How to be a good parent, even when you’re not upto it!

We all have those days – when we wish we don’t have to get up from bed, when we scream our wits out at a young child for a small infraction, when we are just PMS-ing or simply when we’ve run out of fuel. Maybe the kids kept us up all night, maybe it was our boss. Whatever it is, parenting is one thing you can’t actually put on hold. Here’s how to get through the day even if all you want to do is crawl back into bed –

1. Find your safety net – Something that makes you feel safe, in control and helps you calm down – inside the house. I’m all for going on long walks, etc but sometimes you just can’t get out. Instead use the resources you’ve got – be it playing a favorite tape, hopping in the shower or scribbling in your diary, find an activity that definitely helps you collect yourself, tune out from your problems and basically hold it together without screaming at your child.

2. Listen to your body – Of course you’re tired. But does it have to do with nutrition? Are you eating a balanced diet and drinking 8 glasses of water? Check your Magnesium and Vitamin D levels. A lot of women suffer from this previously unheard of deficiency that contributes to crazy mood swings and feelings of helplessness. Get your vitamin D fix by heading out sometime in the day when you can.

3. Cut cut cut – cut the drama from your life and certainly catch a break when you can. When your baby is napping for instance, although it may seem like a great idea to start dinner or fold laundry, at the end of it, you’ll only feel like you’ve not had any time at all. Instead, invest that time in a hot cuppa with a favorite book, music, TV shows or even a nap to recharge.

4. Set real expectations – Clean home? Fresh meals? Happy kids? Happy and sane you? Not happening at all sistah.. Chances are your sink is full and you’ve run your dishwasher with washed dishes without wanting to put away the clean ones. Congratulate yourself on doing the dishes or the laundry or whatever it is, all without losing it.

5. Activity time – Running errands, or behind a toddler at a park – everything counts to your fitness. Or so you can convince yourself when you do whatever it is that keeps you on your feet and no slumped over TV. Well done, mama!

It’s tough and sometimes without the help, it’s tougher and seems never ending. I hope some of these tips helps you gain your footing back and not lose sight of all the great work. Hang in there.. it’ll pass!

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