close
SM-Stamp-Join-1
  • Selfish Mother is the most brilliant blogging platform. Join here for free & you can post a blog within minutes. We don't edit or approve your words before they go live - it's up to you. And, with our cool new 'squares' design - you can share your blog to Instagram, too. What are you waiting for? Come join in! We can't wait to read what YOU have to say...

  • Your basic information

  • Your account information

View as: GRID LIST

5 Cool Rules for Stress-Free Parenting

1
Yesterday I did a bit of research on the top most Googled parenting questions. Coping with sleep deprivation featured heavily. Weaning too (yawn). Then things like toddler tantrums, struggling with bullying, teenage sex and drug use (and then more specific things like ‘how to remove a piece of Lego from my kids nose’). Each search represented an anxious parent staring into their screen late at night. Each probably thinking their parenting was rubbish. And all looking for a nice, neat answer. In olden days we would have asked our Grandma or the
SelfishMother.com
2
village sage. And they would have nodded and told us not to worry and to spend more time harvesting potatoes. Winter is coming and all that.

Once you start looking at it objectively you realise that each parenting challenge morphs into the next and you never arrive at your destination. A toddler becomes a school kid becomes a teenager. None of them are easy to live with. This constant flux mirrors life. It also explains why there are so many books on the subject.

I tried to write a few universal truths that I thought would help ease some of these

SelfishMother.com
3
parenting woes. As with all advice you can either take it on board or dismiss it completely (and go and harvest potatoes).

 1. THIS WILL PASS

Just when you identify a certain pattern in behaviour and are really worn down by your kid not going to sleep/shouting at you/ not getting in the buggy – things will suddenly shift. I usually find that by the time I’ve come up with a theory, my daughter has moved onto pastures new. This is exhausting but also liberating as you realise there’s no point thinking it all through as it’s all in flux

SelfishMother.com
4
anyway. Obviously some things will present themselves as more permanent than others but try and worry strategically (i.e. is this something I’ll look back at and regret my decision?)

It’s also important to remember this mantra when you’re facing a high-stress situation and are about to explode (like yesterday when my daughter screamed in my face like an animal and hurled herself out the side of the cot). Even if you don’t fully believe it – just try saying it. This too will pass.

This too will pass. See. Better already.

 2. WHEN YOU’RE

SelfishMother.com
5
MAD WALK AWAY

Recently I’ve found myself overwhelmed by frightening levels of fury. This fury makes me want to smash and throw things. It’s usually brought about by a perfect storm of tiredness and frustration. The last time I felt this fury was when I was a teenager – back then slamming doors and screaming was normal. The problem is now I haven’t much time to listen to angry music, smoke fags and talk for three hours to my best friend about how I hate everyone.

In the absence of this therapy I have to walk away. It doesn’t matter what

SelfishMother.com
6
book you read, shouting is not a good parenting technique (unless you do it on your own into a pillow to relieve all your frustration). As long as they’re safe (and haven’t flung themselves out the side of the cot) then you can have a minute where you just stare out the window and imagine you’re listening to angry music, smoking fags and ranting at your best friend at how unfair it all is. This way you should be able to avoid worrying about what a bad-tempered, shouting, evil parent you are (which is not a helpful or strategic thing to worry
SelfishMother.com
7
about).

3. THERE IS NO REASON WHY SOME KIDS SLEEP AND OTHERS DON’T

If I could get back all the time I have spent hypothesising about why my daughter wakes up so early/doesn’t always sleep through/naps/doesn’t nap I would live another year and a half. Sleep is a mysterious thing. Isn’t it funny that we think there is a strict explanation as to why children don’t sleep in an entirely predictable manner?

Don’t you sometimes find that you can’t sleep and don’t know why? Don’t you find it hard to nap in the day? Well maybe it’s

SelfishMother.com
8
nothing to do with the blackout curtains, white noise machine, bed sheets, noise in the street or fact that you already napped for ten minutes on the train. Maybe there’s no reason.

I hate the fact that my daughter is an early riser but like most other things I just have to suck it up. In fact that takes me onto the next tip…

4. PARENTING IS ESSENTIALLY ABOUT ’SUCKING IT UP’

What are you going to do? Run away? Join a band?

5. THE MORE YOU COMPLAIN THE WORSE IT FEELS

All parents love to complain. I find most of my interactions with

SelfishMother.com
9
other parents (Mums especially) go something like this:

‘God I am so tired. I got NO SLEEP last night.’

‘I would be happy with NO SLEEP. I got ZERO SLEEP.’

‘I think I’m more tired than you are.’

‘I am pretty tired.’

‘Not as tired as me.’

Repeat ad infinitum.

Complaining doesn’t make you feel any better. Before I had kids I complained about work. Before that it was the fact my hair wouldn’t go into a quiff and boys didn’t fancy me. The more negative fuel you add to the fire, the more miserable you

SelfishMother.com
10
feel.

Try and talk about other stuff. See if you can get a good recipe for homemade pizza or a point of view on Jeremy Corbyn’s black socks and trainers.

The only exception here is new Mums. They get a free pass to complain all day and night if it helps ease the pressure in those first few terrific yet terrifying months.

So that’s my advice. It’s not enough to spin out into an entire book but if you find any of it useful then let me know. I will probably still be Googling late into the night.

SelfishMother.com

By

This blog was originally posted on SelfishMother.com - why not sign up & share what's on your mind, too?

Why not write for Selfish Mother, too? You can sign up for free and post immediately.


We regularly share posts on @SelfishMother Instagram and Facebook :)

- 28 Sep 15

Yesterday I did a bit of research on the top most Googled parenting questions. Coping with sleep deprivation featured heavily. Weaning too (yawn). Then things like toddler tantrums, struggling with bullying, teenage sex and drug use (and then more specific things like ‘how to remove a piece of Lego from my kids nose’). Each search represented an anxious parent staring into their screen late at night. Each probably thinking their parenting was rubbish. And all looking for a nice, neat answer. In olden days we would have asked our Grandma or the village sage. And they would have nodded and told us not to worry and to spend more time harvesting potatoes. Winter is coming and all that.

Once you start looking at it objectively you realise that each parenting challenge morphs into the next and you never arrive at your destination. A toddler becomes a school kid becomes a teenager. None of them are easy to live with. This constant flux mirrors life. It also explains why there are so many books on the subject.

I tried to write a few universal truths that I thought would help ease some of these parenting woes. As with all advice you can either take it on board or dismiss it completely (and go and harvest potatoes).

 1. THIS WILL PASS

Just when you identify a certain pattern in behaviour and are really worn down by your kid not going to sleep/shouting at you/ not getting in the buggy – things will suddenly shift. I usually find that by the time I’ve come up with a theory, my daughter has moved onto pastures new. This is exhausting but also liberating as you realise there’s no point thinking it all through as it’s all in flux anyway. Obviously some things will present themselves as more permanent than others but try and worry strategically (i.e. is this something I’ll look back at and regret my decision?)

It’s also important to remember this mantra when you’re facing a high-stress situation and are about to explode (like yesterday when my daughter screamed in my face like an animal and hurled herself out the side of the cot). Even if you don’t fully believe it – just try saying it. This too will pass.

This too will pass. See. Better already.

 2. WHEN YOU’RE MAD WALK AWAY

Recently I’ve found myself overwhelmed by frightening levels of fury. This fury makes me want to smash and throw things. It’s usually brought about by a perfect storm of tiredness and frustration. The last time I felt this fury was when I was a teenager – back then slamming doors and screaming was normal. The problem is now I haven’t much time to listen to angry music, smoke fags and talk for three hours to my best friend about how I hate everyone.

In the absence of this therapy I have to walk away. It doesn’t matter what book you read, shouting is not a good parenting technique (unless you do it on your own into a pillow to relieve all your frustration). As long as they’re safe (and haven’t flung themselves out the side of the cot) then you can have a minute where you just stare out the window and imagine you’re listening to angry music, smoking fags and ranting at your best friend at how unfair it all is. This way you should be able to avoid worrying about what a bad-tempered, shouting, evil parent you are (which is not a helpful or strategic thing to worry about).

3. THERE IS NO REASON WHY SOME KIDS SLEEP AND OTHERS DON’T

If I could get back all the time I have spent hypothesising about why my daughter wakes up so early/doesn’t always sleep through/naps/doesn’t nap I would live another year and a half. Sleep is a mysterious thing. Isn’t it funny that we think there is a strict explanation as to why children don’t sleep in an entirely predictable manner?

Don’t you sometimes find that you can’t sleep and don’t know why? Don’t you find it hard to nap in the day? Well maybe it’s nothing to do with the blackout curtains, white noise machine, bed sheets, noise in the street or fact that you already napped for ten minutes on the train. Maybe there’s no reason.

I hate the fact that my daughter is an early riser but like most other things I just have to suck it up. In fact that takes me onto the next tip…

4. PARENTING IS ESSENTIALLY ABOUT ‘SUCKING IT UP’

What are you going to do? Run away? Join a band?

5. THE MORE YOU COMPLAIN THE WORSE IT FEELS

All parents love to complain. I find most of my interactions with other parents (Mums especially) go something like this:

‘God I am so tired. I got NO SLEEP last night.’

‘I would be happy with NO SLEEP. I got ZERO SLEEP.’

‘I think I’m more tired than you are.’

‘I am pretty tired.’

‘Not as tired as me.’

Repeat ad infinitum.

Complaining doesn’t make you feel any better. Before I had kids I complained about work. Before that it was the fact my hair wouldn’t go into a quiff and boys didn’t fancy me. The more negative fuel you add to the fire, the more miserable you feel.

Try and talk about other stuff. See if you can get a good recipe for homemade pizza or a point of view on Jeremy Corbyn’s black socks and trainers.

The only exception here is new Mums. They get a free pass to complain all day and night if it helps ease the pressure in those first few terrific yet terrifying months.

So that’s my advice. It’s not enough to spin out into an entire book but if you find any of it useful then let me know. I will probably still be Googling late into the night.

Did you enjoy this post? If so please support the writer: like, share and comment!


Why not join the SM CLUB, too? You can share posts & events immediately. It's free!

I'm Super Editor here at SelfishMother.com and love reading all your fantastic posts and mulling over all the complexities of modern parenting. We have a fantastic and supportive community of writers here and I've learnt just how transformative and therapeutic writing can me. If you've had a bad day then write about it. If you've had a good day- do the same! You'll feel better just airing your thoughts and realising that no one has a master plan. I'm Mum to a daughter who's 3 and my passions are writing, reading and doing yoga (I love saying that but to be honest I'm no yogi).

Post Tags


Keep up to date with Selfish Mother — Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media