Parenting is undoubtedly hard. As we know, parents feel overwhelmed with not enough time and too many responsibilities. It is difficult to find a balance between their work, home, and personal lives. So, many parents go and “parent” their hearts out trying to provide:
- emotional and financial stability
- children that feel safe and loved
- allowing their kid(s) to shine and follow passions
- children that are emotionally stable and available
- a toolkit of resources to guide them along the way
Now, let’s focus of just how this may look in the real world. Parents aren’t gift wrapped with shiny bows. Life’s peaks and valleys have created landmines to navigate. So how can parents reach their parenting goals while experiencing life, healing from the past, or not yet facing their own trauma and triggers at all? Parents, we know it starts with us, but where to start? It is important that parents offer themselves grace. The first step is knowing individual limits. It is amazing how sometimes the smallest things feel big. What we focus on grows. Absolutely acknowledge that parenting is sometimes hard. Like climbing Mt. Everest hard. Those little humans have their own set of personalities. Sometimes they are handing out hugs and giving best friends vibes. Other times they are inconsolable because they are not allowed something “reasonable” like making a wild squirrel a pet or taking the newborn baby down the ramp they constructed. Other times, they are lawyers. Some days they are ready to risk it all! It is quickly learned that a toddler saying, “No” really means, “Hell no.” Developmentally, the phases can be explained. That does not make them any less painful while in the moment.
My second offering, treat them as human. Kids are indeed VERY serious in the moment and it helps to treat the situation that way. There are so many styles of parenting. Gentle parenting has gained much momentum. Are adults even gentle with themselves? Kids are typically their authentic selves sunup to sundown. It can make for some hilarious moments. It can also make for some stressful and trying times. By taking care of self first, one is better equipped to take care of children. Self care is more than a night out or a bubble bath. There is nothing like stepping out of the tub to see a room in shambles all within the thirty minutes they were out of sight! Self care rituals are important, but sometimes the release feels fleeting.
Self Care That Goes Beyond a Bubblebath
- If necessary, find a professional outlet such as a therapist
- Observe triggers, find solutions, and resolve them to show up better and happier
- Add activities that you enjoy to occur on a regular basis
- No is a complete sentence, set unapologetic boundaries
- Tribe vibes: find a community of people that “get it” and get you
- Follow a passion as it will make room for alignment of purpose and goals
Parents are such an important part of their children’s lives. There are many things we can do as parents to help our kids develop into healthy adults, but there are also many things that we do as parents that can actually have a negative impact. How do we parent through all of this and rock at it? Discipleship over discipline. These are teachable moments to connect first, model behaviors, and set expectations while holding a safe space for children. Dear reader, I know the actual change is a lot. So, let’s sit down and really talk about this.
Ways to Parent with More Clarity, Empathy, & Patience
- Increase self awareness
- Give grace to self and child(ren)
- Model, kids learn from modeling
- Make time to hang out (cooking, run an errand together, plan an activity)
- Set clear boundaries, provide explanation, allow them a voice
- Authoritarian rules feel that way, it can increase shyness, effect esteem and decision making
- Connection means correction with empathy, purpose, and intention
- Don’t take behavioral personally, find a root cause
- Discipleship over discipline: use for teachable moments
I subscribe to conscious parenting. It took a paradigm shift and much intention. Frankly, to avoid yelling, I first had to stop taking offense to the behaviors. Yes, dumping out all of your makeup or cologne feels personal. However, many times it is just their impulse. Create a schedule that allows for time for the unexpected as well as “kid time.” You know, the moment they turn into a turtle moving as slow as molasses. Raising a child with mindfulness and compassion seems like a daunting task; it doesn’t have to be especially if started early enough. Don’t fret, there is still time if the child(ren) are in their teens. If reading this article, I’m guessing you can relate and searching for confirmation of being on the right track. I have felt like I was drowning. The work was multifaceted, but so worth it. Trust, the climb is worth the view!
As many learned during the pandemic, stay-at-home parenting adds an additional layer: feeling smothered. No breaks…no space. I promise, parenting after dealing with triggers and trauma, providing empathy, setting clear expectations, and boundaries are key ingredients. Why go at it alone? Find a tribe and let me help with the vibe! Common suggestions to be a “good parent,” are good intentioned. They can come off as simple and optimistic. My UnNesting Method also addresses how to stop the cycle of constantly feeling jolted, exhausted, and overwhelmed. We develop an individualized plan that is specific to the parent and child(ren)’s needs. It is not another one-size-fit-all. I also help bring the energy shift and mental clarity needed to take on a lot of the day.
I know that parenting is not an easy job and it is stressful at times. Parenting is also one of the most rewarding things in the world. The bottom line is that parents want to raise their children in a way that will help them become successful people. And the idea of being “successful” changes from person to person, but what is important is how we raise our children to be happy and healthy individuals. Being a parent can feel lighter and more impactful. No matter what stage of parenthood or parent style there are always new challenges to face. Let’s work together to release the large loads of stress, parent with intention, and maintain what is important. This way you get to live your life out loud pursuing your goals as well. I help eliminate the noise, declutter the mindset, bring clarity to how to harmonize parenting without sacrificing goals. It is my honor to help foster more joy, more connection, and more time for a family.