Oftentimes there is so much pressure to be the perfect parent. Being everything to everyone is the normal. When did we decide that was the new expectation? Sometimes, it's ok to not be the absolute best. You know what's better than perfection? Honesty. Here are ten tips on being mindful of YOU. Which makes you a better parent.
1. Make time for yourself It's a challenge to let ourselves slow down. As Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, says, "We seem to have a complex about busyness in our culture." This couldn't be more true. Taking time to spend away from our crumbsnatchers is essential to remaining a balanced parent.
2. Take care of yourself. I don't mean just eating healthy and working out. Both of those options are wonderful and certainly will aid in staying fit. But what about keeping and maintaining doctor's appointments? When was the last time you had a check up? Schedule your appointment today!
3. Stop trying to be perfect. If no one else tells you, I will. Kids legit do not care about you being perfect. They care that you listen to them and make them feel special. Just like adults. Try your best everyday. And if your best for the day is making sure everyone has limbs attached and they are fed, cool.
4. You don't have to be their friend I know, this can seem controversial. Everyone wants to be their kid's bestie. I get it. I tend to aim for being an open door and listening ear. The rule of thumb for my house is that I will listen to all perspectives and opinions if they are presented respectfully. Not quite friends, but we have an understanding.
5. You won't always like them, accept it. A few friends and I discussed this at length. We would all go to the ends of the earth for our kiddos. However, that preteen stage is not a joke. One day they go to sleep as sweet as cotton candy and the next day they wake up a sour patch kid. It's ok and it will pass...I pray.
6. Fast food is not the end of the world. Ok, so we all know it's not healthy. It's full of sugar, unhealthy fats, carbs, and who knows what else. But sometimes it has to happen. There will be days where you forgot to take the food out of the freezer, didn't shop properly, or you don't feep like cooking. One day of a burger and fries, or the whole week won't ruin them for life. Please check with a doctor about that last statement....just in case.
7. Get a social life. We talked about me time and taking care of ourselves. We should also make sure to hang out with friends. It may not be everyday, but having some time with other adults is crucial. No one wants to be the parent talking about Teletubbies and Dora all the time. Trust me, I've been there.
8. Set goals. Make sure there are personal and professional goals for yourself. Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds or gain 15, how will you do it? Do you want to open a business or create a schedule if you stay home with your kids? Whatever your goal is, write it down and share it with at least one person.
9. Talk to yourself sometimes. You ever see someone walking around muttering to themselves? It was probably me. There are times when I feel so overwhelmed and I have to talk my way out of my mood. An example is "Shan, this is not a big deal. Take a few breaths and reevaluate later." It throws me off long enough to get my bearings.
10. Get an outlet. This one is probably the most important of them all. Your outlet is the one person you can call and tell all your wildest thoughts to without judgement. When the kids are driving you up the wall and you spilled your coffee everywhere. When the day is long, frustrating, and you stub your toe at the end of said long day. That person. My outlet lets me cry uncontrollably and eat gummy worms. Best. Friend. Ever.
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