9 Gentle Parenting Reminders for When You're Feeling Overwhelmed
Being a parent can feel overwhelming and a bit much sometimes, and rightfully so. You have people to take care of, additional responsibilities, schedules and of course, self care to think about. It would make sense that sometimes you might feel a bit in over your head, especially if you’re new to all of this. But regardless of whether you’re a veteran PTA mom with a highly organized activity system or a brand new parent with a sleepy little newborn, life can feel like a bit much more often than not. But as a parent, there’s a lot you can do if you’re feeling overwhelmed with life.
From giving yourself the care you need to offering yourself positive affirmations, you don’t need to let the feelings of anxiety or exhaustion overwhelm you. In fact, here are a few reminders you may want to turn to if you’re feeling a bit in over your head as a parent.
1. You’re Doing Great
Sometimes, you just need to remind yourself that you’re doing wonderful as a parent, even if it’s hard to feel like it. It can be easy to beat yourself up about the small things, but the big picture is what’s truly important. You love your family and that’s what truly matters.
2. Nobody is Perfect
If you find yourself getting worked up about the small things — or even the big things — reminding yourself that nobody is perfect can help let go and find some calm in your life. Setting high expectations for yourself can sometimes help you strive to be better every day, but it can also put undue pressure on you. You don’t need to be perfect to be a good parent.
3. You Deserve Self Care
Caring for yourself can be one of the biggest challenges, especially when you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities. But when you care for yourself, it becomes much easier to show up for the people in your life who need you — whether that means your kids, your partner or your friends. Regardless of how you spend your self care time, making sure you get it is important.
4. You Can Treat Yourself
Caring for yourself covers the basic needs you should focus on daily, but you should also leave a bit of room to truly treat yourself, too. Treatments like massages and facials are great because they tend to work best a few weeks apart, so you can reset with some much needed you time every once in a while. If those aren’t your thing, do something else kind for yourself. That way, you can offer yourself a little pick-me-up of your choosing.
5. Your Kids Love You Unconditionally
Another positive affirmation to put in your bank — reminding yourself that your kids love you because they see you and appreciate you for who you are can feel truly rewarding. Even if it doesn’t always seem like it in the current moment, affirming to yourself that your kids love and appreciate you can make you feel confident and happy.
6. Remember to Breathe
Sometimes, the most effective thing you can do when you feel stressed or overwhelmed is to step back, relax and take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Remember, mama, it’s okay to put the baby down anytime you need to take a break guilt-free. Always remember to put baby in a safe space, like a seat or bouncer. It may seem simple, but it can actually be quite effective in getting you to a place where you can simply find some peace with your surroundings. When the world feels like too much, focusing on the breath can turn your brain off and relax you.
7. You Can Journal Your Feelings
When you feel overwhelmed, another way to get things under control again is to let it all out and release any negative thoughts you’re experiencing. Even if you don’t tend to journal or you’re a complete journaling beginner, writing about your feelings can be very cathartic.
8. You Can Learn to Say No
If you feel like you have too much on your plate, another helpful reminder you can turn to is your ability to say no to things. Whether it’s an activity, social engagement or a new toy your kids want, sometimes the answer just needs to be “no.” You can’t always do it all or give it all, and recognizing that can help you find some peace.
9. You Have the Power to Calm Your Mind
While this one might be a bit hard to believe, reminding yourself of it can help you see how true it is. You have the power to practice mindfulness, work on your breath and take the time you need to put your mind at ease. While you can’t change your surroundings, you can change how you look at things.
What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed
When you feel overwhelmed as a parent, there are a few things you can say to yourself and remind yourself of so you can bounce back. From the self care you have to offer to the boundaries you set, you can control how you feel about the world around you, and that’s something worth celebrating.