Seven Ways to Enjoy Parenthood and Life More
If you’re struggling to keep up with all the things now that you’re a parent, you’re not alone. Becoming a parent is wonderful and amazing! It’s also life changing and hard too.
When I first became a mom, I struggled. I was so excited that I wanted to do everything and do it all just right. I put so much pressure on myself. I was overwhelmed and exhausted all the time, and no matter how much I did it never felt like it was enough. So, I continued to push myself to do more.
Then my grandma passed away. Her passing hit me hard. She was such a wonderful woman. As I was thinking about what made her so wonderful, it finally hit me. She wasn’t amazing because she did ALL THE THINGS and did them all PERFECTLY, rather, she was amazing because she spent time with us and showed us she loved us, just like my mom and dad. That’s when I realized I didn’t need to push more, I needed to give myself permission to do less. I needed to do my best each day and let it be enough.
Thanks to my background in psychology and my coach training, I was able to begin to take steps that would help me ditch the unrealistic expectations so I could enjoy parenthood and life more.
Here are 7 things that helped me take some of the pressure off, and if you’re struggling as a parent, they can help you too!
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
No matter what you’ve done in your life, nothing will fully prepare you for parenthood. It can feel like a whole new world. A scary world as you are now responsible for another human being that you love more than you ever thought was possible. Each day brings new twists and turns.
When you find yourself questioning every little decision you make or struggling to even make a decision (because what if you’re wrong?), take a few slow deep breaths. Remind yourself of all the past situations where you didn’t know exactly what to do or how to do it, but you made a decision and you made it through to the other side.
You can do this too! You know a lot more than you give yourself credit for and you’ll learn even more as you go.
- STOP COMPARING
Stop using what you see others doing (and how great they look doing it) on tv and social media as a measuring stick to see where you stack up. We are all different. We have different values, different priorities, different lifestyles, and different challenges. What works for one person or family doesn’t work for everyone, and just because something looks shiny and perfect on the outside doesn’t mean it’s that way on the inside.
When you catch yourself comparing, make a conscious effort to shift your focus from what others are doing to what you’re doing and what’s important to you and your family. Then, challenge yourself to name 3-5 things that you love about yourself and the way you parent.
- DUMP THE SHOULDS
When you become a parent, everyone is eager to tell you all the things you “should” be doing. The next time you catch yourself thinking you “should” do something, try changing that “should” to a “could.” Then, decide if it really is something you want to do.
Bonus Tip: Go through your to-do list one item at a time and ask yourself if each task is a must. If it’s not a must, ask yourself what makes doing it important to you. If you don’t have an answer, it’s a “should” so scratch it off your list and let it go.
- LISTEN TO YOUR HEART & TRUST YOURSELF
As a parent, new situations and issues come up daily and you have to figure out how to best handle them. You may have your own ideas, you may need to ask friends or family, and/or you may have to do a little research. Regardless of how you come up with a solution, if it doesn’t feel right when you put it into action, don’t hesitate to adjust it or try something new. Trying things out and making adjustments as you go is how you find what works best for you and your family.
- MAKE TIME FOR SELF-CARE
Self-care is not selfish, it’s self-love and it’s vital. You know that saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” Well, it’s true, and as a parent you’re constantly pouring. If you don’t make time to refill your cup, eventually it will dry up and you’ll have nothing left to give.
When you take time for yourself your loved ones benefit too.
Think you don’t have the time? 5-10 minutes for yourself a day can make a big difference! Use this time to do something that helps you relax. It might be something as simple as closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths; maybe it’s reading a few pages of a book, doing a little yoga, or something else entirely. Whatever you choose, schedule it in and make it happen!
- LET GO OF PERFECTION
Remember, no one is perfect, no one does everything just right all the time, and we all make mistakes.
Decide to do your best each day and to let it be enough. And when you make a mistake, apologize if needed, learn from it, forgive yourself, and move on.
- CELEBRATE ALL YOU DO
You’re a parent, so I know you do A LOT each day regardless of what’s still left on your to-do list. Take a little time at the end of each day to give yourself credit for all the things you did and be sure to celebrate all your wins – both big and small.
These 7 tips will help take some of the pressure off. They’ll help you have less stress and more joy so you can enjoy parenthood and life more!
Jaclyn Zubiena helps overwhelmed moms ditch the unrealistic expectations so they can enjoy motherhood and life more! She is a trained Life Coach and a Certified Health & Wellness Coach. She also has her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Plus, she has real life experience.
Jaclyn is a mom and a recovering perfectionist overachiever. She specializes in helping overwhelmed moms let go of perfection, drop the “shoulds” and shorten their to-do lists all while cultivating self-compassion so they have less stress and more joy.
She’s the founder of Jaclyn Zubiena, LLC (www.jaclynzubiena.com) and she offers free 30-minute consultations. You can find her on Facebook at Jaclyn Zubiena Coaching (http://fb.me/Jaclynzubienacoaching/) and on Instagram as Jaclyn Zubiena (https://www.instagram.com/jaclynzubiena/)