Parenthood requires teamwork. Teamwork from your spouse, family, and friends. It’s a job that requires support, encouragement, love, kindness, and positive reinforcement. Truth is, parenting is the hardest job, but brings the most reward and joy. It’s not going to be easy and you’ll have to make tough decisions, have hard conversations, and love unconditionally.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Before children, time was endless and control over your life was hardly ever question. Add a few children years later and it’s impossible to make plans beyond five minutes. Sure, you’re still the “boss” but now you have children who demand their needs just by being helpless

It’s better to accept the crazy and unpredictable instead of pouting and complaining what you couldn’t do and/or get done. You’ll put less stress on yourself if you drop some expectations. These children are only small once and someday you might look back and remember gathering together as a family, versus having a swept floor.

Parenting can take you for a real dive. Try to be present for all the moments and thankful for each one.

Ditch Comparison

Oh, this is the worst trap you can get yourself into. It’s cunning and sneaky and sometimes you don’t even realize you’re doing it. But it can slowly destroy your every motive as a parent and put you into a trap (or a dark empty hole). Comparison is the thief of all joy and once you allow something to steal your joy, you might have a hard time expressing thankfulness and appreciation for what you have.

Sure, it might be easy to compare yourself to how others parent, and there will always be those parents who appear to have it all together. The Instagram parent always seems to have it together behind the picture. Perfect homes, nutritious meals, doing every single holiday themed Pinterest craft, you name it. Truth is, everyone will have parenting wins and parenting fails. You need to remember that you are doing your absolute best, you love your children fiercely, and that’s all that matters.

The worst kind of comparison you can do is comparing your children to others. Children are all different. They develop differently, reach milestones at different ages/times, and grow in different environments and households. Everyone struggles one way or the other and we all need to stand side by side and cheer each other on.

You Are Not Doing This Alone

You are not alone, you weren’t intended to do this alone, and you will never be alone. Sure, I understand the feeling of “feeling alone”. Parenthood can feel isolating at times. But I assure you that if you feel alone in a particular area, you are not alone. There is plenty of professional support from various experts, whether it be speech therapy or help with specific behaviors. In addition to the plethora of professional support and experts that you can reach out to, you can connect with others who are going through whatever you are going through.

The internet has plenty of social media groups you can join as well as in person groups throughout your community. You might just discover that there is someone else in your shoes also searching for companionship.

Time Out is Essential for Everyone

This isn’t just beneficial for your children, but you as a parent.

There can be way too much guilt involved with this one, and there shouldn’t be. We all need time out from time to time. This can be done in a number of ways. Perhaps you need 30 minutes to reset and that might look like journaling for you, showering, walking, running, working out, praying, mediating, whatever it may be. Everyone needs to reset at some point and take a few deep breaths. It’s better that you notice this now before you lose your cool.

Speaking from my heart, I currently do not have the opportunity to “escape” for a hot minute. Sure, I stay up later and wake up earlier than my children just to have those few minutes to myself. But if you can recharge during the day, go for it and don’t feel guilty one bit.

And when you return from your “charging station” you’ll be surprised how much more you can offer to your children.

Take hold of these resources and whatever else you may have and utilize them fully. Parenting can be hard, exhausting, lonely, and full of guilt. But just remember this one important fact: you are the best parent for your little people and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

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