Parenting is definitely known as "The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love," so on those trying days when you want to run and hide under the covers, here are five ways you can turn it around.
Tip #3: Schedule “Time Ins”
We know that “time outs” are beneficial when we want to redirect our child who needs to be removed from a situation that isn’t going well—giving them quiet time without any distractions to think about what they’ve just done so they can make a better decision or have a better frame of my mind after chilling out alone. Time-Ins are on that same wave length, however, you use this time to be together with your kids and away from the hectic, many times overscheduled, commitments and activities you are constantly juggling.
Because our calendars are so full with extracurricular activities, practices, and appointments, we often don’t make time to just hang out in our own homes with our families. But with regularly scheduled “Time ins,” you can reserve some sacred time to not rush out the door to another commitment, but instead lounge around your cozy home and have your favorite cereals for dinner or play a game of checkers or rearrange the furniture in your living room. You might even use the time to just hang out and talk! Some of my kids love to bake and cook so we use some of our “time ins” to create recipes we’ve never tried before and that we normally wouldn’t have time to make on a busy school night. We try to have at least two “Time ins” a month, and my hope is that when my kids have families of their own they’ll continue this tradition. See Also: 6 Ways to Take Back Family Time
Tip #4: Thou Shall Not Compare
One sure way to not love your own life is to compare your family with someone else’s. Whether it be someone in your own family, your neighbor, a coworker, or someone you barely know on Facebook, there is absolutely no point in comparing your family’s lifestyle, home, school, or any other situation with anyone else. Next time you think the “grass is greener” in someone else’s backyard, focus on all the blessings you have right in front of you and pour your energy into your loved ones not into what you think someone else has that’s better.
Tip #5: Look for the Silver Lining
One of my favorite movies is Silver Linings Playbook where the main character, Pat Solitano (played by Bradley Cooper) has been in a mental health facility for nearly a year and then moves in with his parents while trying to win his estranged wife back. He is under the care of a therapist who wants him to keep taking his medication, however, he decides he is going to try an entirely new approach and self-treatment based on his new outlook on life and that is he would attempt to find the good, or silver linings, in everything he experienced.
It’s easy to look for the negative side of a situation, but that sure doesn’t make anyone feel good when the focus is on what went wrong. The next time you’re faced with a negative parenting moment, do what Pat Solitano did and look for the silver lining (and yes, sometimes you really do have to look hard). Last week I got a call at 1 AM from the campus police at my son’s college. He had been to party that had gotten out of hand and over 50 kids were taken into custody and all the parents were phoned in the middle of the night. After my heart rate returned to normal, and although I was disappointed that he made a poor decision to be part of that scene, I was simply grateful he was not hurt or involved in anything more than a disorderly noise disturbance and was able to remove my 20 new gray hairs and eventually go back to sleep. Choosing to look for the positive side of things can create more bliss in your life and when parenting, that can definitely help you love your job a whole lot more.
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