As we venture into a new year, I feel like it’s a great time to reevaluate my parenting practices and goals. I wouldn’t say that I was unhappy throughout 2022, but there are constantly things that I’m working on to be the most content version of myself.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to find more peace in parenting, here are three attainable steps you can take to accomplish that!
1. Check Yourself
In many cases, one unfortunate side effect of becoming a mom is that we lose our sense of self. Our obligation to prioritize others may lead us to neglect our most basic needs.
Rather than waiting until my energy is depleted, I’ve committed myself to regular informal assessments to be sure that I’m taken care of. Am I tired? Am I hungry? Do I need to exercise or shower? Am I stressed or overwhelmed? Any combination of these factors can lead me to be an irritable mommy.
Being more mindful and self-aware will allow you to function properly and have a more positive impact on your entire family.
2. Adjust Expectations
An extremely frustrating part about parenting is when my visions don’t come to fruition. Mostly this is in regard to my children’s behavior or inability to follow instructions. I have a clear picture in my mind of what I expect and for whatever reason, it doesn’t always pan out.
Instead of getting upset, I’ve found that the best thing to do in these moments is to adjust my expectations. Maybe we were late because it wasn’t reasonable to assume we could all be ready in 30 minutes. Maybe they didn’t listen to directions because I didn’t communicate them clearly. And maybe they’re complaining and arguing because that’s just what kids do.
Depending on the scenario, a simple change in my mindset might be all that is needed to avoid disappointment. If I take into account my kids’ personalities and remind myself that they are five and seven years old, I can conjure up more practical expectations for all of us.
3. Take Breaks
Whether you are employed outside the home or not, raising children and providing for their needs 24/7 can be exhausting work. It is essential that you designate time to “clock out” and rest occasionally. A break might mean holing up in your room undisturbed for two hours or it might mean escaping your mommy duties for an entire week.
If you don’t have a partner who is able to take over during your break, don’t feel guilty asking a relative or friend you trust to watch your kids. You might even want to arrange a babysitting swap where you and another mom take turns relieving each other for a short time.
Regardless of what your breaks look like, make sure that you take them. Not only do you need to recharge your batteries, but that time apart might make you and your family appreciate each other more when you clock back in. As they say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder…”
Being a mom is complicated and demanding, but you deserve to find enjoyment in it. Make this year great for your entire family by acknowledging what you can do for yourself.