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Finding Yourself Lost While Parenting

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

Parenting alone and feeling exhausted? Confused? Depressed? It's okay, darling! It's OKAY. What you feel is valid.

Let me share with you a brief backstory. It's been almost a year since the death of our marriage. I took my three kids away from our home and started from scratch days before the pandemic happened. There was only one word to describe how I was. I was lost. My feelings, my self-respect, my sanity - felt like it was all gone. Positive parenting was a challenge for me. I found myself ill-tempered oftentimes with doing household chores, babysitting two toddlers and one preschooler and having a full-time job all at the same time (I even lost my job during lockdown and thankfully got my job back after a month to sustain our lives). Looking back, I was at the lowest point of my parenting life. As months passed by, I came to realized that I have forgotten three substantial elements in this journey that made it hard for me to paddle my own canoe. But, as soon as I fathomed these three elements, everything seemed a little easier day by day.

Acknowledge the hardship - Yes, acknowledging your current situation, the pain and even your shortcomings are essential to learning how you will get through the storm. Acknowledge that you are lost but also find your way back. You cannot start a new chapter in your life unless you wake yourself up to the reality of your nightmare. In my case, when I began to acknowledged how devastated the ballgame is, I started to have a clearer vision of what my next steps should be. That was the time when my plan to move to a better place got into motion. I thought me and my kids will be stuck in that small indecent apartment forever but no, God provides. We moved to a decent apartment after six months of planning and that was just the beginning.

Take off the distraction - I know! It's a rocket science but you need to eliminate whatever is distracting you from moving on while parenting. You have to remind yourself that your main priority is your child's development. Healthy development in their early years provides the building blocks of their behavior and future learning capacity - and we are responsible for this. Can you imagine the lifelong impact to our kids if we fail to nourish them just because we were distracted and preoccupied with the other aspects of our lives? It's difficult but we just have to refocus.

Forgive and love yourself - I used to hate and blame myself for all the mishaps that have happened to our family. From having a failed marriage to a broken family, the dice were loaded against me. I always felt insufficient and demoralized but this only affected my parenting style. I lost interest at almost everything and feared tomorrow. I always looked unpleasant and unattractive - I forgot about self-care. The moment I decided to care about my own well-being, I learned to forgive myself and just enjoy the time I am privileged to spend with my kids. It's as simple as buying myself a sundae or sweet treats, even rewarding yourself with a full uninterrupted 8-hour sleep! However you want to reward yourself, it's the start of giving yourself another chance to be happy again.

We may have found our selves lost in the process but hitting that restart button may be all that we need to get back on track. We are not alone. Remember, the term “parent” applies to an array of individuals whose presence impacts the health and well-being of children (Juffer, Bakermans-Kranenburg & van Ijzendoorn, 2008). Let's become responsible parents, together we can do this!

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