Parenthood in reality is a lot different than most of us imagine. I know that if you’d asked me just five years ago how I see myself as a parent in the future, I would have given you a completely different description of where the cards have fallen.

And I am okay with that. What I didn’t realize is how much of a sacrifice it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t delusional enough to think that there would be no sacrifices. I was well aware there would be a lot. But being a parent is one of the most involved tasks I have ever had to carry out. If you are like me, then sometimes the weight of being a parent can be a lot to carry.

Sometimes, it’s impossible to not worry about the job I am doing, and then other times, I am quite certain I have hacked parenting once and for all. With all of that in mind, if you want to be happy, here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Give up worrying about what every expert believes.

Experts are a dime a dozen. There are hundreds and thousands of them all over the internet, all over social media, and all over television. Every friend you have knows a guy who heard such and such about raising kids. At the end of the day, you will have to listen to what works for you, and let all the rest fall to the wayside.

2. Give up on keeping score.

When you have a good day, it’s tempting to give yourself a gold star, and then the next day when your child is screaming and jumping off the couch, you move to scold yourself. STOP IT. You are a human and so are your kids.

3. Give up on what you ‘should’ do.

If you followed every ‘should’ that you were told to, your kids would be confused and you would be a mess. Listen to the advice that resonates and forget the rest.

4. Give up on being perfect.

It’s tempting to try to be the perfect parent. But, unfortunately, and fortunately, it’s impossible. And that is okay. No one said you have to be perfect. Just be the best parent you can be.

5. Give up on making your kids perfect.

And don’t hold your kids to unreachable standards either. They are tiny humans and they are not ever going to be perfect. That is okay. When you expect perfection or expect your kids to have a perfect life, both of you will end up gravely disappointed.

6. Give up on yelling.

If you tend to yell, it’s about time to give that up. First and foremost, you are only scaring your kids by yelling at them. Secondly, it’s not going to do them any good. And honestly, it’s only going to stress you out more. Reasoning with them and calmly talking to them is far more likely to merit a positive response.

7. Give up on believing one-size-fits-all.

Not every parenting approach will work for everyone. What works for your child and your family, might not work for your neighbor or friend. And that’s okay. So, if your parenting style doesn’t necessarily mirror someone else’s that’s okay too.

8. Give up on shaming yourself.

You are doing the best you can. And shaming yourself isn’t going to make you any better. Remember, you are a human being.

9. Give up on being selfless.

A lot of moms equate being selfless to being the perfect mom. But the truth is, you cannot pour from an empty cup. You need time for yourself, so you can refill your energy stores and practice some self-care. If you don’t you are going to be stressed all of the time, and your kids will too.

10. Give up on clinging to the rules your parents had for you.

And just because your parents did something with you doesn’t mean it’s the right way. For example, if your parents yelled at you, but you “turned out just fine,” imagine how much better you had turned out if they would have talked to you like a human being? Your parents likely did the best they can, too, but that doesn’t make them perfect. So learn from their mistakes and do the best you can knowing that.

Leave a Reply