Relief from the Daily Parenting Grind

Almost anything that you do on a daily basis can become a grind if you see no end in sight. Don’t get me wrong. I know there are many joyous moments that arise each day when you are parenting. But there are also endless repetitive tasks and lots of responsibility.

I want to show you a simple mindset tweak that can change how you look at these tasks and also help you prepare for what’s ahead.

Every young mother has had some older woman say to her that she should enjoy the moment because it will soon be over. If you are like me, when you heard that you internally rolled your eyes and solemnly vowed to yourself that you would never say such a crazy thing when your kids were grown.

For a while, it’s diapers and midnight feedings, then child proofing and diligent supervision followed by car pools and waiting and waiting some more. And sure at some point, the focus turns to pooling money for college and maybe planning a wedding. But it really doesn’t help the bleary eyed midnight nursing mom to think that someday soon this helpless baby will be walking down the aisle no matter how much some grandmother insists that this will happen in the blink of an eye.

However, I think it’s possible to extrapolate the small kernel of truth from these well intentioned comments and use it to change the way you look at the daily parenting grind.

The kernel of truth is that children change and grow every single day, and as they do, your role in their lives will change. This is useful if you keep in mind just the very next milestone ahead. For example, as you lay the sleeping newborn down, think about the milestone of the day they will roll over for the first time. You’ll have fewer choices of where you can safely lay them down. So you know more vigilance will be required of you. But you also know that, by then, they will likely be sleeping through the night.

By looking just a bit ahead, it changes the way you look at theofrequent feedings and sleep deprived nights. You can simultaneously enjoy the thought that in the future you will get more sleep and the thought that today you are enjoying the freedom that comes from the baby’s lack of mobility. Realizing that you are on the brink of something that will be lost and something that will be gained will help you remember that today’s tasks, responsibilities and joys will not be yours forever.

Someday, looking back with nostalgia, maybe it will seem like your newborn went from the crib to cap and gown overnight. But when you are in the thick of it, it is best to only look ahead to the next stage and see what you will lose and what you will gain when a new milestone arrives.

That cuddly toddler is soon going to be able to tell you what they are thinking. You will experience a kind of loss when that happens. Knowing that may help you to enjoy holding them close today.

You also know that you will gain a deeper understanding of this little person under your care. Each progression is a trade off. Adopting a mindset that recognizes change is on the horizon will make today seem less like yesterday and less like a grind.

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