Here’s a parenting secret that’s rarely given to you – you’ll feel guilty no matter what you do. All parents wonder if they’re a bad parent or if they’re not being as attentive as they could be, or if they’re not spending enough time with their children. Parents will see their child graze themselves after falling over on the garden path and put it down to their sloppy parenting rather than a simple mistake of balance on the part of their child. As parents, we’re excellent at laying blame at our own feet.
Of course, to some degree this is important. Reflecting on your parenting skills and trying to be more patient, more supportive and to enforce better boundaries is a learning process, and can be valuable. Yet there’s no need to beat yourself up if you’re doing the best you can, and you do honestly care. In fact, as a parent, it’s fine to make life easier for yourself. You can even do this without the guilt you may be so familiar with.
Let us give you permission to do that. In addition, we’d love to help you with some excellent advice going forward:
Simple Daily Conveniences
Simple daily conveniences can help you structure your life in a manner that remains comfortable, yet still gives you the chance to make progress. As a parent, our time is short, and this can have very many effects on just how we structure and manage all of the responsibilities we need to take care of. If hoping to make things easier for yourself, it can be worthwhile to pursue daily conveniences that both grant you time, reduce your stress, while still attending to the important jobs you need to take care of.
For instance, it may be that you’re best friends with a parent whose children also attend their school, and the offer of sharing morning school run responsibilities could take a burden from both of you at least twice a week. You may decide that the ability to plan your meals on a Sunday night by cooking a large batch of excellent recipes and freezing them will give you an easier time of eating lunch at the office and preparing dinner for all in a healthy, nutritious manner. Additionally, online prescriptions are now becoming easier to fulfill. You can reorder your asthma inhaler online, to the point where you’ll wonder how you ever made do without this convenience.
Remember, conveniences are great, but daily conveniences can be a lifesaver.
Personal Maintenance & Care
You cannot continue to be the best parent you can be unless you’re taking care of yourself. Many people think that looking after themselves as a first consideration is not possible when they have an infant to take care of, and of course, that’s largely understandable. But you cannot keep control of your stress, take care of your responsibilities and most of all, enjoy parenting unless you do have that time to take care of yourself.
This means meditating, stretching in the morning, exercising, eating healthily, and doing your best to catch up on or get good sleep, even if you have to take good nutrients that aid positive sleep in order to get there. For instance, herbs such as valerian root or even Vitamin B12 can allow for better sleep, and so experimenting with your health like this can certainly be a net positive.
Time For Yourself
Finding some time for yourself is important. Of course, this isn’t to say any excuse to not spend time with your child. As parents, we want to spend time with our children, but getting that ‘me time’ is also super important too!
The role of parenting is supremely difficult. This means that when you can, having time to enjoy a little escapism can be healthy. We’re not suggesting you head on a safari retreat for three months and leave your children at home. But simply reading a paperback in the half-hour slot you have at night, or asking your partner if they can support you to attend a yoga session once or twice a week, or simply scheduling a nap at the same time as your infant each day can be a healthy means of spending time on yourself, and restoring yourself. You’ll come back to the daily responsibility of parenting with fresh eyes, a fresh mind, and fresh love.
Sharing The Load
It can be nice to share the load once in a while. Not all parents have a partner to help them, but if you do, it can be nice to negotiate who will wake up for the child, or whose turn it is to change the nappy. But it can also be nice to politely ask for favours from others from time to time. For instance, you may ask a friend or your parents if they can look after your child for an evening while you and your partner go to the cinema, as keeping your relationship alive and healthy is important during the midst of parental responsibility.
Provided you help out in return or thank them with care and consideration, most people will be happy to share the load and be a part of your parental journey.
Having Your Children Help Out
When your children reach a certain age, it can’t hurt to have them help out with your daily tasks too. For instance, a child at the age of ten may be able to start making their bed provided you show them how to do it, and they’ll certainly be able to tidy up their toys and make sure their room is relatively neat. As they grow into their teen years you may grant them an allowance for certain tasks, such taking the bins out or cleaning the car once in a while. This process can help them learn responsibility, and it’s good to have that extra helping hand.
With this advice, we hope you can make life easier for yourself without feeling guilty, as all of this advice is healthy in moderation. But most of all, give yourself credit for the job you’re doing. If you’ve read an entire article of this sort, chances are you’re much more caring than you think.