘stressful ‘ or ‘joyful’. Actually, it’s more than a choice, it’s a way of life and sometimes, we do need to work at taking the joy from our day to day …And I’m sure you don’t have to look too far!
  • Accept– It is a busy time! It can be hard and sometimes draining but this is what we signed up for! If your schedule is too hectic, make changes or ask for help. At very least, try to find a way to make peace with your ‘here and now’. Resisting or stressing will not change a thing- it will only make life harder.
  • Reaffirm and Reassure –Choose to take the joy. It isn’t always easy but know that you choose how you experience your life! You have the power!

So, next time that you’re running from the school gate to work or, in work rushing from a meeting to the canteen, think “S.O.A.R”.  At the very least, STOP. Breathe. Reframe.  To summarise, enjoy your little ones, enjoy being a working mom/ dad and take joy in the activities that ‘need doing’! Choose to embrace the path you’re on and by making this mental shift, the real joy will come!

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. For more information, contact her directly at


About gillianmcg

Professional Trainer, Life and Business Coach, Mother of 3,Blogger and Founder of Change Grow Succeed. See for more details.

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