Have you ever had a week so crazy that finding the energy to manage all the things you have to do as a parent seems impossible? I know I have been there. Raising children is such a blessing, but it certainly is a responsibility that forces us to rise to the occasion time and time again. What our children need doesn’t vary based on how we feel or what we are going through. Their expectation is that we are always prepared to meet their needs—whatever those needs may be.
And although we try our best to never complain about the challenges that come with raising our kids, we are human and we struggle. Our other responsibilities in life can become so overwhelming that we find ourselves stressed out, frustrated, and far from doing anything from a place of peace.
So what happens when we are unable to parent from a peaceful place? Well, not only do we suffer as parents, but our children also suffer. Chaotic parenting leaves us feeling drained, frustrated, and disappointed because we weren’t able to give our children what they deserve. And, unfortunately, parenting that way can leave our kids feeling sad, anxious, unheard, frustrated, and confused.
It would be nice if your kids could understand how stressful your week has been and how the chaos of it all clouded your judgment as a parent, but kids typically don’t get all of that. Kids just want to feel loved, heard and cared for at all times—regardless of what is going on in your life. And they are entitled to that because they really should not have to worry about the madness of your day-to-day life.
So what do you do when you find yourself parenting from a stressful place and you want to make a shift and parent from a place of peace? Here are a few tips that may help.
Ask for help.
I think this small suggestion can go a long way if you truly make an effort to do it more often. From my experience, asking for help is especially difficult for moms. Many women struggle with asking their own spouse for help because they expect him to just know what they need. It sure would be nice if the people you love could just sense that you are struggling—or maybe even drowning—from all the responsibilities you have, but most people just don’t. You have to be able to set your pride aside and tell the people in your life that you need some help. Crossing your fingers and hoping for someone to step in and offer assistance really is robbing you of the peace of mind you could experience if you just created a tribe and actually asked them for help when you need it.
Make time for self-care.
Cliché? Maybe. But I feel like it just needs to be said. It really goes back to the airplane safety rules. Place that oxygen on your face FIRST. I know, I know—how can you look out for yourself before looking out for your kids, right? Think of it as a requirement for peaceful parenting. Let me share an example. If your kid has a soccer game and you always make it to every single game, but you have had the week from hell and are two seconds from losing it, it is totally okay to ask your spouse or another family member to take your kid to the game while you take some time alone to decompress and get your mind right. The truth is, being all stressed out and worried at your kid’s game isn’t about your kid—it’s about your guilt. Your kid won’t love you any less for missing a game, and the time you spend with them after being alone for a while will be a lot more meaningful.
Remove the noise from your life.
In my workbook SHIFT, I talk about how important it is to get rid of the noise in your life. We all have things in our lives that occupy space and time but serve no true purpose. All of those purposeless things add up and can leave us feeling unsettled and overwhelmed. Once we are able to identify the “noisemakers” in our lives that don’t serve us in any way, we can then redirect our energy to the things that truly matter. By doing so, we reduce our stress and eliminate distractions in our lives, so we can now focus on parenting in a peaceful manner. Ultimately, finding that place of peace doesn’t just make us better parents, but it makes us better (and happier) people.
Do you have any tips to share about how you parent from a peaceful place?