Lets face it, as parents we can be our own worst enemies. We feel guilty and worry about everything and anything in between. There are often questions, worries, and doubt that play across our minds. Like a parade that takes place in your brain.
Think of each worry and concern that comes up for you like a parade float that beckons your attention. It’s hard to ignore, you stop and notice each one before going on. And in a parent’s case, these parades can pop up anywhere. But rather than the fun you have at a Carnaval parade in Rio De Janeiro, these floats don’t inspire joy. They bring about anxiety, insomnia, and much more. It’s time to take control of these concerns.
Transforming Concerns to Buildable Steps
We can transform the concerns into steps that will support and reward ourselves for doing the difficult, exciting and rewarding work of being parents. Lets diminish the weight of worry so we can parent by being present, connecting with and caring about, our children. We need to remind ourselves of that often! Guilt and worry do not support us in being kind to ourselves. I used to teach my preschool students how to pat themselves on their shoulders and say” I did a good job!”. I’m now telling you to do the same.
I’m not going to even suggest getting rid of guilt and worry, that’s just impossible. But instead, I suggest taking steps to reward yourselves through doing the work of being parents.
We have to try! And as I’ve been told by my teachers and colleagues: baby steps count!
Your Simple Steps:
Write it down! Grab a journal, a piece of paper or even colorful Post-It notes. When the parade pops up, stop and ” watch”. Write it all down. Notice what comes up, what you feel. Sometimes just naming it can provide you with some release.
You can also use your notes as a physical representation of your worries, doubts, and guilt to make connections and recognize themes . For example, if your “parade floats” include: “Child not eating vegetables” and “Dinnertime…UGH!” Then you can combine two floats into one, for example, “Mealtimes.”
Notice any physical reactions you may have when the float goes by: tightness in your chest, a pit in your stomach, your jaw tightens? Observe it.
It doesn’t matter how many floats your parade has, try and prioritize them. Lighten the load. What feels pressing? Does one float feel larger than another? Try and find information, support and solutions for that float first. You might find once you get going on this one concern, you can take on the other floats with greater ease and energy.
Using these steps, you can slowly take control of your concerns with actionable steps.
Here to help you name your parade floats and to find solutions to minimize parade pop ups! If you’d like to discuss solutions further, please contact me!
With Hope, Truth, & Mirth!
One of my favorite books is “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown. My love of her message, work, and books is a topic for another or several other blog posts. I mention this book because it is a great read and helpful in letting expectations, go! If you aren’t familiar with her or her books, check this out: