Three Ways to be a Better Parent

It’s a fact: parenting is hard work.  Whether you’ve been doing it for decades or days you’ve probably already been turned on to the fact that this is one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult, jobs you’ve ever had to do.  The long hours, the demands, the pressure of making the right decisions for your precious little humans - it’s a lot!  If you’re like the rest of us, your patience can wear thin, your voice can raise and there’s a great chance you are tired.  While the grand reward - the happiness of your little one - is an amazing gift, some days you feel like things could be better.  You’re right!  Here are three things you can do that will make you feel better and make you a better parent.

1. Take a break away from your little one!  I don’t just mean when you go into the bathroom and hope they don’t find you right away (they will though).  I mean go out of the house without them.  Take a yoga class, hike up a mountain or go through the drive through all by yourself.  Whatever it is, do it for you.  Give yourself a chance to recharge and miss them.  Filling yourself up is essential because you can’t give (forever) from an empty cup.

2. Give yourself credit for the small wins.  I get that you might have had big hopes and dreams for the afternoon, day or week.  I get that you might have had small hopes and dreams.  I am also well aware that some days none of those hopes or dreams are realized.  But acknowledge what did happen: is your child dressed?  (Pajamas count!)  Did your child eat something?  (Hopefully food...) Did you and your little one have a big cry and release some stress?  Good for you!  Congratulate yourself for getting things done on the most challenging days.

3. Find your tribe.  I learned early on that I’m not the only one struggling and feeling like I’m failing or just getting by in the parenting department.  I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all felt that way at some point.  I also think it’s safe to say that many of us feel like that often.  Find these people!  It won’t take long.  Whether it’s joking with the person pushing their kid on the swing next to you, sharing a knowing glance with a stranger as your child (or theirs) throws a tantrum at the store or actually finding a group designed to speak your mind and listen to others - seek it out!  You can even text your friends or spread the word online.  However you do it, seek solace in knowing that you’re not the only one trying to pretend that you’re in charge of the small people taking over your home.

We’re in this together!  We’re losing to those little cuties most of the time but at least we’re on the same losing team.  Stand strong mamas and papas, you’ve got this.