Parenting is hard. It really is. Especially if you are new to the parenting world, parenting can be very complicated and difficult. If you find yourself asking “Why is parenting so hard for me”, it’s not just you, we are all struggling.
First, let’s diagnose why parenting is so hard, then we can discuss different ways to make it easier.
Why is Parenting So Hard for Everyone
Parenting is not just hard for you, it is hard for all of us. Let’s study why parents, especially new parents, struggle raising their kids.
1. No on Taught Us How
No one taught us how to parent properly. We are literally learning as we go. If you’ve ever started a new job, you know that things are difficult until you learn to do them properly. For that reason, if you’ve noticed, people tend to struggle a lot more with their first child than they do with the children that follow.
Imagine getting a new job where no one tells you how to actually do the job. You have to learn to do the job by watching others like your parents and friends do the job. Sounds unfair right? Well, that’s parenting.
There are some great books and courses out there on how to parent better. Just like starting any new job, you need to go through some basic training. No one is born a great mother or father, they become good parents through learning and practicing.
I’ve read a ton of books about parenting but the one that I believe made me a better parent is Simplicity Parenting by Kim Payne. Think of this book as the crash course for parents.
2. Everyone is Doing it so Nobody Cares
The truth about parenting is that a majority of people at some point in their lives become parents. If not, they know a parent. Parents are everywhere. Because of this, it can be hard to find people to sympathize with you.
What I learned the hard way is that nobody cares about your struggles as a parent. When I tried to convince my boss that my child throwing up on my clothes before I leave the house is a legitimate reason to be 10 minutes late to work, he did not care in the slightest. Parenting is hard but it is not hard enough for people to really care.
People not caring or at least sympathizing with new parents can make the process much more difficult. I’m not saying we need a free pass just for others to understand that things are a little difficult right now.
Kids are expenses, most parents are not ready for that expense and therefore have a much more difficult time parenting.
It really hurts me to say no to my child for some pretty basic things like playing on a sports team or going to Disneyland with their friends. The reality is, parenting is much more expensive than any of us thought it would be and in turn it is much harder.
Even during my first few weeks as a parent, purchasing all the supplies necessary for my daughter as well as the medical expenses from the C-section was a massive wake up call.
If you do not have your finances in order, parenting is going to be much harder than it needs to be. My advice would be to work on getting your finances in order. Start working on your financial education by listening to professionals in money management like Dave Ramsey.
How to Make Parenting Easier
If you’ve come asking why is parenting so hard for me I got some good news, I’m going to give you some actionable guides that are going to make parenting easier for you.
One of the best ways a parent can decompress and unwind is by journaling. It is a great way to relieve stress and to openly write what’s on your mind without any holding back.
In the parenting community, we have discovered that many parents actually do some type of journaling themselves and it’s more common than you think.
One thing that can be tough when it comes to journaling is that many times, you might be lost on what to write about. This is why we recommend prompted journals.
They are essentially writing prompts that help you stay on track with what to write. They ask you certain things and you answer with all honesty.
I personally use promptlyjournals because they have had the best prompts compared to the other journals I’ve tried. The way they set a person up to have a meaningful journal session is unmatched.
I have 2 children and I’ve journaled my whole journey. I can honestly say that I’m very happy I started. Not only has it helped me mentally, but I also get to reread how life was back then.
It gives me the chance to learn from the past and also appreciate the good times I’ve had.
Communicate With Your Child
Although they may sound like an obvious one, having a good relationship with your child will make parenting many times easier.
You need to make a conscious effort to really talk to them throughout the week. The strategy that worked for me is setting out a few hours throughout the week to really spend 1-on-1 time with them.
Every Sunday morning after mass, I take my daughter and my son to breakfast. Even though my daughter is only 2, I want to start cultivating that relationship early. We talk about our weeks, what we are looking forward to for the upcoming weeks. We laugh and generally have a good time.
If your child is older, you may run into some pushback. My advice would be, start as soon as possible and make it consistent. Even though my son is 14, he still comes every Sunday. Why? Because he has gotten used to the fact that Sunday morning is for spending time with mom.
If you have an open channel of communication with your child you will find parenting getting much easier over time.
Give Them Their Space
Especially for those out there that have older children, start giving your children space. After a certain age children need space to become their own adults.
So what exactly does it mean to give a child space. In the most simplistic terms, it means respecting their choices and environment. Here are some great ways to give your child respect and start treating them like an adult.
- Do not enter their room without knocking.
- Their phone is off-limits.
- If there is something they don’t want to talk about, that’s okay.
- Give them more decision making power over their lives.
In general, after about 10 years old, you want to start giving your child more and more autonomy in their lives. Don’t expect your child to start acting like an adult until you start treating them like one.
Obviously, this comes with limitations. The first being that you don’t want to take this too far. If you feel like your child is exhibiting signs of depression or drug abuse this is not the time to respect their space. This is the time to diagnose the problem and seek professional help.
Be Honest With Them
Children have one of the best BS meters out there. Mostly because as parents we are not very good at lying to our children. The most important piece of advice I give to new and seasons parents is, to be honest with your child.
Trust takes years to build and can be broken in a minute.
Personally, I was lied to all the time as a child. Whether it was about money or why dad moved out, my parents thought I did not deserve the truth. The only thing this did was cause a divide between us.
Although lying might make parenting easier at the moment, in the long run, you are just making parenting much harder for yourself. For most situations, stick with honesty.
If you are wondering why parenting is hard for you, it’s not. Parenting is hard for all of us. Although parenting will never really be easy (until our children enter adulthood) there are things we can do to make it easier.
If you are struggling as a parent, really evaluate your relationship with your child. Think about what are the times in which you feel parenting is the most difficult. Identifying the problem is the first step to resolving it.
It is our job to make sure our children grow up to be the best version of themselves.
I wish luck to all the new and season parents out there!