How to Cope when Parenthood Overwhelms You
First came love, then came marriage, then came the baby in the baby carriage.
Our baby came amidst stories of love and wonder at having a new life. I asked questions of everyone and was given answers of everything will be blissfully easy. Hmmm…..
Well, after 2 step sons and a set of Irish Twins, I can tell you they all lied to me!!
Yes, parenting is amazing and honestly, I would not change any of my experiences for anything in the world. But I wish someone could have prepared me for some of the rough moments, the moments when you feel completely and utterly alone in a sea of diapers, whining and laundry.
You know the ones – on the third day of everyone being sick, at 2 in the morning just as you get one child settled and think you may squeak in an hour of desperately needed sleep and your head hits the pillow, the other child let’s rip an excruciating scream for only you!!
Or the day when not one single thing you have repeatedly asked has been listened to… at all… all day…
These are the days we all experience, yet for some reason never talk about.
Well not anymore! This post is dedicated to all of my friends who are currently in the thick of it with their babies, toddlers and young ones – here’s how I coped in my most overwhelmed moments!
How to Cope When Parenthood Overwhelms You
1st Tip on How to Cope When Parenthood Overwhelms You
Realize that you are not the only one feeling this way. Just by knowing others have/are going through the same frustrating moments with their kids can help make you feel better.
2nd Tip on How to Cope When Parenthood Overwhelms You
Cry if and when you need to. I do. Not because I am weak. Not because I can’t cope. Not because I don’t love my life. But because sometimes I get so frustrated and angry, probably due to the sleep deprivation, and I feel sorry for myself in that moment. Crying gives me a little release and usually, after I have cried for a few minutes, I wipe the tears away and am ready to take on the world again. It really is ok to have that cry, we may be super-parents, but we are human ones and it is ok to let your frustration and anger out with a few tears. Then wipe them away and take back control!
3rd Tip on How to Cope When Parenthood Overwhelms You
Realize that life does not go according to the book, so neither does parenting.
— Malibu Mama Loves (@MalibuMamaLoves) February 18, 2015
So listen to your instinct with your children on how they are growing. Don’t worry about meeting all of those monthly goals, they are just guidelines. As long as you are getting a healthy amount of food into them, you are all getting some exercise and sleep, you laugh together, learn together and you fight together, it will all work out in the end. If your instinct tells you something is wrong, call your pediatrician. They are always happy to help!
4th Tip on How to Cope When Parenthood Overwhelms You
Breathe. In those really rough moments, before I am pushed to tears, you know the ones, I will stop for a minute and take 20 deep, slow breathes. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Many studies have shown that breathe can and will relieve your feelings of being overwhelmed and helps you find your calm so you can feel more in control. Remind yourself that tomorrow is definitely going to be better, it always is!
5th Tip on How to Cope When Parenthood Overwhelms You
Prioritize and don’t sweat the small stuff. Daily household jobs will have to take a back seat to baby for a while and that is ok. Do not put that pressure on yourself to keep a perfect house with a perfect baby. I am going to share a secret here: no one expects this out of you, not your baby, not your mate, not your friends. In 20 years you will not remember that pile of toys you walked over for a couple of days, but you will remember changing baby’s diaper or playing with baby and said pile of toys! So relax, keep up with the housework at a slower pace and focus on your baby, these moments with them are precious and few so enjoy them – before you know it they will be off to college.
6th Tip on How to Cope When Parenthood Overwhelms You
Ask for help. I am horrible at this, but I LOVE when help is given. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. Most people are happy and willing to help – let them! Ask for dinners, ask for help tidying up, ask away!
7th Tip on How to Cope When Parenthood Overwhelms You
Sleep, whenever and as much as you can. Enough said!
And then the coolest thing in the world happens – baby smiles, laughs, toddler says Mommy/Daddy I love you! And suddenly that really bad day or moment is forgotten (with the next one surely ahead at some point!!) and it all becomes clear.
You can handle this.
You are not alone.
It is ok to cry.
All because YOU ARE LOVED.
How do you cope when parenthood overwhelms you?
Malibu Mama Loves Xx