It seems like many of my friends are pregnant or new parents. Pregnancy is an exciting time, where you have so many wishes and dreams for your child. You imagine how they will be as adults, and what kind of people they will become. In those moments, you don’t generally imagine arguing with your child about the benefits of not having their underwear on backwards, or telling them that no, cake is not an acceptable dinner entrée. You also may imagine that you will be the “perfect parent”. A parent that doesn’t raise their voice, that uses reason and understanding that the child will respond to and obey unconditionally. You won’t use a pacifier, the baby will sleep through the night, and everything will remain exactly the same as it was before you had children.
I think that those of us who are parents can remember how idealistic we were! It is an EYE OPENER when you have that tiny baby home from the hospital, and the baby thinks that day is night and night is day, and you haven’t slept for more than three hours in a row in several weeks! You may feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of another life being on you and your partner’s shoulders. You may miss the person you used to be before you were “mom”, and look enviously upon your friends who do not have children and the freedom that they have.
Each stage of childhood has its own blessings and challenges. You wait for your child to crawl, and then when they crawl you wish they would walk. Once they start walking, they are RUNNING and they never seem to stop!! The first words are cherished. Then eventually the child talks nonstop, and begins to sass back. “No mommy, you are in time out! I want a new mommy!!” Toilet training comes and goes, and soon you look at your “baby” and they are a little person, with their own ideas and desires and need for independence. This happens so fast!! I can’t believe that my son will be four in September. I am striving to be a more peaceful parent who does not yell. It doesn’t always work. At times, when my son doesn’t listen and I am at the end of my rope, I may yell at him. Then I feel guilty for yelling at my son. Then I get frustrated because I feel that if he doesn’t listen, he will not have the respect he needs towards my partner and me and other adults.
Parenting is a challenging, yet ultimately rewarding journey for most of us. However, if you are feeling depressed because you don’t think that you are a “good parent”, or you are so anxious about your child’s well being that it is hard for you to concentrate at work, you may benefit from one of the Orlando counselors at Life Skills Resource Group. You can learn the tools to be a better parent, as well as learn how to manage your negative thoughts and overcome your worries and anxiety. While a baby doesn’t come with an instruction manual, the Orlando therapists in our group can show you the way to be the parent that you want to be. It can also be great to have a nonjudgmental voice to vent to when you are frustrated. JES
Read more about Jessica Stage and the other counselors at Life Skills Resource Group visit the OUR TEAM page.