We parents have all had those days when we just don’t want to “parent” anymore.
We may not want to admit it, but even my parents confessed when I approached them about this subject that they, too, had moments where they were just frustrated with parenting during the day.
So let’s preface all of this by saying you are NOT alone!
You aren’t the only parent whose child melts down when you give them the fuschia marker instead of the hot pink one.
There are other parents whose kids will throw a fit because their milk is not in their favorite sippy cup, as well.
You are not the first person to have your children wake up 1,237,463 times a night. Or to wake up for the day before 5AM. Or to not nap. Or to just flat out struggle with sleep.
I have had many moments when I come to Brad struggling after a long day and wondering how I can do the same thing the next day. He often brings me back down to reality and reminds me that many people have done this parenting thing before.
Now that we’ve established there is strength in numbers when it comes to parenting, what do you do on those days when you just CAN’T “parent” anymore?!
I’d love to give you some hypothetical answers, but I’ll start with what I did today.
Today was rough. I set a 4:47AM alarm to get up, workout, read my devotions, shower, and have 2 hours without the girls. They both ruined those plans and it got my day off to a bad start! Throughout the day, I resorted to the following to help me get through:
- Snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. I dumped approximately 76 veggie straws onto their picnic table to share. (38 is a serving size, so one serving per each – reasonable, right?)
- Technology. We have several learning toys that make noise and as annoying as they can get sometimes, they are WORTH IT! Mini kid cell phones, fake TV remotes, pretty pink shiny toddler laptops – you name it and it will keep them entertained for a little bit.
- Adult technology. Yup, Netflix and Amazon Prime. I usually reserve this as a special treat around dinner time if I need a few minutes without a toddler crawling on me so I can prepare food but today it was used for HOURS straight. I’m not super proud, but I kept my sanity.
- A few minutes away. I don’t always have this luxury, but today Brad was working from home and gave me a little break so I could breathe.
- Prayer. It makes me sad that this was so far down on the list but in the moment, I didn’t even think about it. My morning was messed up from the start and I didn’t have a solid foundation and time in the Word. Can I tell you how quickly God can calm me down and bring me back to reality? He helps comfort me and remind me that I set the tone for the little minions – NOT the other way around.
- No technology. Wait, what?! I know I just mentioned how technology had saved me. But it also helped to just sit down for 30 minutes on the couch as I read a book to Ainsley on one knee while simultaneously flipping through another with Emerson on my other knee. Putting away the technology and distractions and just reading is something we make sure to do multiple times a day and it helps calm everyone down.
- Date night. Thanks to said girls waking up at an awfully early hour, they were in bed soon after 6PM. We got fancy and whipped up some filet mignon for dinner and had a fancy dinner – candles, music, wine and all – after they went to sleep. We were able to talk about the crazy and game plan for the rest of the week so the days don’t take such a negative tone as they did today.
It’s not always easy.
It’s never perfect.
Yet it’s beautiful.
It’s a love deeper than I knew I could have.
Parenting sure it a wild ride – but you are NOT alone!
What do you do to bring yourself back to reality on the days when you just don’t want to parent anymore?