• Derek Edwards, LAC

Parenting is Hard

Parenting is hard. That may be the least shocking and most obvious statement ever, but nonetheless true. Particularly in this current climate where everyone seems to have an opinion and the freedom to share that opinion from behind the safety of a keyboard.  

One of the things that makes parenting so hard is that no matter how hard you feel like you are trying, or how much thought and effort you put into things, it is so easy to second guess yourself. With the new school year approaching in the midst of this world-wide pandemic the stakes feel even higher. It feels like no matter what decision you make, it’s not the right one. I feel this nearly everyday. I have second guessed so many decisions I have made for my children over the last several weeks I have lost count. I will finally feel like I’ve done enough research and made my mind up, only to question myself again. 

I won’t pretend to know your situation right now and I am not here to tell you how you can be a better parent. What I can tell you is that you don’t have to do this alone. Talk to someone. Talk to your spouse, a friend, or a therapist. Talk about how you feel helpless and like the weight of it all is just too much. You don’t have to hold it in because the reality is that most parents probably feel the same way, even if their instagram and facebook present otherwise. 

I can also tell you that if you are struggling, weighing your options, and wondering if you’re making the right decisions, my guess is that you are a good parent. Let me say that one more time. You are a good parent. If you have decided to send your kid(s) to school, you are a good parent. If  you have decided to keep your kid(s) out of school, you are a good parent. Don’t let the seemingly perfect highlight reels of social media and the divisiveness of our current culture convince you otherwise. 

Here are a few thoughts to help you as you navigate the complexities of being a parent.  

  • Surround yourself with support. You are spending countless hours throughout the day caring for and thinking about your kids and family. Make sure to surround yourself with a support system that you trust. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the noise of everyone’s opinion, but rather discern the voices that are important to you and your family and who you know have your back. These voices can help you process your choices and decisions in a healthy way. 

  • Take care of yourself. It is okay to spend some time on yourself. Acknowledge the feelings you are feeling and take intentional time to care for yourself. Read a book. Go for a walk. Have a glass of wine. Take 10 minutes to lock yourself in your room and breathe. Whatever it is that helps you unwind and rejuvenate yourself, take the time to do it. 

  • Invest in what is important. Similar to taking care of yourself, take a moment to step back and evaluate the important things in your life. It’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos of the day to day. Make a point to slow down and take time for what you value most. 

  • Talk to someone. There is no shame in talking to a therapist. Sometimes we just need an unbiased person to listen to us. This whole parenting thing can be overwhelming. It’s okay to feel what you are feeling, but know that you don’t have to do it alone. 

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