When we become a parent, there are entirely new sets of challenges that come our way. We need to figure out how to deal with tantrums, handle naptime and get the little one to eat healthy food.
And while it may not seem like it at times, being a parent isn’t easy. Parenting days can have their ups and downs just like any other day.
However, unlike any other day, on a parenting day — you may find yourself in the midst of an unending string of bad ones. A bad day as a parent doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a bad parent. We all have those days when things don’t go exactly according to plan — whether you’re a parent or not.
Here is how to turn around your bad parenting day:
Talk to a friend or family member
Even if you’re not facing a crisis, sometimes a friend can provide the perspective you need to get your head straight. If you can, ask a friend who has children what has worked for them.
If you don’t have friends with kids, call on a family member who has kids (or has been around them a lot).
People who have been in your position can often offer better advice than someone who has no experience with parenting (and who may think that everything will be fine or will eventually work out).
Go for a run or work out
This one really depends on your child’s age. If you have an infant or toddler, this might not be the best option depending on where you are and how long you have to be away.
However, if you have older children or a spouse or other family member who can watch your little ones, taking a little time for yourself can really help you get back on track.
Exercise is well known to help reduce stress and anxiety, so taking some time to get your blood flowing could go a long way toward helping you turn a bad day around.
Try to enjoy something that you like
If you’ve had a less than stellar day as a parent, it may seem like the last thing that you would want to do is do something you like.
However, it’s important not to neglect yourself as a parent. If you’ve had a tough day, try to find a little joy in something that you would normally enjoy.
Maybe you want to listen to your favourite music, read a book or watch a show that you enjoy.
Finding something that you enjoy and self-nourishment can help get your mind off of the bad day and make it easier to turn a corner.
Don’t forget to breathe!
Being a parent is a roller coaster of emotions. It’s a lifelong learning experience and we might not always get it right. However, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t doing our best.
In fact, one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves as parents is to remember to take a few breaths. If you find yourself on a bad parenting day, it’s important to not get down on yourself too much.
Taking a few breaths can help you re-focus on what is important and help you move past the bad parenting day so that you can have a better one.
It’s also important to remember that it’s okay to take a break if you need it. If things are getting a bit too crazy, it’s okay to close the door, take a few minutes and take some deep breaths.
Being a parent can be very challenging, but it’s also very rewarding. During a bad parenting day, try to keep the big picture in mind and remember that you are a great parent.
No matter what happens, it’s important to remember that you are doing the best that you can — and that’s all anyone can ask for.