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Why you should not try doing it all as a parent

Parenting By Esther Muchene
You don't have to compromise your values in order to feel cool and close to their kids (Shutterstock)

Parenting needs a lot of preparation. Even when you have had kids, new parenting experiences always come up.

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As parents, there is a lot of pressure on you to always balance every aspect in your life, so when your children are not happy for one reason or another, the blame is on you. However, it is unfortunate that most parents don’t talk about parenting burnout. This is when you try to juggle everyday responsibilities with parenting. For some parents, balancing these responsibilities comes easy. But for most of us, we struggle a little and that’s normal.

Here are reasons why you should probably loosen up and not try doing it all as a parent.

  • You don’t have to be best friends with your kids

Being close with your kids is an essential part of parenting. It’s important because they are able to communicate how they feel freely with you and this creates a tight bond between you and them. We all dream of being so close with our kids. Sometimes though, this can backfire terribly. Boundaries start to be crossed and disrespect starts to creep in. At times, parents might even find themselves compromising their values in order to feel cool and close to their kids.

You don’t have to be best friends with your kids. In fact, there should be clear boundaries when you interact with each other. Let them be free with their friends so that boundaries are well understood.

  • Your mental health matters

Sometimes as parents, it can be hard to admit that you need a break from your kids. Society is very judgmental when you say you need some time off to breathe. Honestly, parenting isn’t easy. It comes with its stresses and sometimes you feel disconnected, distant and irritable.

Don’t feel guilty when you need some breathing space. It’s okay to send your kids to their cousins for the weekend, so that you and your partner can get some alone time for once. The more you force yourself to be present, the more disconnected you feel. It can be hard to admit, but you need a break from them once in a while.

Sometimes take a step back and relax and let the kids do it alone (Shutterstock)
  • Your kids need to be responsible

For a long time, people assumed that parenting is always about monitoring every step your kids take. Don’t get me wrong, you need to be more aware of what your children are doing but sometimes, this can create a toxic environment like when you closely monitor every single thing. We get it, it’s coming from a place of love as a parent. You want to protect your children and ensure they are doing the right thing. Remember that it’s also important for them to learn some life lessons on their own so if you try to manage their every single step, they might never get that opportunity to learn responsibility.

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Take a step back and relax. Let them gain some independence and control early. This will save you from a lot of parenting anxiety.

  • You don’t have to attend every function

When you get kids, life definitely changes. Some friendships drift apart and that’s just part of life. Although you want to show your friends you care, your priority is your kids now. If your child has been unwell, don’t force yourself to attend your high school reunion that’s coming up. Don’t feel guilty when you can’t attend someone’s baby shower. The right friends will understand that things are not exactly the same once you have kids. Your priorities are different now and that’s okay.

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