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What to Do When You Feel Like You're Drowning as a Parent
What to Do When You Feel Like You're Drowning as a Parent

When you’re a parent, sometimes it takes everything you have just to keep your head above water. You may not know what your child wants, thinks, or feels at any given moment. You try to look in a book or call someone, but everyone has a different opinion. And if your kid isn’t doing exactly what you read or heard, you might think you suck as a parent.

Here’s what to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed as a parent:

  1. Cut yourself some slack. When my kid (now 31) was little, he wasn’t talking as early as the books say kids are supposed to talk. People would often comment about it. Then one day, he started talking in complete sentences. I just stared at him like a demon had possessed his body. Kids do their own thing in their own weird time. Stop being so tough on yourself, and instead, be proud that you’re raising, influencing, and loving your child.

  2. Talk to yourself using positive language. Your child is not going to be perfect all of the time. When you feel like nothing is going right, repeat after me: 

    • “I love my kid.”

    • “I’m doing my best.”

    • “I’m here when he/she needs me.”

  3. Take others’ comments with a grain of salt. You know how when you’re pregnant, everyone has a horror story to tell you about being pregnant? You have got to avoid listening to all the nonsense that gets thrown at you. Everyone has a different opinion or agenda. If you want advice, ask for input from people who have done a reasonably good job.

  4. Don’t make everything a catastrophe. All kids go through phases of being jealous, mean, bad, lazy, or annoying. You did too. That doesn’t mean your child is going to grow up to be a sociopath.

  5. If they’re not going to die or get seriously hurt from it, let them do it. Back when I was doing a lot of sewing, my son decided he was going to play with the pins. I was about to say something, but instead, I just watched. He started to play with the pins, got  stuck with one, and then yelled, “Ow!”. He quickly realized that he shouldn’t be playing with pins. I didn’t have to scream or slap his hand, which only would have made getting into the pins much more exciting.

  6. Learn to control your anger. Many parents get angry when their little kids spill something. Why? It’s not like they sat there and thought, “Gee, I’m going to spill this on purpose.” They don’t think about it because their brains aren’t even formed until 5 or 6. They are exploring the world and being scientific.

  7. Find the humor in parenting. Laugh more about the kinds of things your kids do. You do that by having realistic expectations.  

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Tags: Mental Health, Motherhood-Fatherhood, Parenting, Stay-at-Home Mom, Stress, Tips
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