Dear Struggling Parent,
I know that being a parent is the hardest job in the world. It drains you, depleting you of all you have to give. But somehow when you feel there’s nothing left, you find a new reservoir to draw from. It’s the reservoir of love and it’s located deep in your heart.
Life is short and we never seem to have enough time. But when you’re struggling to breathe, it’s normal to take the little things for granted and wish time away. I was there and the time I thought I had was robbed from me in an instant. I try not to see this as time stolen but choose to see every moment I had with my daughter as a blessing. While I was struggling, what I saw was chaos. I stood in the middle of a tornado and watched the moments pass by. I looked forward to the day where my daughter would sleep through the night and be less dependent on me. I looked forward to the day life would be “easier” because it was just so hard to cope!
So away time went. And my wish was granted. My daughter is now asleep. Permanently. And now all I wish for is that chaotic life that I took for granted. I have been forced to learn some really tough lessons. I hope that by sharing some of what I have learned, I can help others who are struggling. So my advice to you is this:
1. Learn the art of self-care. Fill your cup, and make it a priority to keep that cup full because when this cup is empty, you have nothing left to give anyone else. Take care of yourself and do what you can to make sure your needs are met. It takes a community to raise a child so reach out for support when you need to. There are many community resources available for those in need.
2. Live in the moment. Be mindful and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted, especially when it comes to your children. Give your children the gift of your presence. I promise they will thank you for it, and in return you will gain memories you would have otherwise missed out on.
3. Practice gratitude. Be grateful for all that you have. Find something to be thankful for every single day. Focus on these gifts! Remind yourself to be grateful for the difficult moments too because these moments are learning opportunities that allow us to grow. If life were always easy, we wouldn’t appreciate the good times as we would have nothing to compare them to. With every storm comes a rainbow, so focus on that rainbow!
4. Stop complaining! Complaining lowers your frequency and attracts more negativity. It’s like a vortex that sucks you in and is very difficult to escape from. It doesn’t solve anything and leads to increased negativity. This results in you feeling worse.
5. Stop being so hard on yourself. You are only human after-all. We all make mistakes and we all have areas we can improve on. Never stop trying to improve yourself and remember to reward your accomplishments. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Parenting is the hardest job in the world, so remember to pat yourself on the back every once in a while.
No matter how difficult life is, live it in a way that you can be proud of. Our children grow up fast so enjoy the time you have with them. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers; inhale the sweet beauty of the miracles that surround you. Make the most of every moment and strive to live a life of no regrets. Remember that not everyone is fortunate enough to have time with their children, so treat these moments as blessings! Difficult times always pass and when you look back on your life years from now, you will be rewarded with beautiful memories!