Parenthood is hard. It just is. You’re responsible for little lives. And along the way, sometimes you lose sight of yourself.
Last week I sat in the living room with a crying toddler and a screaming preschooler looking back at me. And all I could see is the reflection of my own feelings. And I was breaking. And I screamed it as loud as I could to my husband.
“I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE. I HAVE NOTHING LEFT!”
And in that moment I snapped.
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Extremely Good Parenting Podcast EP. 001
Amanda from Dirt and Boogers & I discuss strategies to make it through tough days, how to work through our struggles, and more. It’s an empowering and uplifting episode to encourage you during the stressful days.
I know I’m not alone in snapping or even feeling days where I could break. We all have those days.
5 questions to address when the weight of parenthood is overwhelming.
Are you taking care of yourself?
Have you heard the phrase that “you can’t pour from empty”.
I tried to pour from an empty pitcher. With a hole it in. That was rusted. And maybe didn’t have a handle. (You get the picture).
And I completely and utterly broke.
Don’t be me.
Take time to read, drink a cup of tea, go for a run, eat by yourself, and get out of the house. It may cost money, require help from others, or be seemingly inconvenient. But I promise you it will cost you something far more valuable in the long run if you don’t.
How were you raised?
I know you’re taken aback thinking “Wait. Why are you asking?”.
One of the main things you should consider is do you expect your kids to behave you were expected to? Or are you araid you’re turning into one of your parents?
They’re legitimate questions. Whether you agreed with your parents or not, had a great childhood or a lousy one, we all either want our kids to experience the same or opposite. And those expectations can be a weight on our shoulders.
What are your triggers for anger, yelling, and frustration?
Understanding yourself, what makes you tick, and what sets you off can really help fix the struggles you have before they start (or get worse).
Sometimes your triggers aren’t even what you might think. For me, when I spend too much time on screens, I tend to have a lower tolerance for whining or shenanigans. Some people get overwhelmed by loud noises and snap at the people around them because of it.
It could be whining from your kids, because you’re hangry, or because you didn’t get your coffee that day. But before we can address the feelings of overwhelm, we must know the steps that got us there.
Are you in a funk?
Defined as either a state of depression or an avoidance of tasks, things, or people, beng in a funk is a real thing. Maybe you’re burnt out and you’re avoiding chores, maybe you’re fed up and touched out, or maybe everything feels really heavy.
It’s ok if that’s you.
You just have to admit it to be better. It’s important to address the fact that you need personal space, that chores are piling up, or that you just feel like you can’t function for whatever reason. Sometimes, even hiring a friend, high schooler, or someone on Task Rabbit to help clean your house or watch your kids once a month for a few months can help pull you out of the trenches.
How can you get support?
Kids can’t do everything themselves and they depend on you. And I get it. I live 1,700 miles from my closest relative. But letting your walls down and letting someone in can help everyone.
And we’re not talking full-fledged depression here. We’re just saying, ask your neighbor to watch the kids 20 minutes so you can get a hot shower and cup of tea to help you feel refreshed if your week has been so crummy that you’re feeling like you’ll explode.
There are even grocery stores, the Y, and other places that offer short-term childcare if you really need it.
Learn even more by listening to the podcast
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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!