No matter how many parenting books you read during pregnancy, no one can really prepare you for Parenting. Parenting is a journey that is unique to each family, depending on many factors in life. But, while the challenges may be different for each family, there are a few things you can do to reduce your stress and handle parenthood more confidently Here are 10 Parenting tips to help you manage it all
1. Be realistic in what you can achieve in one day: Parenting can challenge some of your existing constructs of success and happiness. One cannot possibly do it all. So do not put yourself up to unrealistic expectations. Instead of looking for perfection enjoy the process of parenting and raising a family.
There will be days you won’t find the time to do the dishes or fold your laundry. Yes, your house may look like a mess when your child is around. But you should not burn yourself trying to be there and do everything. Mothers especially need to beware that they don’t fall for the super mom tag. Instead, focus on 2-3 important tasks that need to be completed. Prioritize and complete these tasks first and then get to the rest. You will find yourself calmer and more productive when you set realistic goals for each day.
2. Get the children into a routine: 'The secret to a systematic household is routine'.
The secret to a systematic household is routine. Get your children used to a routine from a very early age. The earlier you start the less resistance you will have later on decide on fixed wake-up times, meals, play and rest times. It takes a week or two when you start a new routine to get everyone settled into the routine.
A routine also allows you to designate "me" time and time to pursue your own interests and work.
3. Meal plan to encourage healthy eating for the family: Meal planning is a time saver for busy parents. Once a week make a meal plan, shop, and prep all the ingredients. Choose simple one-pot recipes for busy weeknights and elaborate dishes for weekends. Having a good mix of healthy meals and some family favorites like Pizza night makes meals a fun experience for everyone. Get the kids involved in meal prep and schedule a weekly take out night to keep things interesting.
4. Prepare your child: Children are still figuring out the life processes around them. Be it socializing, traveling, getting ready for preschool or potty training, preparing the child in advance makes such transitions calmer. Try your best to prepare the child by reading books, buying age-appropriate toys and using the correct tools to support his growth instead of resorting to yelling, screaming or manipulating into compliance. Simple activities like setting up sensory boxes help children calm down after a long day at school.
Pretend play toys keep children engaged for hours in creative play and also teach them life skills as they engage in such toys.
Fathers can contribute immensely towards preparing and helping the child develop. An involved father reduces a great deal of the mother's stress. Take your kids out on a dad and child date. This gives you time to bond with your children and helps your wife find time for self-care.
5. Avoid negative reactions: It is hard raising children in today's highly competitive world. But try and avoid negative reactions like ridicule, sarcasm, yelling, and punishment. Punishments do not teach your child anything. They only teach children to suppress their feelings and breed discontent.
Use positive discipline techniques like explaining why certain actions are wrong, try as much as it is possible to reason things out and lead by example. Your children will respond better to such a parenting style. You will see how they flourish in a home where they feel respected.
6. Be your child's champion: Never compare between siblings or other peers. Each child is different. There is no problem that cannot be solved with creativity, humor and a problem-solving attitude. All your child needs to know is that his parents are there to support him through the tough times and the good. The mantra in the house should be, “It is all figureoutable.
7. Invest in time-saving products and services: In the era of smartphones, you will find many apps that can help organize your personal administrative work, your business-related tasks or help with your day to day routine. There are meal planning apps, family budgeting apps, time trackers, fitness trackers. Whenever needed do not hesitate to hire the right consultants for specific tasks to take the pressure off your shoulders.
Some parents seek help from child sleep specialists to get children on a good sleep routine, others find hiring a financial planner is best in order to keep finances in check as you raise your family. Whatever suits your situation, but get specialist help when you feel you are stuck and struggling at figuring things out yourself
8. Spare time for self-care: As the old saying goes; you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Self-care is important for both parents. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, sometimes even a simple 10 min skincare routine or 30 min gym session will help you feel refreshed and ready to get back into the game with a little sprint in your step. Remember, the more you give yourself the more you can give those around you.
9. Plan your personal life goals: Without prior planning, your parenting life is going to be run by chaos. You need your children to be settled into a daily routine. Besides the children, every mother, working or not, needs to have her own personal goals that she works on. Working on your personal goals is important for your long term mental health. Do not ignore them. Yes, the process of achieving these may be slower, but, continue working on them.
Every year write up what you want to achieve for yourself. Then set monthly targets and maintain a journal where you can track your progress. This will help you stay on track with your goals and give you much-needed confidence as you do your job as a mother too.
10. Get support: Modern societal demands trick women into believing that they need to do it all, and all by themselves. When in fact all traditional societies lived in tight-knit communities. Back then, there was always an aunt, grandma or cousin to look after your kids while you did your house chores. In our current modern lives, more and more families live in nuclear setups. This puts a lot of pressure on families. Parents are sacrificing sleep and social life in order to do the basics like caring for the family and running the house.
Get all the support you can. Divide chores in the house equally between partners. If either of you has demanding jobs, do not hesitate to ask help from the family from time to time or hire part-time services to care for your children.
Your sanity is more important than ticking every single task off the list. Share the load.
Most importantly always remember, this phase of life is short-lived. The kids will grow up and find their own way. Learn to enjoy these moments of chaos and the process of parenting.
How do you manage your life as a parent? Leave us some of your parenting tips in the comments below.