Parenting is extremely difficult, and anyone who tells you otherwise is likely still in the early stages of it. The pressure to be a perfect parent is real and constant, with seemingly everyone having an opinion on how to do it right. Parenting can be challenging for any adult, let alone one that is still learning about themselves as an adult. To make parenting easier and more enjoyable, there are simple steps that can bring greater happiness to your life as a parent. Even though becoming a happier parent may seem like an impossible task at times, anyone can achieve it with little effort. Here are some tips to become a happier parent:
Be grateful for your children
One of the best ways to become a happier parent is to be grateful for your children. Think back to when you found out you were expecting and let that gratitude guide the way you parent. You have a child because you want to share your love and life with them, and raising them is an opportunity to learn to be a better version of yourself. If you're struggling with your child, try to find the gratitude for them in your situation. Is it because your child is trying to communicate that something is wrong that they need help with? Is it because your child is still growing and has moments of frustration? Is it because your child is a beginner and making mistakes as they learn what they need to know?
Take care of yourself
This might seem a bit strange to include in a list of ways to become a happier parent, but remember that you can only give what you have. If you're constantly pushing yourself to the brink and beyond, you will inevitably burn out. Plus, you won't be fully present for your children if you're too busy trying to catch up on sleep and rest. Take care of yourself by getting plenty of sleep, eating healthily, and finding time to do the things that bring you joy. Don't put yourself last on your list of priorities — you are just as important as anyone else in your life. If you are too exhausted to do your best for your children or your job, you can't be your best for anyone else.
Don't compare yourself to other parents
There will always be parents who have it all together, and there will always be parents who have it all wrong. Comparing yourself to others will lead to nothing but frustration, as each parent and child combination is different. No two parenting styles are exactly alike, and no two sets of parents are either. What worked for your best friend's child may not work for yours, and that's okay. Your child is theirs, and you are the parent to your child. Focus on yourself and your child, and don't worry about what other parents are doing.
As mentioned above, taking care of yourself is important. This means finding ways to bring joy and relaxation into your daily life. If you have young children, this might include taking short breaks during the day to do something that you enjoy. It could be as simple as spending a few minutes reading a book or walking outside. Whereas sleep, food, and rest are important for everyone, these things are especially important for parents. Unfortunately, people who are responsible for children also have other responsibilities, like a job and household chores. While it's important to be present for your children, it's also important not to neglect yourself for their sake.
Have healthy boundaries with your children
Healthy boundaries are a crucial part of becoming a happier parent. It's important to know what your boundaries are, and to assert them with your children. This will show them how to set and respect boundaries for themselves in the future. Boundaries might include what you are and aren't willing to do for your child (such as not giving them money to buy things they don't need), or what you expect from your child (such as getting good grades in school). Be careful not to over-parent. If you have set healthy boundaries for yourself and your child continues to try to break those boundaries, then you may need to set some more strict boundaries.
Becoming a happier parent can be challenging, but it's worth the effort. Your children are going to look back on their childhood, and they are going to remember how you parented. They will learn how to parent their own children by observing how you parent them, so it's important to do your best and to be a happy person while doing it. Parenting is a life-long journey, and it's important to remember to celebrate your wins and learn from your mistakes. Parenting can be incredibly rewarding, but it's also incredibly difficult. The sooner you learn to accept that, the sooner you can start to enjoy it for what it really is: the hardest and most rewarding job you'll ever have.