Don't Just Survive Parenthood, Thrive

Being a parent has to be one of the toughest jobs imaginable. Not only do you have a little human who is depending on you for everything from food, shelter, warmth, and love, but it is also up to you to raise them, shape, and mold your minis into wonderful, thoughtful, and responsible human-beings. Sound like an impossible task? Well, we are here to provide tips and thoughtful insights to help you not just survive parenthood, but to help you and your kiddos thrive!

STRESS

Stress is something that we all face, and it's a feeling that none of us enjoy. As parents we want to protect our children and provide/create the best lives for them, but lately this goal has meant that many moms and dads are coddling their little ones to safeguard them from ever experiencing stress. While it's natural to feel this way, stress is something that every single one of us will eventually face, and increasingly we age and our responsibilities grow.

Trying to prevent your kids from ever experiencing stress isn't going to prepare them for real life. If we give our children more responsibility, enforce chores, and set expectations it is only going to help them learn to properly handle stress as they get older. It's a vital skill that we all need to learn and preparing your kids early is going to allow them to learn how to handle stress and not feel overwhelmed or lost.

An easy way to start is to create regular chores for your children at any age. Even at two years young, your little ones can begin to assist in setting the table (with some child friendly tableware of course). Setting expectation in your child's life will help them to be prepared for handling responsibility. One easy example to begin with is explaining to your child that it is their job to clean up their toys every time they play with them. If you would like some helpful tips on how to "Keep House With Little Ones" check out our past blog post.

STAYING POSITIVE

Between the temper tantrums, broken dishes, burnt dinner, messy home, and a biting toddler it's hard not to get into a downward spiral of self doubt. It's so easy to look past all of the positives and only focus on the negatives in our lives. This tendency is such a shame, there's so much to be thankful for that is constantly overlooked. It's time that we shift our perspective and learn to recognize all of our little successes throughout the day, because it's all of those small achievements that collectively create a fulfilling life. 

Even if it's just simply getting the kids dressed and to school on time or packing a homemade lunch everyone in the family you should take joy in these accomplishments. Be positive and take joy in these successful moments that occur throughout your day. Being anything less than positive teaches your children to look at life through a negative scope.

SUPPORT SYSTEM

Having love and support in your life is essential to thriving. Human health depends on creating connections with other human beings. Studies show that our health (both mental and physical) suffers when we are isolated from human interactions. Social isolation can lead to huge health problems like high blood pressure, obesity, depression, decreased immunity, etc. Sounds pretty scary huh? If you feel like you are home alone all day with the kids or stuck doing household chores, we have a few tips to help you find your much needed support system.

Other parents are feeling the exact same way you are and are looking for people they can lean on. All you need to do is find them! Get out of your comfort zone and join a mommy and me or MOPS group, venture off to your local library for story time, or take a trip to your local park with your little ones to find another parent you can connect with. Facebook is also a great resource for finding groups in your area with similar interests. Joining a church, or getting more involved if you already have one, is another wonderful way to find a support group.

Support systems are about more than just increasing the amount of adult interactions you have throughout the week; it's about having someone to turn to when you need some extra encouragement. Talking about your struggles and venting is something that you simply can't do with your kids. There are times when you need to invite someone over for a glass of wine to talk about something other than Sesame Street, and to connecting over the struggles of parenting and the joys of watching your child grow. Creating a support system is vital to thriving through parenthood.

MOMMY AND/OR DADDY BREAK

Let's face it, some days are tougher than others. We have all faced times when it seems like the whole world is against you; nothing seems to be going right, and you just can't find a single moment in the day to take a break from it all. Do yourself a favor and simply tell your kids that you need some quiet time. It's perfectly okay to tell your little ones to quietly play with their legos for fifteen minutes while you drink your coffee in the other room.

Enforcing daily "quiet times" is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a parent. Taking fifteen minutes to recharge will not only put you in a better mood but will help you to be more present when that quiet time is over.

Everyone has their own ways for surviving parenthood, whether it's turning on the television to avoid break downs or making mac and cheese for the third day in a row, we are all just doing our best! The thing that matters most is the love you have for you children and showing them just how much they mean to you. Life isn't perfect, parenthood will be full of bumps, hills, and even mountains that you need to get over... but in the end there are really few jobs that are better than this one. 

xo, Kerisa Ward