Stress proves you are a parent. If you aren’t stressed as a parent, something is wrong. Well, maybe if you are very rich or a celebrity parent, you aren’t stressed about parenting. I suspect, however, even those get stressed.
And you thought it would be easy and all those people telling you how to be a parent also make it seem easy. Moreover, some of them aren’t even hands-on parents. Don’t be too harsh on them. Remember, before you became a parent, you thought you knew the difficulties and you absolutely knew how to do it right. You were not going to make the mistakes your parents made, not you. Ha! Delusions of grandure.
After you become a parent, you learned to forgive your parents and hoped they forgave you.
After you became a parent, you became buddy-buddy with stress.
Fact: You cannot parent without stress.
This post was sparked by Leo Babauta, the father of six, and his willingness to be both upfront about the stress that children bring to our world as well as able to offer some useful tips. Here is his post:
We agree on much and his tips are useful. So read the article.
WHAT IS A PARENT TO DO?
Tip one: Stress less about stress. The researchers know stress is not bad. In fact, a certain amount of stress is good. What is not good is overwhelming stress.
Tip two: A little know fact: a child’s whining, crying, tugging at you, nagging you and getting mad at you is intended by nature to make you pay attention. A baby’s cries elevates your blood pressure and can actually make your body hairs stand up—both strong clues that signal something bad is happening and you have to pay attention. Good signals when baby needs to be fed, not so good when growing child wants to play with grandmother’s antique vase.
Tip three: When you are enforcing rules that keep your child safe, keep others from being hurt, or keep property from being destroyed, you are being a good parent. Remember that. Find a song or a slogan that counters stress.
Tip four: Take me-time. Put yourself in time out for ten minutes. Remember to nap when baby naps, impose a quiet hour at least once a day, twice is even better. Quiet hour is useful when naps no longer work. Our youngest son needed little sleep and gave up naps early. His room was safety proof and the rule was, play quietly during what was once nap time.
The general rule: Everyone had to find a quiet activity away from others: read play solitare, build legos, do homework, just don’t bother anyone else. Not easy to impose but saved my marriage and our sanity when we had a house full of teens. Quiet time then was from 10:00 P.M. on. You had to be ready for bed, and in your room. If the house caught on fire, you could come out, but otherwise it was ‘see you in the morning’.
Tip five: Get very good at amends. An amends is making up. Learning to say “I’m sorry” when you are wrong is an amends. Asking, “What can I do to make up for my bad mood?” is an amends. Having a cup of soothing tea after a hard day is making an amends to yourself. Having a date night is an amends, so is a night out with friends. Make such amends planned events. Once a month may be all you can manage, but don’t let a month go by without giving your self a special treat.
Leo ends his article with this worth remembering and worth repeating quote:
You know the only people who are always sure about the proper way to raise children? Those who’ve never had any.
Be kind to me, like this post, comment or share. You will be helping me stay strong and maybe others as well. Click here for my free Ebook: The 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.
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