How to Keep Your Sanity as a Parent

Through the seven years I’ve been a mother, I’ve learned a lot about parenting. I’ve learned how to survive on a minuscule amount of sleep without falling over during breakfast. I’ve learned how much my heart can immediately love another human being.  And, I’ve learned how to change a diaper abnormally fast. Mostly though, I’ve learned that parenting is really, really hard. So many things can deplete you as a parent, making it even harder to parent your little rugrats. I’ve made a helpful list of the top sanity killers parents face, along with solutions to help you. Hopefully with these tips, some much needed rest and lots of strong coffee, you’ll learn to not only survive parenting but find the joy in every moment, well mostly. Enjoy!

Sanity Killer # 1:  Constant Noise

This one is hard to control in my house, considering the fact that I have three children that make an obscene amount of noise when they’re…awake. Sometimes when I catch a moment of silence I panic and wonder if I’ve gone deaf or if they’re flushing something down the toilet. Between the loud playing, the tantrums and constant stream of cartoons – I feel like I live in a Chuckee- Cheese.

Solution: Schedule Quiet Time

An easy fix to this problem is to not only turn off the darn television, but also schedule time to be alone. Make a plan to take a bubble bath, lay down for a quick nap or just sit and read. Have your hubby or your mom watch the kids so you can relax for a bit and regain your mommy strength. Quiet time helps you miss the chaos that will immediately ensue when you get back, making it much easier to parent calmly and patiently.

Sanity Killer #2: Comparing Yourself to Others

This is by far the worst thing a parent can do when trying to stay sane. Stop trying to compete with the mom who cooks only organic, the mom who had all her kids sleep trained at five months old or the crafty mom that exhales ribbons and glitter. Every parent has a strength and every parent has a weakness, we are all different. Comparing ourselves to others will only cause us to feel inadequate, and honestly a little resentful of other moms. We’re in this together, we should encourage each other not compete against one another.

Solution: Stop it!

Sounds simple, but seriously – stop it. Stop thinking you need to potty train at a certain time or whatever goal you may feel behind on, every kid is different and every parent is different. Figure out what works best for your family and stand by your choices. You are the only one that knows what’s best for your children.

Sanity Killer #3: Over-committing

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but trying to keep up with a super busy schedule causes me a tremendous amount of stress. If I had a planner full of constant activities, play dates, appointments and commitments I’d be a nervous wreck. Over committing to too much is a sure fire way to cause stress.

Solution: Prioritize

The solution is simple – choose what matters most and let go of the rest. Do what makes you and your family happy and let go of any outside opinions. You can’t run on an empty tank, so be sure not to add so much to the calendar that your sanity suffers.

Sanity Killer #4:  Striving for perfection

Perfection is not an achievable goal, so having an expectation that mistakes shouldn’t happen is setting you up to fail. Mistakes are inevitable, especially in parenting. If you are constantly telling yourself that you should never fail or make a mistake, than you will always feel inadequate. Setting a goal to be a good mom is great, but remember that good parents make mistakes, fall down and – yes, even yell from time to time.

Solution: Expect to make mistakes

Instead of dwelling on the mistakes you make, let them go. Apologize to your kids when you’re wrong, hug them and then move on. Mistakes only help us if we get back up and keep trying to be better. Expect to make mistakes and you wont be so shocked by their presence in your life. Expecting to be perfect will only leave you feeling awful all the time. Only one person in this world was ever perfect, and he died because we never could be.

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