The Reality of Parenting: It’s Tough, And We’re Only Making It Tougher On Ourselves
Every parent reports higher rates of stress and depression than people without children, and I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t just affect them, it affects their children as well. What exactly does this mean? Well, let me ask you this – how do you feel about your parenting journey? Happy? Anxious? Guilty?
You don’t always understand them and it’s okay
There are a lot of similarities between parenting journeys, in terms of being on guard for dangers and enjoying time with family and friends. But at some point along our journey, most parents find themselves doubting their own skills and abilities to understand their children.
It is a terrible thought and one we immediately regret. Why can’t I understand my child, you think. Indeed, children develop speech at different paces. Communication is a tricky matter, as young children are prone to mispronounce speech sounds. You may feel guilty that you are not understanding your child when other parents show no issue. Remember that you are doing everything you can and that you are doing great. It takes time for them to master a language, so don’t assume that there is anything wrong if you struggle to understand what your child is saying.
If life as a parent could have been boiled down to one thing, it would have been fear…
Fear was all-consuming. You’re afraid of what people would say if something bad happened to your kids at school. Even simple things like taking them to a nearby park are stressful—you don’t know what they’ll do if you get separated, or how they will react to their environment.
Young children are prone to having a meltdown when things fall out of place. Yet, as a parent, you can only do so much to juggle all your responsibilities. When other people judge based on what they see, they can be harsh and criticize your parenting skills or your children. The truth is that everyone is bound to make mistakes. But don’t let the bad days define your parenting or your child. Don’t let the anxiety that can arise from facing tricky situations as a parent become your truth.
Take care of yourself first
Take some time for yourself. Taking time out for yourself is just as important as being there 100 per cent for your child. Pushing yourself too hard will make you feel exhausted and defeated—and may actually hinder your ability to be there completely for your son or daughter. So give yourself some breathing room!
You need to give yourself the time and space to relax. There is no quick miracle that can kill stress or cure parental anxiety. Did you know that stressed-out parents are more prone to developing addictive behaviors as they try to cope with their hectic life? But your child doesn’t need a parent with an addiction or a parent who faces a DUI arrest. If stress relief is a problem, you can build a protective shield with the help of a reliable DUI attorney and a therapist to avoid the dangers of unhealthy coping techniques.
Parents face a stressful journey. It is immensely rewarding to see your child progress. But as a parent, you have to learn to protect your mental health from unrealistic comparisons, unfair and uneducated criticism, and your own expectations of yourself. To become the best parent you can be for your child, you need to be in a positive mental space.