When you are an adult, you are responsible for yourself and the impact that your actions have on others. But, when you become a parent, those responsibilities expand significantly as you are now also responsible for doing the best you can to raise another human being.
Recently, I had a discussion with a friend of mine about the responsibilities of parenthood. Most parents can attest that parenting is a rewarding yet very challenging job.
When you become a parent, your decisions are even more important. The choices you make play a critical role in shaping someone else’s life and who they become.
When I became a working mother of three kids under three years old, my life changed drastically. Giving my best to the kids, while continuing to show up for myself was a challenge.
I had to create a survival plan for myself. The plan allowed me to keep my sanity and continue to show up for my loved ones.
Like many other parents, the past few months have tested me. During that process, I remembered five words that helped me a few years ago as I had to adjust from being a mother of one to becoming a mother of three overnight.
Being a parent is managing multiple schedules, including your kids’ activities and social life, among other things. Most young kids appreciate having a routine and systems in place that they can easily maintain.
Planning for the week by creating activity schedules, to-do lists, and meal prepping can considerably increase productivity and morale.
Having systems kids can use to organize their toys, and making clean up time part of the daily routine, helps declutter the house and leave you with a clearer mind.
As kids get older, giving them responsibilities around the home can also be very helpful.
Over the past six years, I have heavily relied on being organized, sometimes down to having every hour of the day accounted for, especially during a busy week.
I have noticed that on the weeks I plan less, my productivity considerably decreases.
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I admit that I was a pretty impatient person before I had children.
I quickly learned that to keep my sanity, I needed to learn to be more patient.
Kids have a mind of their own. They also have different personalities and temperaments.
Part of raising them to be strong-minded individuals is also learning to deal with them without taming who they are, which requires patience. Giving them time to figure things out, develop their own methods to form their opinion, and make decisions appropriate for their age.
This fall, my family decided to keep our three girls at home until the Covid-19 situation is under control where we live.
As a result, I recently discovered the joys of homeschooling my three-year-old twins. That process has reminded me of the importance of having patience, as it requires a lot of it.
Mom guilt is a feeling that most mothers experience at some point. It is something that I continue to struggle with as I strive to be the best parent I can be for my children.
Last year, my oldest daughter started kindergarten. I decided to spend a week in Paris with my sister before school started. Shortly after booking my trip, I found out that school orientation would be a day before I was scheduled to fly back home.
I considered changing my ticket to come back a day earlier but decided against it when I realized it would be the same as buying another plane ticket to France.
I felt a lot of guilt for not being there, even though my husband was planning to attend the meeting. It took me a few days to let go of the guilt. In hindsight, I’m glad that I spent that extra day with my sister in Paris and I know should have given myself more grace.
It is normal to feel bad at times, but we have to stop being so hard on ourselves for not being perfect.
We need to show ourselves grace knowing that we are doing the best we can with the cards we have.
Being a parent is a full-time job. Most people take breaks when working to ensure that they can remain productive.
Taking a few hours or a day off can help recharge your batteries and better show up for yourself and everyone else.
Over the past few months, as we have spent more time at home, I started having weekly scheduled video calls with a close friend of mine.
The recurring time is marked on the family calendar so my husband can entertain the girls while I catch up with my friend. Depending on how we feel that week, we might decide to watch a movie, do an activity together, or catch up on our goals. That time allows us to relax and start back fresh.
It is hard to continue functioning at maximum capacity without any time off, whether it is to partake in a hobby, have quiet time, exercise, or meditate. Taking the time to do something for yourself can truly make a difference.
Living by faith and not by sight is a decision that you can continue to make to transcend situations. Living by faith is not the absence of doubt. It is pushing past those doubts and reminding yourself that even though you may not know how you will get through a tough season, you will as long as you continue to fight.
My oldest child started virtual school last week, while we continue to homeschool our twins. As I write this post, our family, like many others, has had to manage working and homeschooling. I am not sure how we will make it through the fall semester, but the first step was making sure we are as organized and productive as possible.
I have moments of doubt, but I make the conscious decision to trust that as long as I continue to do the best that I can, and continue to believe, God will provide all of the tools that I need to come on the other side of this stronger.
Parenting is a unique experience because no child is alike. Part of the complexity of parenting is the absence of a guide parents can follow to guarantee results.
We can not compare our situation to another parent’s situation because what works for one child might not work for the next. However, we can control what we do to help ourselves better manage the responsibilities of parenthood. These five words have been a blessing in my parenting journey.
What are some of the things that have helped you manage your responsibilities as a parent?
“Behind every great child is a mom who’s pretty sure she is messing it all up” Unknown