There's a whole lot about parenting that's hard.
Being a parent is challenging in general. You have sleepless nights and tantrums and your heart is ripped in two when your child is sick or hurting.
Parenting is NOT for sissies.
But as a relatively successful professional, there's something about parenting that I didn't really expect, and it drove me crazy as a new parent:
As soon as I have something figured out, the world shifts beneath my feet and I'm a beginner all over again.
There's no shortage of parenting advice out there these days. I'm an education junkie (not to mention a recovering perfectionist), so as a new mom I figured I could find everything I needed to know somewhere out there. I went out of my way to search for other people's research, advice, and opinions about parenting. I inhaled as much as I could from people who “knew better” than me. I asked questions. I took notes. I downloaded and devoured book after book after book….
Like a good student, I applied just about everything I learned in one form or another (even against my better judgment at times). I thought if only I could figure out the “secret” to parenting, all of my struggles and doubts would vanish and I would KNOW what to do. If one solution didn't work the way I expected or hoped, I just moved on to the next option out there.
After several months of bopping around from one guide to the next without “figuring it all out,” I had a few realizations about parenting that finally allowed me to see clearly.
If you're struggling to find solid ground as a parent, I hope this offers you some comfort as well.
How many of you struggle with communicating with your toddler? Are you tired of all of the tantrums and outbursts? Does your child “communicate” by hitting, biting, and other aggressive actions?
I wanted to create a list of tips for parents who are looking for a better way to communicate with their young children. Here are 11 tricks that have helped me build more trust with my son, avoid tantrums, and feel more connected to him overall. Even better, we're establishing a way of engaging with each other that will persist as he gets older, which will come in very handy during those rough teenage years (I hope!).
I'm not sure if you've heard of the parenting trend called Positive Parenting that's become very popular over the last decade or two. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Positive Parenting approach, its roots are based in the Positive Psychology movement. People who practice Positive Parenting promote gentle understanding and guidance vs. punishment and strict discipline with children.
Doesn't sound so bad, does it?
Having said that, it appears to me that we may be taking this Positive Parenting trend to a whole new level. I see so many parents, especially those of us who are overachievers at work and in life, moving away from Positive Parenting and more toward a new version: Perfect Parenting.
Everyone's purpose for parenting is personal. Your reasons for raising your child may be different than mine, and that's exactly how it should be. We're all motivated by different things, and your goals for starting your family are unique.
Why does it matter what your purpose as a parent is?
Well, parenthood has changed a lot over just the last 50-100 years. Becoming a parent used to be practical, even a method of survival for most people. People had children to help with the farm or otherwise help support the family so they could survive. Becoming a parent served a functional purpose. Even when our parents were kids, the norm was that Dad worked outside the home while Mom stayed home and raised the kids.
Parents had a specific purpose, and many people didn't question their role.
This just isn't the case anymore.
I know there is a LOT of information out there about parenthood and work-life balance and productivity and creating a happy life. My goal with this website and this blog is to provide a resource specifically for families where both parents work full-time, who are trying to raise self-confident and happy children, but who are overwhelmed and just don't know where to turn to create a more balanced life.
Life with little ones at home can be exhausting. And then you pile a demanding career or two on top of that, and the pace with which the world turns these days… it's a recipe for burnout and hopelessness.