Have you ever wished you were a happier parent?
We all want to be happier parents. At least I do. I want to find joy in my parenthood and show my kids that I love being their mother (even if it is hard at times). I am a firm believer in the adage that happiness is a choice, not a destination or circumstance. If we want to be happy we need to choose to be. Sometimes that means choosing to let go of things that are making us unhappy.
Do you need to let go of any of these things that are standing in the way of being a happy parent?
1.Let go of Comparing
Comparing yourself with another is never a good idea. Why? Because, too often when we compare ourselves with others, we compare what we know about ourselves (whether it’s our failings and shortcomings or our successes and strengths) with what we think we know about others. (Which is often only part of the truth). Because of this, our comparisons are normally skewed and misleading. Letting go of the compulsion to judge our parenting by comparing ourselves with others is downright FREEING. Try it!
2.Let go of Trying to Be Perfect
There are no perfect parents out there, but there are a ton of great ones. The truth is that despite our best efforts we are all going to make mistakes. That’s ok. Really it is. Embrace who you are and find peace in knowing you are doing your best. Happy is the parent that Learns from their mistakes, laughs at them then moves on.
3.Let go of the Should’s and Supposed Too’s
It is easy to fall into the trap of expecting parenthood, childhood and family life to look a certain way. Then when it looks different we become unhappy and frustrated even. The truth is that life is rarely what we expect especially life with kids. If you hold on to how things should look or what things are supposed to be like you can miss out on enjoying how they really are.
4.Let go of Over Scheduling
As any parent knows, it is really easy to over schedule our children’s lives in the endeavor of providing them with all the best life has to offer. However, somewhere between all the dance classes, sports games, musical lessons, clubs and activities we find that we don’t have the time to breath or think. And we never have the time to sit down and enjoy a meal together let alone have family or personal time. This kind of schedule is not only draining on us as parent’s, but it is also draining on our kids. Try simplifying and you might just discover that Less is indeed More.
5.Let go of Keeping Score
Like comparing do you find yourself keeping score with your spouse or other parents? Which spouse is more involved with the children? Which spouse do the kids go to and like more? Which spouse disciplines more? Which parent contributes the most to your child’s class or homeschool group? Which parent looks nicer? Which parent is craftier? Which parent spends more money on their kids? The list can go on and quite frankly is a huge waste of time and energy.
When you let go of keeping score then you can focus on just doing what you feel inspired to do. This allows you to enjoy the freedom of not needing to feel obligated by others’ contributions.
6.Let go of the Past
Parenting can be hard. It can be exhausting, and frustrating. In those hard moments, it is easy to start down the dangerous path of thinking thoughts like: Before I had children I was skinnier. Before I had children I had more time for myself. Before I had children I had more time for romance with my spouse. Before I had children my house was cleaner. Before I had children I got more sleep. Before I had children I had time for friend and fun. Before I had kids I had nicer things…The list can go on and on and is totally true. And yet it isn’t for such thoughts are only illustrating part of the story. Letting go of the past allows us to fully enjoy the great things of the present while looking forward to the future.
7.Let go of Living Through Your Children
Parent’s trying to live through their children happens more than you would think. You see it as parents try to either relive their glory days or continue reaching for their own past dreams through their children. Not only is this unfair for the children, it is unsatisfying for the parents. Truthfully, if you do this you can seriously damage your relationship with your children. When you let go of trying to live through your children and encourage and support them in reaching for their own dreams everyone will be happier and your relationship will be strengthened.
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