How Can I Find My Parenting Zen?

How can I find my parenting zen?
When sh** hits the fan (or you), it’s only normal to feel frustrated, overwhelmed and, well, like you need to disinfect everything – including yourself – with Lysol. Crying babies, blow outs, temper tantrums…they’re all par for the course and knowing that can help you maintain your peace of mind. Rather than pulling your hair out before screaming into a pillow, try some of these tips the next time things start to go south.

1.    Put yourself in time out.
When your little one flings meatballs across the room, rather than throwing a meatball back at them (we can’t say we blame you!) try sitting things out, literally. It may seem counter-intuitive to leave the scene of a food fight in the making, but sometimes excusing yourself from a situation can keep a total family meltdown from happening.

2.    Have an exit strategy.

It may be the bathroom, it may be the [juice] bar…or maybe it’s your little one’s pack-n-play! If putting yourself in time out doesn’t quite seem like it’ll do the trick, it’s always a good idea to have an exit strategy in place. Every parent needs a break sometimes, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, so go ahead and let things cool down (so long as someone’s watching over the baby). Fold laundry, color-coordinate your closet, take a bubble bath…whatever gets you into a more zen-like frame of mind!

3.    Phone a friend (AKA Call a sitter. Or the neighbor. Or Grandma)

If you’ve tried putting yourself in time out, and/or evacuating the building (read: your home), and you’re still wishing you could control temper tantrums with the TV remote – take a deep breath in, breathe all the mom guilt out and call in the reinforcement troops. Sometimes mentioning to your little one that you’re calling the sitter will do just the trick and he or she will transform back into an angel in no time at all. Or, sometimes they just need to be around someone else for a bit to release some of that pent-up energy. Whatever it may be, never feel bad about asking others for help.

4.    Try laughing therapy.

When your little one has a blow out in your great aunt’s hand-embroidered silk dress during their 12 month photoshoot, keep calm and carry on. Everyone knows that dress had seen better days, anyway, so this is probably the universe’s way of saying “It had to go!”. Go ahead and laugh it off. Or, indulge yourself and search #puppies, #kittens, #epicfail (or whatever ridiculous thing makes you smile) on Instagram…find the thing that will push the ‘reset’ button on your emotions!

5.    Know there’s no “right”.
It goes without saying, but we feel the need to say it again – there are so many “right” ways to do things (parenting or not). If your neighbor’s child is paleo, rocks a Mohawk and greets people by sticking his tongue at them, embrace the differences between what happens on the other side of your fence. You never know when you’ll learn something new from another parent.
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