We’ve all been there. Going through the gears. Your daily life becomes increasingly more stressful. Slowly, you start to notice the kids fighting more and listening less. You start feeling out of control. It’s as if you need a parenting reset.
I really didn’t know I had a parenting breaking point. I adore my kids and am eternally grateful to stay at home with them and be so involved in their daily lives. Last week, however, I found myself ready to blow a gasket. It took a bit of time, but I seem to have successfully hit my parenting reset button and both the kids and I are happier as a result.
My feeling overwhelmed started as a result of having more projects on my freelance plate than usual. In fact, I have a really exciting project myself and two co-authors are about to announce. With increased responsibility comes a certain amount of increased stress. Then my daughter got sick; a high fever had her out of commish for two days. Then the fever hit my son. On day three, his lethargy and lack of bounce back had me worried. After a long visit to the ER including a chest X-ray, we found out he had pneumonia and an ear infection. My heart broke for him as my worry for him increased. After just over a week of antibiotics, I’m finally seeing the sparkle back in his eyes and hear him really laugh. In between the hospital and today, my household has been chalked full of crying, whining, and jealousy. My four-year-old daughter has been on the attack because her little brother has been getting so much attention. Day after day of this, I finally found myself at my breaking point. Biting my tongue to avoid screaming, my blood actually felt as though it was boiling. Never have I felt like this. Fortunately, our household is much better. And not just because my son is almost 100% again. It’s also because being pushed to my limits has forced me to really refocus on my parenting priorities. If you too find yourself in need of a parenting reset, here are some tips that really helped me.
7+ Tips For A Parenting Reset
1. Communicate to your partner fast. Bringing my husband into the loop especially in this case, but whenever I’m particularly frazzled, is usually the first step in everything turning around. Also in doing so, he can help facilitate me getting out of the house, reinforcing rules, listen, and/or help me come up with a game plan!
2. Schedule in me time ASAP. My advice is this: think of the easiest way to decompress that’s within your budget and can be accomplished within a reasonable time frame and do it! So, while I’d love some sort of beach getaway, getting some R&R now is needed STAT. So, finding a yoga class, going for a run, going to the gym without carting the kids to and from the childcare room are all my go-to’s. Once you’ve got in your own emergency “Me Time,” be sure to schedule it in regularly! It can feel SO counterintuitive to leave to take care of yourself when the household is seemingly falling apart. The truth of the matter is that you can adequately master a plan of attack without decompressing and de-compressing often.
3. Write down your issues and your goals. Just like writing a letter to someone you’re upset with but never sending it creates relief, writing your parenting problems c an be both cathartic and provide clarity. Furthermore, writing down a mission statement, rules, your parenting priorities and/or a course of action can provide you with an INCREDIBLE sense of resolve. It doesn’t even need to be posted or framed anywhere. Just like a really good to-do list can get you motivated under the right circumstances, writing down your parenting goals can have the same effect.
4. If you’re at home a lot, get out of the house with the kids often. Whenever I feel backed up against a parenting wall with my two young kids, I know we need to get outside. FAST. Whether it’s to hit up an unfamiliar park, tour the museum we’re members of, or simply to take in the sights of our town, getting out of the house on a daily basis as an at home mom with young kids can pay dividends in terms of minimizing sibling rivalry and in terms of my own sanity.
5. Get unplugged. Studies show that kids who spend more time in front of a screen exhibit less self-regulation than those who don’t. As a parent who are preoccupied feel more frantic, are less vigilant, and have less patience.
6. Get to bed earlier. Unless you have a teenager, chances are your kids either wake up early or earlier. So that doesn’t create a lot of opportunity for sleeping. I really fall victim to staying up late to enjoy a quiet house, but it makes for a more cranky mom in the morning. What I’ve started doing is having a time where I have to shut off all multimedia time by, then I go about unwinding and getting ready for bed and get into bed earlier. Adequate sleep has been associated with healthier body weight, better mental health, and greater alertness. While I love my coffee more than the next guy, my cup a Joe certainly doesn’t provide me with all of that. So, Get some sleep!
7. Self-care, self-care, self-care. Nope, not a typo. Yes, I know this is basically the third time I’ve said it, but if you’re not taking care of yourself you cannot do a good job of taking care of anyone else. Period.
What would you add to my list? Please share below!