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6-Ways-To-Cope-With-The-Frustrations-Of-Parenthood

6 Ways To Cope With The Frustrations Of Parenthood

Do you ever feel like being a parent is a constant battle? The daily grind reminds me of famous Greek Myth, Sisyphus. Sisyphus was the the king of Ephyra and was punished harshly for being deceitful: His punishment was an eternity of pushing a boulder up a steep mountain, only for it to roll down as it reached the top.

The story of Sisyphus is the perfect anecdote to describe the laborious job of being a parent. As a parent, your work is never complete. There seems to be an eternal struggle against obstacles that life throws at you. Being overwhelmed, frustrated, and even saddened by the demands of parenthood is normal.

I am a parent of twins under two and I have suffered both physically and mentally from working full time and trying to be the best dad that I can be. In the last six months, I was sick five times and this included two rounds of antibiotics and a bout of pneumonia. The demands of being a parent became too much and I needed to make some changes.

This was a very frustrating time for me, but it taught me some lessons which I will share with you here:

1. Get a babysitter/nanny

Getting a babysitter changed our life. Previously, we had held off on getting someone to mind our children as we were too concerned about how much it cost. After my second round of antibiotics, I knew that we needed help so I put an ad online. Within a few days, we had some great candidates. We found the perfect babysitter and she has already come by three times within a week. Finding someone to mind the kids has revolutionised our parenting experience.

Now that we have someone that we trust and the kids love we have time for each other and to get things done. Being able to switch off and know that our children are in safe hands makes a world of difference. Finding time to do things other than parental duties improves the overall quality of your life.

2. Get enough sleep

Your sleep health determines your overall health and wellbeing. Getting enough sleep in the first 6 months of your child's life is next to impossible. After the 6 month window when your child starts to sleep through the night, you need to do everything in your power to protect your sleep. You can read more about how to improve the quality of your sleep here.

Read Next: 10 Things I'd Tell My Best Friend About ... Sleep Deprivation

3. Don't forget your relationship

You are a couple first and parents second, not the other way round. It is easy to neglect your relationship when you become a parent but do this at your own peril. If you follow step one and get a babysitter then you should use your new found free time to work on your relationship.

Go on dates, talk or go for a walk together. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you are spending time together enjoying each other's company. Taking the time to have fun in your relationship is one of the best ways to counteract the frustrations of being a parent.

4. Schedule some time for yourself

Make time for yourself every single day. Some people say that this is impossible but I disagree. It can be hard to schedule time for yourself every day but it is vital for counteracting the frustrations of being a parent. 30 minutes in the morning before your kids wake up, 30 minutes on your lunch or 30 minutes on your way home from work are all possibilities.

There are plenty of hours in the day if you chose to be active and look for them. Try spending less time on social media, Netflix or reading the paper. You will free up a lot of time if you reduce the amount of time you spend with these time thieves.

Use the 30 minutes to read, walk or meditate and you will find it easier to free up your mind. When your head is clearer then you will find it easier to cope with the demands of being a parent.

5. Be present and enjoy your time with your children

When you are with your child then be 100% with your child. Being mindful and living in the present moment will help you to enjoy your time with your family. Turn off your smartphone and the TV and play, read or draw with your kids. There is nothing more enjoyable then actively being part of your child's development.

Enjoying the time with your child will help you to overcome the frustrations that go hand in hand with parenting. Instead of getting annoyed at their abundance of energy play with them and help to constructively use that energy.

6. Read about the different stages of development

One of the most frustrating things about being a parent is trying to figure out why your child is acting in such strange ways. Are they crying a lot? Are they not listening to you? Are the throwing everything on the floor? All of these forms of erratic behaviour are normal for the different stages of development.

Instead of getting frustrated with your child, try to understand why they are acting that way. Understanding why the act in a certain way is the best way to avoid being frustrated with their behaviour.

As parents, we all have frustrations and struggles...

That is part of life. It is important not to let these frustrations control your life. There are many things that you can do to avoid the frustrations and enjoy your time as a parent. Remember that being a parent is the most important job that you will ever do. I hope that this post will help you to reduce your frustration and be the parent that your kids deserve.

What are your go-to ways to cope with the challenges of parenting? We'd love to hear


About the Author

James was born and bred in Dublin, but now lives in Berlin with his wife Olivia. His blog www.scantilydad.com explores the journey from infertility to parenthood, while entertaining parents with funny stories and useful tips learnt along the way.

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