We are parents.
We have all dedicated our lives to taking care of others.Taking care of tiny (or not so tiny) humans that look like us, and act like us, but don’t know how to say please and thank you and will NEVER show appreciation for what we do.
well, Not often anyways.
So, it’s up to us. It’s up to us to take care ourselves, to make sure our “cup” is just full enough to keep us going, but not too full that it starts to spill over.
I am a mother of an almost 3-year-old, who has the same attitude, sass and apparent need to drive her mother mad, that i do (thanks karma).
I also work in community outreach at a mental health treatment facility. On most weekends I work a shift on a residential unit, which is a place kids sometimes stay when they are unsafe at home and need intense mental health treatment. I also own Child and Family Pathways.
My point here isn’t to brag or tell you about my life, my point is to let you know that I get stress. I GET IT
At the end of a bad day, I’ve yelled at my kid for no reason, I’ve screwed up when it comes to parenting her, done the wrong thing, despite this being my job, and I’ve cried myself to sleep afterwards.
We have all heard the metaphor about the oxygen mask on an airplane; we all understand that if we (the parent) are not taking care of ourselves, then the tiny (and the not so tiny) balls of cuteness (or budding adulthood) will not manage well without us.
“Well that is all well and good isn’t it..” your thinking, “thanks for telling me what i already know.”
The real questions are;
How do you manage the guilt of taking care of yourself?
How do you eliminate the stress of the grind, and hold your temper, and not cry or lose your mind over spilled rice?
(Like are you kidding me, does anyone realize how impossible it is to sweep up sticky rice? Just wait for it to dry, and try not to step on it, that’s my advice.….ugh, so gross)
How do you make sure you parent “right”, keep your tone soft and caring, don’t yell, remember to use 1,2,3 magic, use time outs, don’t use time outs, ground them, don’t ground them, empathize with them, be firm……AGHHHHHH!!! *deep breath*.
We got you.
We actually have some tips!
1. Identify stress, know the difference between Distress and Eustress. Know how to use it, or eliminate it.
2. Realize the connection between Physiology and stress.
3. Recognize the subtle signs of burn out, and learn how to stop it in its tracks.
4. Understand your end game. What is it that you are trying to accomplish?
5. Build resiliency – up your tolerance level for negative things.
6. Stock your parenting “tool belt”. BE PREPARED.
7. Last but not least.. HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR.
Kids can fill you with pure joy, even when they are the most trying of children. Look for it! Laugh with them and most importantly,
laugh at yourself.