9 reasons why parenting is hard

I don’t think I am the only parent to admit this, but I am going to say it: parenting is hard. Before I had kids, people around me would express how hard it was but I just did not understand until I was in the middle of it. Today, I want to share with you 9 reasons why parenting is hard.

Parenting is hard-- if you don't believe me, then click to read this post. #parenting, #truelives, #trueparenting, #parentingtips

So, if you just don’t understand, then this post is not for you. If you are a parent, then you can probably relate. If you don’t have kids but want to know about what parents go through, then this post may also be for you.

9 reasons why parenting is hard

1. The hours

The hardest thing I had to get used to when I first became a parent was the hours. Before children, I loved babysitting and taking care of other people’s kids. But it was when I had my own that the reality set in that I understood how much time parenting takes.

In the first year of a child’s life, they are completely dependent on you 24 hours a day. It was the continual need and the never-ending demands that drained me in the first year of having a child. I was not expecting to have my time so eaten up and to have a child need me for every moment of every day with no days off.

I slowly came to understand that parenting is a 24-hour job with no breaks and no vacation. Even when your kids are asleep or in school or you’re away for a date, you still worry about the kids. Your brain is always on parent mode.

2. The crying

I hate crying. I despise it. I do everything in my power to stop my kids from crying. With kids, it seems like there is always one child crying at all times. Sometimes, it seems like they have made a pact to take turns and slowly torture you with the consistent noise of screaming.

Other times, they just all cry at once. I have 3 kids, and there have only been a few times when all the kids are screaming at the same time. Those are the days I am tempted to just give up and walk out.

3. The attitude

My eldest daughter is 10, my second daughter is 7, and my son is 3. I have noticed that with both of them, there was a shift from baby-crying mode to attitude mode.

This shift comes at around 3 or 4 and then strengthens at around age 6. They want things their own way and are willing to fight for it. It’s also when they start talking back and sometimes yelling at you. My eldest daughter was 3 when she first yelled to me and said that she hated me.

It’s hard to not take these outbursts personally and to not let them affect your actions and thoughts.

It’s also draining to try and go a few rounds with strong-willed and persistent children.

4. The loneliness

Before I stayed home with my child, I thought the idea of a stay-at-home mother sounded wonderful. It was not until I had been home for a while that the loneliness set in.

I was the first one out of my group of friends who had a child. My older sister had a child 9 months before me and was still on maternity leave, but not for that much longer.

I went to bible study once a week and that was about it. I spent the rest of my days taking care of my child all by myself waiting for my husband to get home. Sometimes, out of desperation, I would walk the mall of the store, but even that became a headache and more work than I was willing to put in.

It was not until my child was one that I figured out I could be a bit more liniment with her routine and get some adult time in during my day.

When the kids are young, you’re never alone, but you feel so lonely. The child does not talk and takes up so much of your time. Boredom soon sets in.

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5. The expectations

In today’s society, we have a way of covering things up or putting a shiny face on things. As mothers, we hardly ever admit that we feel inadequate to do the job or that we need help.

We keep our silence because as women we are to be strong and loving every minute of the stage we are in. People all around us tell us what we should be feeling like and that they miss this stage and tell us how fortunate we are and how fast it all goes.

The truth is, these ideas may be the reality for women past the stage we are in, but as we sit alone at home with a crying child it’s hard to enjoy it or have the perspective that one day we might miss this. There were so many days I hated every minute of the day. I wished them away.

Then, when people would say: this too shall pass– I would feel guilty for not experiencing “the joy of motherhood”. I had to learn to reconcile my reality and my expectations. When I did, I was able to enjoy the journey more.

6. The never-ending mess

If you have kids you understand that they come with mess. Whether it’s sticky fingers, dirty laundry or the pile of toys on the floor, there is always a mess. I don’t mind cleaning up once, but what drives me nuts is when I clean a room and 10 min later it’s in the same state as it was in before I started.

Some days, I don’t even put toys away, knowing full well that the same toys are going to end up on the floor yet again. The work around a house is never-ending. When one task is done there is always something else that can be cleaned or organized.

7. The balance

I have no problems understanding women who say that they lost themselves when they had kids. Children demand so many pieces of ourselves. Pieces that we may not have known we had until they were taken from us.

When having kids it’s hard to find time for yourself to make sure you don’t lose that part of yourself you want to protect. Balancing alone time, family time, activity time, work, date night etc is hard.

There are so many pieces to fit together and finding a balance that works for you and your spouse and children is almost impossible. Finding that balance is one thing, but keeping it up is another. It takes planning and forethought and compromise.

8. The emotional drain

At the end of each day, there hits a point where I am done. There seems to be nothing left in the tank. All of the items listed above take a toll on our emotions.

Sometimes the thought of starting again the next day makes me want to cry. My children drain my emotions empty and hardly ever fill it back up. Keeping myself emotionally stable is hard.

9. The responsibility

As a parent, it’s our job to turn out decent human beings. We are responsible to teach them manners, and a worldview. We are responsible to teach them everything from how to eat properly to appropriate ways to respond to stress.

I don’t know about you, but the weight of responsibility weighs on me. Also, teaching children how to do things takes so much energy and time and can be very draining.

I love being a mother of 3. It’s the best thing that I do every day, but it can be hard. I know many parents who struggle with parenting and everything that goes with it.

You are not alone!!!! We all struggle and fumble our way through parenting.

Do you agree with my list? In the comments below, share with me the part of parenting that is the hardest for you. Please share this post with others. Thank you.

8 Ways to Teach Emotions to Your children

Raising a toddler is tough. There aren’t one-size-fits-all rules, there are no guarantees, and we don’t win any prizes when we make clever choices.
Instead we resort to trial and error when we teach and discipline our kids. We learn from the mistakes other parents make and we also rely on each other’s hard-won victories. Today, I am going to share 8 ways to teach emotions to your children.

a boy has his head agains a window. He has a sad empty look on his face. There are rain drops on the window. On top of the picture are the words: one determined life, 8 ways to teach emotions to your children.

Toddlers may be small, but they have enormous feelings that they probably have no idea how to express. In turn, they may act out (scream, hit, or bite) or retreat (cry, hide, or lie) in an effort to make sense of what they’re feeling.

As the parents, it’s not enough to be patient. We need to proactively coach our children on the concept of emotions, including explaining what they are and how to deal with them.  

8 ways to teach emotions to your children

1. Model your emotions

Kids like to imitate our actions and repeat our words. They are like sponges that soak up whatever is happening around them. Knowing this, we need to be aware of our everyday behaviour, especially our interactions with others.

For example, if you swear loudly when you spill wine on your rug, your toddler will think it’s OK to swear whenever you make a mistake.

Instead, say something like, “I really wish I hadn’t spilt this because it’s going to leave a stain, but it was just an accident. Let’s see if we can make it better.”

2. Read about emotions

There are so many stories for children that focus on feelings and how to express different emotions.

When you read to your child, pay attention to these themes. There are books written about understanding emotions, sometimes even an entire book will be devoted to one feeling.

Books that teach about emotions

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  • Help Your Dragon Deal With Anxiety The feelings book
  • The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!
  • The way I feel
  • What to Do When You Worry Too Much
  • I can handle it

3. Name the emotions

Emotions are especially scary for kids because they aren’t visible, tangible things. However, if you give these feelings a name, they may begin to make more sense.

For example, the next time your little one throws his plate because you won’t give him another slice of cake, consider your reaction.

Instead of scolding (“stop that right now!”), try saying “I know you’re mad because you can’t have more cake. But throwing your plate is not going to make the mad go away.”

Another way to help your child name emotions is by showing them flashcards that have faces on them showing different emotions. Showing kids different emotions through pictures is a great way for them to recognize what emotions look like in others.

4. Notice all emotions

Kids are always watching what’s going on around them. Take advantage of this and observe how others are behaving and interacting with each other.

When you notice a woman laughing, point it out to your child and comment that she must be happy and not sad if she’s laughing so much.

Ask your toddler to point out another “happy” person.  This is a great way to illustrate emotions and to highlight how people act in various social situations.

5. Play with emotions

Have you ever played “What am I Feeling?” with your little one? Take turns making different facial expressions and sounds and guessing what emotion is being portrayed. Use a mirror so your toddler can see what she looks like when she’s “mad” or “sad” or “silly.”

You could also draw faces with different emotions or use emotional flashcards to illustrate various feelings. The more you play these types of games, the sooner your toddler will be able to connect how someone looks with how they are feeling.

Tools and toys that teach emotions to children

  • I Know What to Do Cards
  • Mood Cards
  • Mindful Games Activity Cards: 55 Fun Ways to Share Mindfulness with Kids and Teens
  • Anger Management Workbook for Kids

6. Run with emotions

When you get the feeling that  child is about to lose his cool in a way that’s not productive for anyone, distract him with a game of chase, tag, or follow the leader. Get him to move his body, get his blood flowing, and get his mind on something else.

Physical activity is an awesome stress reducer. Exercise may also work to calm his high emotions long enough to make sense of the current situation.

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7. Watch for emotions

One of the ways you can teach emotions to your children is by making the most out of a TV show you are watching. You can do this pointing out the range of emotions the characters are exhibiting.

Ask your child what their favourite characters do they do differently when they’re happy or when they’re sad. 

Examine photographs or pictures and have similar discussions about what the different faces are revealing to us.

8. Listen for emotions

This may not be the most exciting way to teach emotions, but it’s one of the best. It’s all about being plugged in and present. Listen carefully when your toddler tries to describe what’s going on inside her head and heart.

Of course, there will be times when you’ll want to react right away, but remember that she needs to practice “talking it out.”

In their shoes

Raising a toddler sure is tough, but being a toddler isn’t always a bed of roses. As adults, we need to put ourselves in their little shoes and realize that good communication requires practice and patience.

But even before we can expect our kids to tell us how they’re feeling, we need to teach them how to identify the myriad of emotions they experience in one day.

In the comments below, share the ways you teach your child about emotions. Please share this post with others. Thank you.

Thank you Samara Kamenecka for being our guest blogger today. You can find her at www.tinyfry.com.

8 ways to teach emotions to your  children / Toddlers may be small, but they have enormous feelings that they probably have no idea how to express. Here are 8 ways you can teach your children how to express emotions/ #emotions, #parentingtips, #parenting, #parentingadvice #parentingtoddlers
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