PARENTING IS HARD WORK! Okay, on ALVN we talk about goals, attitude towards life, inner self development, things you adjust inside so you can function healthily outside. But today ALVN wants to talk about parenting. In the secret place of our hearts we can all admit that parenting is hard work: full of successes, failures, and the often overwhelming emotions that for many women include blame and guilt if results are imperfect. Social media can make it worse because many parents use it as a platform to share only the wonderful and best moments in their kids lives, but never the moments when the kids aren’t listening, have poor grades, are disobedient, forgetting homework, have little motivation, or not good at sports or music. So ALVN is on this because many women attach their self worth to their kids and their parenting, and anything other than optimum results is leading to stress and shame. However, many times our responses to our parenting has nothing to do with the child or our skills, but the following:
Unrealistic perspectives: When we see our bundle of joy we immediately have hopes and dreams of what they can be and accomplish, and all we will give them to accomplish said dreams. That’s natural. However, many times our dreams for them are more for us, are more than we ever accomplished in our lives, and is modeled after an image someone, somewhere said was success. For example a plan might be our child must attend only private school, our child will be an engineer, a doctor, and a great sportsman, our child must go to our alma mater for college, and our child (if a girl) must be girlie and cute and all things nice. But what if they were never created to fit that model? What if you can’t afford private school? What if they hate science? What if their grades just can’t cut the alma mater? And what if your little girl hates all things nice and sweet and shopping? What if your child doesn’t want what you want? That’s where frustration comes in.
Comparison: This is a constant battle because we all live as part of a greater community. No matter how much we try we will have someone in our circle who will paint a picture of their lives we and our children just can’t live up to. We end up feeling worse as parents when we look outside ourselves to measure our success, not to mention the stress it puts on the kids.
Above is what causes stress in parenting but there are things to combat this.
See the gift that is your child: Recognize that every child is different and has a unique ability. Don’t set yourself and the kid up by already charting their life before you see their affinity. It is important to remember that health, happiness and peace is also part of success. If you force your child into a mold they can not fit into, you set them and yourself up for failure, unhappiness, stress, and sadness.
Stop comparing: The only way to combat this is gratitude and making sure your inner circle is real and supportive. Also recognize that there are always two sides to everyone’s existence: what they show you and what they don’t. So, don’t diminish your efforts by comparing them to a social profile or a neighbors brag.
Be kind to yourself: It will get better. Look at your life and try to remember all the dumb things you did as a child, all the unwise decisions, and yet you turned out ok. You are not alone in the struggle to raise a child, you are not alone thinking you need a break, you are not alone in not being a perfect cook and PTA parent, you are not alone in sometimes not even liking the job. It doesn’t make you a bad person, because you are still in it and that child is still thriving. So relax, do your best, know you cannot control everything and aren’t meant to, and that in the long run you and your child(ren) are healthy and alive, and just…human.
How are you managing parenting? Share in the comments.