I recently read a great article and it got me thinking. It was called “The Parenting Secret That Is Destroying Us” in Huffpost. It was all about how we, as parents, are exhausted. That back in the day there was a tribe that would help out. They would help with the baby/child while the parent would go the bathroom or while they sleep. And that we need to bring back the tribe. Not necessarily physical people in our lives to help, but to work with the current resources we have.
We need to talk about what is going on. Whether that’s to an online community or just one person. We need to take a bit of time for ourselves – to reset. This parenting thing is hard. And the more we talk about it with others, the more we can understand that we are not alone. The more we can realize that we are a tribe. Maybe not the way they were back in the day, but we are. Because our resources now-a-days are online.
One problem with our resources is that you mostly only see the good stuff is shared. “Oh, look at my happy child!” or “My baby took his/her first steps!”. That’s awesome! But what about the negative or less than good things that have happened? Are those not shareable? Are they worthwhile to share? I think more parents need to share what they are going through. If we can share, the more help we can get. If we share, then we can realize that we are not alone. I feel that some people don’t share it because they don’t want others to see their struggles. But everyone struggles in one way or another. And sharing our stories will help.
I will tell you one recent struggle that we have had at home. Our son, 3.5 year old, has been throwing tantrums because he isn’t listening. Most of the time it’s been in the mornings or in the evenings. We tried so many things to try to help. We’d give him time to let out the screams and crying. We tried locking him in his room (yes a little extreme but we tried it). And the last thing we tried was taking things away. This, seems to work the best. It doesn’t always work right away, but it works. So when he doesn’t listen, we take one of this stuff animals away. And if he continues, it keeps going. We’ll even take his books away if needed. On good days, we only have to take 1-2 things away. On the bad days, we have to take everything away. And we let him calm down and then ask him to explain what happened and how he can get his animals/books back. He eventually will calm down and start listening again. Meanwhile, there’s a baby crying in the background because they are hungry. Sometimes it’s just me when this happens so I have to somehow juggle the 2 kiddos. And it’s rough! Mentally and physically exhausting! And when both my husband and I am around, we are able to manage the situation a little better.
So… I am asking you, that as a parent, reach out to your resources. Whether that be someone to talk to (professional or not), reach out to an online community, or a neighborhood community. Take some time for yourself. Know that you have other people there to help. The more we open up, the better it will make us feel. I know it has for me!