Parents take on many different tasks each and every day. They are constantly busy and always feeling stressed. Having the stress of tending to their children’s needs, pressure at work, and responsibilities at home leaves little time for themselves. Parents struggle to focus on self-care, which means that they don’t eat right, they don’t exercise, and they don’t get enough sleep. They do it all in the name of love; but it has a way of backfiring more often than not.
You may relate to all of this, or you may be unaware of how often this is happening and how much of a toll it is taking. Constant caregiving and self-neglect can build hidden resentment and a growing need for personal space. Unfortunately this cycle of burying emotions and needs often results in an eruption of anger that can be triggered by everyday parenting frustrations.
There are no days off from parenting. Busy parents must continue to care for their children regardless of how they are feeling. Running a household, working a job, and tending to children keeps you on the go all day (and often through the night as well). Parents are used to pushing through sleep-deprivation, headaches, back-aches, head colds, pregnancy symptoms, postpartum depression, or various other discomforts. However, human beings have a tendency to have a shorter fuse when dealing with physical pain, which means that self-neglect is not helpful to anyone.
Your children will not understand if you are tired or in pain. The baby will continue fussing. The toddler will continue whining. And the preschooler will continue nagging. All of this can push a parent past the limit of patience and end up unintentionally triggering an angry response. If this continues to happen, it can lead to inconsistent parenting that interferes with good discipline practices and eventually can damage the parent-child relationship.
How can you avoid these pitfalls? Stay in tune with your own needs. Be sure to nurture your physical self with adequate exercise and healthy eating. Nurture your spiritual self with small bits of quiet time, doing something you enjoy. Taking time for yourself to simply breathe and center yourself can be hugely beneficial to you and your entire family.
It is not selfish to take care of yourself. You need to fulfill your own basic needs so that you can, in turn, cheerfully take care of everyone else’s needs.
Need more tips?The No-Cry Discipline Solution is your answer for gentle ways to encourage good behavior without whining, tantrums and tears.