There’s nothing like being part of a parenting board to quickly realize that most parents, mostly mothers, deal with very similar unfortunate issues. From unwanted advice on work life balance to intrusive suggestions about breastfeeding, it seems the biggest parenting troubles in the first world are nearly universal. Here are some easy fixes on seven of the most common.
1) Overcoming Unwanted Parenting Advice
As soon as you announce your pregnancy, you’ll be bombarded with questions and suggestions. From what you should or shouldn’t name your baby to whether you should bottle or breastfeed, to letting your baby cry it out or holding your baby, someone is always going to have something to say. It’s mostly in-laws. For many women, it’s their mother-in-law. For some parents, unsolicited parenting advice can leave them fuming with anger and disgust. How dare someone with decades of experience suggest ways for you to raise your own child!
How do you overcome this? Some women stand up for themselves and quickly shut the culprit down. But if you’re from a culture like mine where it’s important to respect your elders, treading carefully is best. I just smile, nod my head and move past it. At the end of the day, it’s usually people’s best intentions at hand versus trying to drive you insane. Regardless of how it may feel.
2) Overcoming Picky Eaters
Some parents can’t wrap their heads around how they’re going to get their children to eat a decent meal. Baby books say that by the time they’re two years old, children have pretty much established a set diet of what they will and will not eat. If you weren’t persistent with healthy meals from the beginning, by now your tot will only eat certain fruits and chicken nuggets. How do you break this food fixation? It’s a power struggle you’ll only win by being extra creative.
On really bad days, I like to sit my tot in front of an iPad and shovel spoonfuls of chicken soup in his mouth. On good days, he helps me squeeze lemon onto slices of cucumbers and apples and spread almond butter onto celery. I blend spinach into spaghetti sauce, mash bananas into pancakes, anything that will get him a few bites of nature’s goodness.
3) Overcoming Whining And Tantrums
These cries for attention will drive you crazy when you’re trying to get things done. Baby books tell you that when your baby/toddler is crying for seemingly ‘no reason,’ it might be due to feeling over stimulated and/or overwhelmed. They say to take a time out with your child and take him away from the scene and distract him with a one-on-one activity. They really just want your attention and this is a quick fix to naughty behavior that’s stemming from an unlearned way to better cope.
4) Overcoming High Standards You Place On Yourself As A Parent
Experts are actually saying that despite the wealth of information available at our fingerprints, it’s harder to raise children these days. From social media to celebrities, it’s hard not to compare your parenting style to that of others, and then feel like you’re falling short when really all that matters is that your child is nurtured and knows he’s loved.
5) Overcoming Loneliness (Not Connecting With Other Moms)
A recurrent issue for mothers of small children is not being able to bond with other mothers of small children or form close friendships with someone other than their significant other.
This one is tricky for two reasons. One: making friends can be difficult for introverts and two: certain women tend to get cliquey and hardly let anyone new into their circles.
How to overcome this social dilemma? I find it helps to always treat women with kindness and realness. Always and persistently greet other moms, show politeness and they’ll eventually reach out in due time. Being real also works because people love ‘no bull****’ mothers.’
6) Feeling Disconnected From Your Partner. How To Bridge The Gap
As soon as baby gets here, your whole world becomes about that precious infant your brought into this world. And you’ll unintentionally push your partner to the back of your priorities. Also, some partners are left with the burden of work and begin to feel resentment toward the one staying at home, unintentionally holding feelings of contempt. Bring back your former closeness by taking time out of your day to thank your significant other for the little things, hold their hand for a moment. It goes without saying that when you feel appreciated, you’re bound to give back.
7) Work/Parenting Balance
Finally, it would be remiss to not bring up the most obvious problem working parents face. How do you go from exhausted work mode to loving parent when all you want to do is collapse in bed when you’re still expected to throw together a meal, clean up, pick kids up, and get everyone ready for the next day? How do you stay connected with your children when there’s literally 100 things that need to be done right now? I say wing it. Sit down on the couch and listen to your children tell adorable random stories about their world. Just indulge in the moment that is your life and how far you’ve come, take a few breaths and then get up and do it all over again. You’ve chosen this life, and as difficult as it can get, it’s not only worth it, but you get better at it and become a better person for it.