Make Parenting Easier
All stages of parenthood have their hardships. I am recalling wakeful nights nursing my babies. Entire Sundays dedicated to meal prep for the week’s dinners and my baby’s home-pureed lunches (I now laugh how insane this was). These days, it’s all about negotiating with my preschoolers, struggling to get everyone out the door, supporting really BIG emotions, and mediating sibling disagreements.
There are evenings where I think, “I hate this.” The job of parenting, is truly harder than I could have ever imagined. I never thought I would be so quickly triggered by whining or that I wouldn’t have single night of uninterrupted sleep for 5 years.
Entering a new stage in parenthood with my first starting kindergarten, it’s clear that the new dragon to slay is LOGISTICS: All the scheduling, keeping up with the school requirements, communicating in all the platforms, and ensuring my kid is thriving. It’s only been a month, and I’m dead.
It is Normal to Not Love Every Second
I know I don’t need to go on the record, but I love my children and I love being a parent. That being said there are moments that I want to hit the “eject” button, particularly at school pickup and bedtime routine! It is very normal for kids to have times of dysregulation, and equally as normal for parents to have times of dysregulation.
If you’re feeling like you’re crawling out of your skin or you lose your temper, know that it’s normal… If you do lose your temper, take a breath and when you’re calm, repair with your children. Dr. Becky has a wonderful approach to repairing after losing your cool, so I’ll let the professional walk you through that 🙂
Take the Pressure Off
How many accounts are you following on Instagram of homeschooling, homesteading moms or whatever your flavor is of “good parenting”? There is a direct correlation of dissatisfaction in parenthood and low self esteem with the number of mom-influencers you follow.
I’m sorta kidding about that, but it feels right… This exposure to all of tips and tricks of life is wonderful, but it comes at a cost. You may be walking away with the message “I should be doing this or that.” There isn’t enough time in the universe to do all the things that “good parents do.” I invite you to continue to be inspired by the people around you: your friends, your own parents, and the social media influencers, but walk away with the messaging, “I could do that.”
Then, chose what works for your family, for your life. Only you know what is best for your family, and it’s ok if that doesn’t include organic produce, high achievements, or family photos with matching outfits. (Am I projecting?)
You don’t have to say yes to every event or meeting. Your kid doesn’t have to do multiple extra-curriculars. You don’t have to host the party. It’s ok to say no. Prioritizing rest and time to bond as a family is a part of wellness. Truly, if you anticipate that something is going to interfere with the flow of your week, that is reason enough to say no.
These days work hours are long, expectations are high, and commutes aren’t easy. Gift yourself regular time to just be a family, and further more, to be yourself. Hiring a sitter or trading off with your partner so you can go sit at a coffee shop or what ever, will bring you back to yourself. Rest is important. I really love the book “Nurturing the Soul of Your Family” by Renee Peterson Trudeau. She has encouraged me to slow down and unplug.
How Can I Make This Easy?
Before becoming a parent, it’s hard to really imagine the commitment it takes. The hours of breastfeeding, the amount of sick days you’ll need, or the sheer hustle that is dinner and bedtime.
Ask yourself what could be helpful in making this parenting thing easier. Is it getting additional help? Is it extending daycare/school hours? Is it reimagining your home and work life balance? Is it being more flexible in some ways and setting boundaries in others? Parenting is an exhausting 24/7 job, so getting support or changing your systems may be necessary.
Lastly, I want to express my gratitude for the job of being a parent. Through motherhood, I’ve learned patience and surrender. From a recovering control-freak, I really have transformed into a better version of myself. My children give me the most joy as I get to experience the world through their eyes, and it’s oftentimes hilarious. They have given me so many gifts like afternoon dance parties, comically mispronounced words, and more cuddles than I could have ever imagined.
Describing parenthood as nuanced and complicated is important to me. Both joy and struggle exist in this feat. I am so grateful for the stories out there that look like mine, ones that acknowledge the hardships and don’t sugar coat the experience. At Village Birth, we offer a safe space for honest conversation, retreat, and honoring the transition into parenthood. Check out our Matrescence Circle for an opportunity to connect.
Village Birth offers doula services, childbirth classes, newborn care classes, lactation and pregnancy support for Los Angeles. Our space is in Sparrow’s Nest in Pasadena (bordering Eagle Rock) where we hold classes, support groups, workshops, and meetups. Interested in learning more about the birth process and options available in your birth setting? Check out Village Birth’s prenatal classes.