Parents deserve to be happy too

2019-06-12 06:01

IN a world where life seems to keep us spinning in a never-ending vortex of fast-paced, pressured parenting, crushing bills and overwhelming expectations, Cindy Glass, owner and co-founder of Step Up Education Centre, says: “Parents, it seems, have lost their ability to see themselves as also worthy of happiness, peace and fulfilment.

“Parents tend to be their own biggest critics with feelings of not being good enough, not having enough time, not being organised enough, not having as much energy as one another — the list, unfortunately, does go on and on!”

Glass adds that parents have all but forgotten that they are deserving of all the things that they want for their children — love, purpose, acknowledgment, happiness, fulfilment and peace! She offers six tips to help parents find their inner joy:

1. KNOW THAT YOU ARE ENOUGH: You are doing the best that you can. Stop the self-judgment — it has no purpose.

2. RECOGNISE THAT YOU ARE NOT, NOR EVER WILL BE, PERFECT: You will make mistakes. Recognise and acknowledge these and choose to make better choices moving forward. Mistakes are wonderful learning opportunities, if you allow them to be!

3. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER PARENTS: Fulfilling parenting cannot be achieved through enviable and resentful thoughts about others.

4. SET BOUNDARIES: Boundaries add value to your lives. Saying “no” to too many extra mural activities or managing household chores where everyone in required to muck-in will leave you with more time to enjoy the things that you find fulfilling. The key to boundaries is consistency in expectations.

5. REALISE THAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE GROWING UP: And they will, at some stage, leave the “nest”. Your time with them is precious — make yourself available to enjoy activities together. Find reasons to laugh and play (jump on the trampoline, slide in the mud). Play board games, tell and listen to each other’s daily stories.

6. CULTIVATE AN ENVIRONMENT­ OF MUTUAL RESPECT­: Where you listen to understand and where self-respect and respect of each other is modelled and embraced. Challenges are inevitable — make sure you have each other’s backs!

“You cannot be happy all of the time, but you most certainly can cultivate pockets of joy that add value and meaning to your life.

“As a parent, believe that you are worthy of these moments and seek to actively ensure that you live a life of fulfilment and happiness, despite the challenges that swirl around you.

“You are enough. Believe it!” Glass concludes.

— Supplied.

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