Five ways to help alleviate the stressors of parenting, keep your anger at bay, and allow you to enjoy the most out of raising your family.
One question I’m continually asked by both Mighty Mommy listeners and parents in my own circle is, “How do you keep so calm and seem to enjoy parenting as much as you do with eight kids?”
Truthfully, I’m flattered that I have a reputation for being such a joyful parent, because I’m human like the rest of us moms and dads and have had my fair share of trying and challenging moments in the trenches of parenthood.
While I don’t profess to have all the answers, I do know what has worked for me while raising a large family. The one constant that seems to be my “magic bullet” is realizing that the only person who I can control is me—therefore, I have to be good with “myself” to stay on top of my parenting game, no matter what’s happening around me.
Today, I'm sharing five surefire ways you can help alleviate some of the stressors of parenting which in turn will help keep your anger at bay and allow you to enjoy the most out of raising your family.
5 Ways to Keep Your Parenting Anger at Bay
- Tip # 1: Enjoy parenting in the present moment
- Tip #2: Put your wipers on
- Tip #3: You get what you give
- Tip #4: Turn your voice into a whisper
- Tip #5: Ask for help
Let’s look into each a little further.
Tip # 1: Enjoy Parenting in the Present Moment
It's human nature to drift away from the present and sink into a memory from the past or indulge in wishful thinking about what our future holds. For a parent who is listening to a toddler throwing a tantrum in the grocery store because she can’t have a handful of candy bars at the checkout lane, it’s no wonder thoughts of sending the kid off to college are all we can think about before we blow a gasket and simply try to get out of the store unscathed.
There’s no question when we’re having a difficult day with our kids we might want to wish that time away. But if we shift our mindset to accepting that many of our parenting moments aren’t going to be easy and that our kids need us, it really can make you appreciate your overall parenting job a lot more. One of my favorite times of the day is in the morning when we’re all getting ready for school or work. I used to run around like a headless chicken trying to get everyone out the door, but now that my kids are older and can help get themselves ready, I can focus on the little things, like watching my 11-year-old experiment with weird new ingredients in her oatmeal or listen to our curious six-month-old puppy go crazy when the bus comes down the street. If nothing else, when you stay focused on the interactions happening with your family right then and there, you will start to connect with your kids and spouse in a more positive way and can be a bit more joyful and a lot less cranky.
Tip #2: Put Your Wipers On
I’ve always been a very visual person. In the world of learners, I am most definitely a right brain person. In other words, my dominant side of the brain looks at visual reference as a whole, and then works its way into noticing finer details. You can only imagine that as a child learning to tie my shoes, my parents had the patience of saints, because I had to see the “how to” visual over and over again! (Thank you mom and dad!)
My parenting style is also very visual. I tend not to focus on where my kids might be stuck, but instead, where they are going. To do this, I’ve relied on a visual tool: “emotional” windshield wipers. When times are tough, I visualize I’m in the midst of a very rainy day, and turn on my wipers to clear away the excess water, fog, and muck. Doing this allows me to wipe away a very bad day and instead focus on a more hopeful, joyful day. If nothing else, it has certainly limited my unpleasant outbursts, for which my family is very grateful.