Being a parent is a terrible full-time job. And if you meet people who say it isn’t – believe me, they are either on meds, or still pregnant and have never been ‘in the field’ for real-life parenting.
Of course, we are exaggerating a bit – parenting is worthy of praise and respect, and parents who manage to do their job well and raise good citizens are great examples for other young families who are just planning on parenting. But the fact remains the same – parenting is a hard and stressful job, and there is no vacation. Ever.
Reasons for Feeling Stressed
1) This is a no-paying job.
This does not mean that we would like to get money for raising our kids. But still – being a parent has a lot more responsibilities and everyday tasks you have to accomplish no matter how good or bad you are feeling. And combining parenting with a real job creates a huge stress, as you have to develop superhuman abilities of multitasking and problem solving multiplied by two.
2) Time and Energy Juggling
No matter how good you two are at multitasking and planning, the lack of time and energy will become your everyday companion. You will maybe even get used to it, but that does not mean it will become better.
There is a good and precise metaphor for parenting: trying juggling eggs while still keeping up an ordinary life. And it is not only about your timing, but also your concentration and attention – you are always thinking about several things at a time, and God forbid you drop an egg! It would be so hard to put it back together.
3) Constant Worries
The world is frightening and full of dangers – this is another fact you learn once you become a parent. And while for some people this constant fear for their child’s life dims with time, others stay over-paranoid for a couple of decades, right to the time when they become grandparents. And then their paranoia shifts to grandchildren.
4) Other People Who Are ‘Pros’
What can be worse than feeling you are not able to do something? Well, having other people giving you direction and teaching how to raise your own kid are much worse. And when they learn you are using a two-step way to train your child to use the potty, they start telling you about an article they used to read, where the one-week method was described, and you definitely should follow it. What to do here? Breathe deep and be patient – you will be so relieved when their own child will not follow their ‘wise training’.
5) Lack of Control
No matter how much you want everything, including your kid’s meals and everything else, to be perfect, you should prepare for the fact that most of the time you are not in control of things. And no matter how hard you try, sometimes you just cannot make your child fall asleep when you want, or make your child listen to you and do what you want.
For sure, there are happy moments when you understand that your child is a separate person with their own temper, and you should respect that and let such situations go. But given the above-mentioned factors, most of the time you simply want them to do what you ask without any questions and go to sleep at their bed time.
How to Cope with Stress?
This one is actually the hardest. Stress by its nature will not go away for good – this is a reaction of our bodies to any changes in our lives. But it is the quality and amount of stress you can change for better. What can you as a modern parent do in order to become calmer?
1) Speak more.
No, it is not about giving orders or asking to keep elbows away from the table at the dinner. Speak to your child about their day, and try listening more than talking. This will gradually make your family closer, and you will feel less worried and stressed in no time.
2) Have time for yourself.
Yes, it is hard and sometimes seems impossible, but from time to time you should switch from being a parent to being a human. Take a bubble bath, turn off your phone and turn on the music and have some time on your own.
3) Try parenting control.
If you are one of those over-paranoid parents, try installing a parental monitoring app to your kid’s phone. This will help you keep track of their location and online activities. Parents seem to be calmer when they know what kids are doing.
Hopefully, these tips will help you cope with your stress!