What To Do When You're Feeling In Over Your Head

Hand in Grass.jpg

Today I feel in over my head. Like the job of raising kids is too big. Like the lessons I think I'm teaching aren't sinking in. My mistakes outweigh my successes. And maybe everybody knows it.

Deep breath. Reminding myself: 

This job is too big
The truth is raising kids requires more skills and patience than any one person can posses. That's why there's the saying: if you wait until you're ready to become a parent (nanny) you'll never have kids. 

We don't have to do it alone
Isolation is one of our biggest enemies. We need to talk things out with others who understand the embarrassment, boredom, rage and self doubt that comes with raising kids. If we don't, our guilt can be paralyzing and keep us from recognizing our strengths and learning from our mistakes. 

  • Nanny Care Tribe (search for this group on facebook)
  • Hand in Hand Parenting Community (for those who jive with the Parenting by Connection approach)
  • PEPS Program for Early Parent Support
  • Friends, spouses, therapists

Be kind to yourself
We care deeply about our work so it's no surprise that hard days shake our confidence. Remember two things: You're doing a good job. And, you deserve to take care of yourself.

  • Name one thing you feel proud of doing with the kids today. Maybe do this everyday.
  • Do the things you love, that make you feel strong, centered, beautiful and like an adult. Yoga, meditation, running, reading articles that are not about parenting, a day alone, a night out dancing.

Kids can be super annoying
I know, I'm all "the joy and wonder of children" all the time. But I'll be the first to admit they can also be aggravating and annoying. Can I get an amen? 

Kids who are most in need of love will ask for it in in the least appealing ways
A child's (mis)behavior is a means of communicating her needs. Don't take it personally. It's a message about her feelings or a gap in her skills. 

Our job is to teach children to be human, not to be perfect
It's so important to model how to make mistakes well. That's what we hope they're able to do - make mistakes, own them, rebound, learn and move on. If we don't show them how they'll never learn. 

Just do the next right thing
As Glennon Melton tells us, all we have to do is the next right thing...followed by the next...
So here and now: stop the panic with a deep breath, stop the blaming by remembering we're all human and doing our best, stop the shrinking away from a challenging situation and dig deep. Just do the next right thing. Maybe the next right thing is walking away to reboot, get calm, and start over with more compassion for ourselves and everyone else. 




Kai KunkelSelf, CalmComment