I am not proud to say that at times as a parent I can feel pretty sorry for myself. There is a lot of monotony in parenting. It is not always fun or even enjoyable. It’s dishes, laundry, picking up again and again, whining, crying, and complaining.
Retrain Your Brain with Gratitude
I’ve noticed I can still be frustrated and annoyed even when everyone is back to happily playing. I’m stuck in the last meltdown or anticipating the next one. In order to combat what Dr. Kristine Neff explains in her book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself is a natural state of my brain to focus on the negative I try to retrain my brain with gratitude.
Great times to practice gratitude is at the start or end of your day. Write down 3 new things you are grateful for each morning, before bed, or both.
If you cannot sleep try listing what you are grateful for in your life from A to Z.
Stuck in Self-Pity
If you are like me and find yourself stuck in self-pity from time to time, try gratitude. In that moment when you catch your self-pity acknowledge that yes often parenting is not filled with joy and it is normal to feel board, frustrated, worry, etc. this does not make you a bad parent but a normal human being. Then state 3 things you are grateful for in your life.
Give Yourself Grace
It is helpful to remember why it is often referred to as a gratitude practice. No one is grateful all the time. It is likely that we will miss a day or several days and forget all about gratitude. It is a practice. On the days you remember, awesome! On the days you forget give yourself grace.
Michelle Puster M.Ed., LPC
Helping moms replenish and restore
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