As parents, we aren’t perfect.
While we wake up each and every day and want to put our best foot forward, we sometimes end up tripping ourselves in the process even when we try out best to be a positive parent or simply try “better” strategies.
Breathe, you aren’t alone in feeling this way. I have been there all too often.
The long days of chasing 2 toddlers and sifting through crumbling 5 year-old emotions has put me in a fog far more than I would actually like to admit. But feeling overwhelmed in parenting is something that we all have to learn to recognize as well to be able to handle and adjust accordingly. If the overwhelm has creeped in, here are some ways that you may be able to handle and understand those emotions. (Don’t worry, I still have to remind myself of these often)
How to handle feeling overwhelmed as a parent
As a parent, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Managing everybody and everything going on in your family can cause that feeling to happen to anyone. And while that feeling may be natural, don’t let it get the best of you.
This can be in how you respond to situations.
It can also be a routine.
Either way, consistency helps gives us a feeling of knowing what’s coming next instead of feeling overwhelmed by never knowing what’s around the corner. Of course, with kids, life is unpredictable. But the more we can take charge and really own the moments that we do have some control of, the more likely we’ll find some stability to lessen any overwhelm we feel.
Don’t forget about you.
As parents, we’ve been conditioned to put our family members before us. It’s natural, it’s just the way it is. And while it’s important to take care of those around you, it’s just as important to take care of yourself as well. If you forget to love yourself, you’ll feel as though you’re a bit lost and that overwhelming feeling will continue to grow the longer you put it off.
Not only forgiving of yourself and the things that you don’t accomplish on a daily basis but also forgiving to your family members as well. Some days are less than stellar for all of us. You may not get the laundry done, you may forget to pack their school lunch, and you may have left a piano lesson off you calendar on accident…it happens. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Keep in mind that there is a difference between enabling yourself and allowing yourself and toe that line carefully. Being forgiving isn’t something that should occur daily, but every once in a while, we all do deserve a free pass.
Understand that you are human.
You aren’t a superhero, and you aren’t competing out there with any other parent. Your point and goal as a parent should be to be the best parent for your child. Period. Every parent parents differently. Some live the Pinterest life, and some live the Pinterest fail life, and that’s okay. As humans, we all make mistakes, we all make choices and we all learn lessons. As long as you are putting your best foot forward each and every day, you’re improving.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Seriously, just don’t. There is never a positive outcome when comparing yourself to those around you. And do you know why? Because each and every person is different. Think of us like snowflakes…no two humans are exactly alike. So why would you put that pressure on yourself to compare yourself to someone who is nothing like you? I know…easier said than done but if you stop to think about the negativity that can just feed from comparing yourself to others, you’ll understand. Nothing good will come from it. And not only will nothing good come from it, but you are taking the chance of teaching your child that they should be comparing themselves to those around them, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Find comfort in the fact that your children love you unconditionally.
Have you ever had one of those days where you feel as though your blood is boiling and you might just snap? Sounds less than stellar, but relatable. And on those days, your children still look at you and give you that thousand-watt smile and a hug that squashes away those feelings. And that is the purest and most innocent definition of unconditional love. No matter your feelings, your emotions, or your demeanor, your child loves you, adores you, and looks up to you.
Find a friend
Life was never meant to be done alone. And children never meant to be raised outside of a village. And this makes parenting a struggle and challenge like it has never been in previous centuries. But having a friend to understand where you’re overwhelmed or be able to step in on the days you’re feeling like you’ll break or that you have so much to do, but can’t… it makes a difference.
Need to reframe negativity in your home?
Using the word “SMILE” this is a cheat sheet on how to reframe negative thoughts and words into something more positive for the family to focus on. And it’s an immediate shift from negative to positive! It’s a free gift for subscribers only. So sign up for our weekly newsletter and this will be available in your inbox.
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!