What they don’t tell you at the baby shower is children can literally drive you crazy! Don’t get me wrong, being a parent is an important and very special role to have, but it can feel like a thankless job. That’s why from my own experience I have learnt that not just as a parent but as person self-care is paramount.
Unfortunately if you’re anything like me, when things are not going so well with your children, the dreaded self-doubt sets in and you can start to worry whether you are a good parent at all.
Brain development studies show that we are what we think, so thinking negatively in this way about ourselves as parents can develop into negative habit which may eventually affect your overall confidence. Although you may be being extra cautious to get it right, this negative thinking makes it harder to take control which can often lead to children playing up more. It's therefore really important not just for your children, but for yourself as an individual to take the pressure off yourself and break this negative cycle.
I know, you’re probably thinking it’s easier said than done right? - Well YES! That is true, but remember the same way you learnt negative habits are the same way positive habits can also be learned, over time and with practice.
Get a Different Perspective
The best way to break free from the shackles of negative feelings in parenting is first acknowledging how big of a job parenting is. Parenting is a challenging task with no one-size-fits-all manual to accompany it. In some cases children (even siblings in the same household) may be easier or more challenging to parent than others. So it’s only fair that mistakes are to be expected along the way. This doesn’t have to be a stumbling block. Use your mistakes in parenting as teaching opportunities for your children. Observing your recovery and growth from mistakes, can be a very powerful life lesson for children. They can carry these lessons about accountability, seeking support/advice and maintaining health relationships into their adult life.
This can be done with even the smallest changes; you know what these are for you and your family, so don’t overthink it. JUST DO IT!
Once you have moved from the negative to more realistic thinking, it is now time to implement self-care routines. This is key in maintaining this new found perspective.
My Self Care Tips
1. NO KIDS zone to enjoy me
2. Reach out to my family and friends
3. Avoid constantly talking about parenting
4. Have a trusted confidante to vent with, preferably a fellow parent
5. Be unapologetic in facing challenges