You’re on-edge more often than you’re willing to admit to anyone. At times throughout the year, you’ve tried to label your feelings and decide that resentment is probably the best fit. On the outside you’re a great mom (or dad), but on the inside you feel a little lonely and angry at times. You’re doing your best to give your kids the parent they deserve but you wonder why that doesn’t make you completely happy. You’d like next year to be different – to enjoy parenting more, lose your cool less often and feel more satisfaction in your life.
The Two Main Causes of Parenting Blues
First, I want you to know that your experience isn’t unique to you. Those other parents have similar thoughts, but like you, they don’t feel comfortable speaking about it. It isn’t socially acceptable to say you don’t love every aspect of being a parent. Besides you know someone who would love to have kids and can’t. You need to appreciate the kids you have, you tell yourself.
I want you to know that your thoughts and feelings are common among parents and normal. Here are the main reasons why.
- Parenting is the Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love: Not to take away any respect for the military branch that coined this phrase, but truly parenting is not for the weary. It requires lots of endless dedication and hard work. No wonder you feel drained!
- Parents Don’t Take Time to Recharge: Do you go and go and push yourself like the Energizer Bunny, putting everyone’s needs ahead of your own? Do you put yourself last on your list of things to do, but make sure that your kids have everything they need?
Why Parents Treat Kids Than Themselves
You’re trying to be the best parent you can be. And for some parents, they associated the label of “best parent” with self-sacrifice. I won’t deny that parenting is full of sacrifices, but when parenting beliefs are taking to the point of putting the child first at the expense of the parent, the result is a huge imbalance problem. The parent feels constantly worn out and the child often interprets that a relationship is what others do for you.
With all of the social pressure put on parents these days, moms and dads may make the mistake of thinking they need to do more for their kids when a more balanced approach would be to do less for children.
Are your beliefs preventing you from taking time for yourself. Do you believe the myth that good parents are completely selfless and always giving? If you struggle with taking time away from giving to your kids to recharge, consider this question – What are your children learning about limits in relationships, limits in life, the need for others to refuel, and the wonders of entertaining themselves at times?
A New Year’s Resolution that is Simple
Before I tell you about this simple New Year’s solution, I must give the disclaimer that this resolution is simple to plan, but may be challenging to execute IF you struggle with some of the beliefs mentioned above. But if you can implement this easy concept New Year’s Resolution, you’ll be taking a solid step towards balancing out who gets “care” in your family.
So here it is. You’ll need your 2013 calendar – paper or electronic. Look through the entire year and make a date with yourself once each month. Set aside a morning, an evening an afternoon or even an entire day and put it on the calendar – for every month of 2013. However you can squeeze the time in for you, schedule it NOW on your calendar.
Following Through with Your New Year’s Resolution
You may wonder how you’re going to get someone to watch the kids, how you’ll feel about leaving them, exactly what you’ll do with your time. You can ponder this after the dates are set. Go ahead! Put yourself on your to-do list for every month of the coming year. After you set these goals, you can work out the details, but the fact that you’ve put these dates on the calendar creates an event. I want you to RSVP “yes” to this event for yourself and makes plans for it to happen.
Positive Discipline Lead Trainer
P.S. If you’d like some ideas of what to do with your time or maybe more permission to take time for
yourself, download my “Self-Care Starter Kit for Parents Who Do Too Much,” an e-workbook I’m offering at no cost when you sign up for my Think It Through Parenting mailing list. (Excuse my new website construction.)