Parenting is the toughest job in the world, full of stress, anxiety, and hard work. (It is also the most rewarding.)
The journey is long, and how we approach each day makes a huge difference in how we feel. Remaining calm is good for our own mental health but also a wonderful lesson to our children. Children often act the way their parents act.
So take a deep breath, remember that this stage will soon be over, and demonstrate a sense of calm and control. The calmer you are, the calmer your children will be. And all that calmness leads to a happier, healthier, and more relaxed family.
Take care of yourself
It’s hard to take care of your children, your partner, and your home when you haven’t first taken care of yourself. In order to be the best parent you can be, you need to make sure that you are feeling as good as you can.
So exercise, eat right, enjoy a hobby (that involves only adults), take a short nap whenever you can, say “no” when you want to, and don’t feel guilty about any of it. Your children deserve a happy and healthy mom. And the better you feel, the more competent, confident, and calm you will be.
Stop trying to be perfect
There is no such thing as a perfect parent, so stop aiming for that. Just be the best parent you can be; allow yourself to make mistakes and show your children that striving to do your best is always the goal. Hopefully, you are not trying to raise perfect children, just wonderful ones, warts and all.
Of course you are a parent, but you are still you, complete with emotions, hopes, and ideas. Parent the way you want, not how your mother-in-law expects. Allow your children to see your true feelings and your silly side.
Don’t let the title of “Mom” make you into a new person, just a more special one. Share stories about your childhood, tell your kids about your workday, and let them see your whole personality, not just the parent part.
Don’t yell. Just talk
When our kids yell at us, we feel tense. When we yell at out kids, we feel worse. It is much easier for people, including your children, to listen to a firm but calm voice than to a yelling voice.
You want your kids to listen to your words rather than to focus on your anger. Put a rubber band on your wrist to remind yourself not to yell, and think about how much you disliked it when your parents yelled at you. It’s difficult not to yell, but whoever said parenting was easy?
What your kid is doing might not be funny to you, but it sure is funny to everyone else. So go ahead and laugh more. It can’t hurt, and it might just make you a calmer parent. And when you laugh more, your kids will laugh more too. Despite all the work, it’s fun to be a parent. So go out there and have more fun!