Raising young children is hard work. We all have days that are harder than others (as do our children). Sometimes the weather keeps us stuck inside, the babies keep crying, and the toddlers keep hitting. Sometimes we're at our parenting best, and sometimes we're not.
Let’s admit that some days raising little ones can be more grueling than rewarding. Did you know that two-year-olds are the most violent beings on Earth? There’s a reason Seinfeld said, “A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.”
In the challenging moments, we can stop trying to put on a brave face when all we really want to do is cry. We can also stop trying to “have it all,” because doing so at the expense of the rest or our sanity doesn’t prove anything—and it certainly won’t make us feel better.
I have experienced many of those grueling days, and I’d like to share five things that have helped my clients—and me—the most.
Admitting you are exhausted and out of like with your children doesn’t make you a “bad” parent, it makes you a normal one. Reach out to someone who you know can take your hand and lift you up.
Babysitters, neighbourhood big-kids, family members, other moms, or early-years programs can spend time with your children, while you spend time regrouping. Remember, attachment is magnified when young children have more than one caregiver to attach to.
Let go, delegate, or skip whatever you can to make space for rest. If you envy people sick in bed, you know it’s time to find time to get there without the H1N1 virus!
“Laughter releases the same tension as tears,” (Laura Markham, PhD) so create space for time to do that which makes you smile or laugh.
You will believe and pay attention to what you are focused on. Instead of noticing all the hard things happening, look for the light, lovely ones.
I do know that eventually the clouds will part, sleep will happen, and children will laugh. Until then, sending you wishes for strength, and I'll be happy to receive those wishes, too, if you're sending some out to others. Please pop over to my facebook page to get free parenting resources and support. We're all in this together. xo
Other articles I wrote that help when days are challenging are "How To Be An Empathetic Parent Even When That Feels Hard," and "Seven Steps To Being Less Hard On Our Kids," because we can unintentionally pass our low mood onto our children by the way we treat them.