Sunday, December 9, 2012

How to Feel Better About Your Parenting

  • Watch an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras. 
    • Between the kids acting like complete terrors constantly and the parents doing appalling things from maxing credit cards to pay for pageant dresses to drugging their small children with Redbull, you'll suddenly feel like you have the best parenting morals of all time because you don't spray tan your 2 year old and you actually send your children to time out when they scream at you and start smashing things on the coffee table.
  • Organize their toys. 
    • Nothing makes you stop feeling guilty for not buying your child more stuff than realizing just how much stuff they already have. And then swear you're getting rid of half of it before you let Santa Clause so much as think about coming down that chimney.
  • Show them pictures from when they were littler. 
    • They just love this, the little egotistical creatures that they are, and hearing the stories about how that was their first trip to the zoo and here is them with their cousins a few summers back. Plus then you get reminded of all the fun stuff you've done with them (plus the hell-on-earth part of "plane travel" and "long car rides" seem much less important a couple of years later).
  • Remember what it's like to be little.
    • Sometimes it's hard to be little. Also, remember that you totally turned out fine despite the occasional bad day on the part of your parents (unless of course you didn't, and then you can just tell yourself how much better you're doing than your parents ever did until your child rats you out in therapy 12 years later).
  • Spend an hour at home without your phone/computer/other adults. 
    • Don't know what to do with them? Sit on the floor, and ask them what they would like to play. They will take care of the rest so long as you're not distracted. And then you become the most awesome parent ever as you make a blanket fort and eat 37 pretend dishes of ice cream and let them win at Candyland, and then can totally return to the world of doing laundry (or procrastinating doing laundry by playing on the internet) guilt free for the rest of the afternoon.
  • Snuggle with them at bedtime.
    • It's not much, but a few minutes of quiet time together can go a long ways to making you feel more rewarded by being a parent. 
  • Let them have a treat occasionally. 
    • Not often mind you, only every once in a great while, but perhaps just that one night you could hand them a piece of left over Halloween candy even though they didn't eat their dinner, or stick in a package of those horribly tooth rotting fruit snacks they love so much into their lunch. The simple surprise of getting it is almost as good as the treat itself.
  • Buy yourself a new shirt/pants.
    • I'm sure you had a favorite piece of clothing that your child destroyed or stained or otherwise made unwearable thanks to your post-baby-belly-boobs combo, replacing it will make you less begrudging of the basic hardships (like the horrors of blowout diapers) of being a parent. Plus feeling that you look good in the body your children left you with is at least 85% direct influence from how your closet is fitting you (nobody feels good about themselves in a shirt two sizes off with milk stains).
  • Look at them when they are sleeping. 
    • Yes yes, there is always that chance of waking them up, but nothing is more endearing than that little monster in peaceful slumber. You may want to take a picture of it, and keep it handy for the moments when your child is truly being a terror (after all, they're only like this half the time, the rest is spent in the much-more-appealing state of slumber). 
  • Laugh
    • No really, just laugh. Laugh with your kids. Laugh at them destroying your upstairs bathroom plumbing by flushing Spiderman down the toilet. Laugh at them dumping a big bucket sand on their sister's head. Laugh at yourself when you reach the ultimate moment of mommy-low by having peanut butter sandwich in your hair at the grocery store, snot striped sweat pants you swore you'd never wear out of the house, and a cart-full of screaming children and quickly melting popsicles. Laugh at all the times you want to put your head in your hands and cry in despair, because sometimes, it actually makes you feel a tiny bit better (or at least distracts your children from screaming long enough to enquirer as to why you are laughing and not screaming back at them).

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes we all could use a moment to step back and realize that we're doing okay as parents. This post was funny (Toddler's and Tiara's idea was great that show is too much!)and also very true at the same time. Finding ways to laugh is the most important for sure.

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