There is no doubt in the fact that being a parent can be a stressful job at times, we hear parents and parent bloggers talking about this quite often. Even chat show hosts will drop the odd comment about how difficult it is to raise children to be decent human beings. But that’s not to say we don’t love our children, just that doing our best all the time can be quite exhausting. There is a lot of pressure on us to be perfect parents, and get it right the first time. But the truth is there isn’t a manual to parenting, and we need to find ways to take that pressure off ourselves. I have been talking about this on the podcast this week.
When a friend or family member offers to take your child off your hands for a short while, don’t feel like you’re a terrible parent for practically taking their hand off at the offer. It’s actually good for parents and children to spend a little time away from each other occasionally. It helps to reset the batteries, and when we are in a relaxed state, we can be much better parents. Also, children invariably act a lot better around people who aren’t their parents, so it’s not as if you are handing the stress off to anybody else. This isn’t always practical, and everybody has different family setups. But even just having a friend over for a coffee while your children entertain each other can be a great way of taking the pressure off a little.
Anxiety levels after we have children naturally rise, we’re in a heightened state of awareness at all times, which is a natural biological response; however, we do tend to overthink things a little when we have small children, and this in itself can make things much more stressful. Try not to imagine every little scenario that could possibly go wrong at every turn. And try to relax until there is actually a problem to deal with.
Even though parenting doesn’t come with its own manual, there are plenty of resources and books available that help you with various different parenting tasks. From home management to child sleep patterns, there is a book or website for everything. Just make sure that when you’re looking at these resources, they match up with your parenting ideals. If you’re a natural cosleeping and breastfeeding type parent, there will be specific books that won’t be suited to you. Even when it comes down to packed lunch ideas for school children, then you will find a website that is already full of ideas for you.
Getting creative when you have small children is one of the best ideas you can have. Think outside the box, and while you’re trying to find a routine, why not change things up a little until you find what works for you. This also extends to play and development opportunities for your children. Creativity can feed through into all areas of a child’s life, and sometimes all we need to do to find that is to watch them paint or use Play-Doh, for example.
Remember that everybody is different, and those people who seem to have everything together with children or without, will all have their own difficulties.