The best place to relax after a hard day out is in your home. When you get back to your home, you need a reasonable time of relaxation and peace of mind. The opposite is true when your home is untidy. Apart from the natural dislike of going back home, you will suffer bouts of stress and anxiety. Recent studies show that a messy home puts more stress on parents. If you do not address the mess in your home, your stress can lead to more severe health problems in your family.
The link between mess and stress
The brain likes to function under ideal circumstances. When you disturb the natural order, the body releases the hormone cortisol at higher levels. This is to help the brain cope with the impending strain in coping with the unpleasant reaction that may follow. Higher levels of cortisol have several adverse effects that we will revisit later in this article. Scientific studies show that women react more adversely to untidiness in homes than men.
Triggers of stress in messy homes
Studies reveal that parents have several things that stress them when they return home from their workdays away. Overall, the issue of general parenting scares most people. This is because it comes with its dynamics that may sometimes be hard to cope with. In a study conducted in the UK, three things emerged as the leading triggers of stress to parents. These were an untidy house, lack of sleep, and childcare issues. Generally, about 60% of the 4,000 participants agreed that the number one problem in their homes is untidiness.
Due to their higher levels of cortisol when under duress, a study also showed that women suffer more mental stress than men. The Mental Health Foundation has it that over half of the British citizens suffering from mental issues are parents. This is a clear indication that messy homes and other peripheral parenting worries are a concern in society.
Effects of stress on the parents
The major effect of stress on parents is on the level of parenting. When parents suffer stress, they lose focus and may risk exposing their anger to the children. In response, their children may develop negative behavioural characters in society. The children may suffer a delay in physical or psychological development due to stress and fear. Other social malpractices also manifest in the children when they grow up.
Children contribute significantly to the untidiness of the home. Thus, it is prudent to see how the mess related stress can turn you against your children. These are some of the symptoms that show home stress is affecting your parent-children relationship.
- Spending little time with your children is the first sign that you are suffering a major stress onset. Since you are very much thinking about how to straighten your home, you will prioritize other issues. Your children will have the last chance in your list of the to-do list.
- You lash out on your children without any due cause. Your brain keeps telling you that the children are the primary cause of the untidiness. Thus you can end up lashing out on them with little or without any provocation.
- You tend to be over-reactive in your child’s life. Dressing up and eating are routine things in the home. When you are suffering from mess related stress, you will try to micromanage your children to avoid them from messing again. This action makes your children feel undermined in their activities.
- You are sharing information to make them feel guilty. While it is good for your children to understand your situation, do not irritate them. It is good to sieve your information before giving it to your children.
- Your coping mechanism can expose your children to dangerous situations. If you drink liquor or smoke in the home, be wise to do it away from the children. Most children imitate what you do. Without knowing, your children may exhibit your drinking character later on in their lives.
Some effective remedies to avoid a messy home
There are many ways to maintain a clean home. This becomes even harder if you have little children. Well, depending on their ages, you can use the guideline below to incorporate them into the cleaning process. If you make it routine in their lives, they will learn to regulate the cleaning process by themselves.
- It is always good to work as a family unit. This makes the workload easier than working alone in cleaning up the mess. If you as the mother start with the kitchen area, then let your spouse do the living room. The children can learn how to clear their playing area.
- For easier organization create storage areas or cabinets for various things. Instead of littering things everywhere, it will be easier to store or locate similar items if you need them. This will give you peace of mind and relieve the visual stress.
- Store away the things that you do not need. If you can, decide as a family on what you still need. In the end, give away, donate, or throw away what you do not need. That will create room for better organization in your home. Do not hold on the sentimental things that mess up your home.
- Return the things you use to their designated place after use. This will help you get a routine that will reduce the littering in your home.
- Create a habit of rewarding the children if they tidy the home after messing it up. This will help train the children into being responsible people.
- Whether you are alone or working with your family, find some music that thrills you as you work. That will make cleaning fun and enjoyable.
It is the reality of life that parenting is a life long journey. One of the things you have to perfect as a parent is to have a cleaning routine. That way, both the parents and the children will learn to be responsible for their mess in the home. Ultimately, you will not have to have a messy home and live a stress-free life.