It goes without saying…
Parenting is tough.
Even on the good days when things are going well…
… it won’t continue forever.
Not to sound like a downer, but it’s a hard truth.
You’ll hit a milestone. A challenge will emerge. You’ll read all the advice and apply. See success. Move forward.
A new challenge will pop up.
Whether it’s something about parenting, or raising and taking care of a human that you’d never thought of.
Cause here’s the thing:
As parents, the challenges we help our kids overcome are always shifting…
…because we’re dealing with a human life unfolding.
It’s a story with constant ups.
Of laughter one minute, and vomit the next.
Of smiles and giggles, and trips to the ER.
With each struggle, you could beat yourself up.
Or get sucked into social media while imagining that you should parent like the Scandinavians…
After all, parenting like a Scandinavian sounds magical:
letting your kids roam freely, have lots of outdoor time, no homework, and a year of parental leave for BOTH mom and dad.
Sounds like a dream, right?
If you pay attention, there’s no shortage of articles out there convincing you you can have all that too.
But here’s the catch:
When you get pulled into the reality warp of social media it’s easy to forget the constraints of reality.
We’re all limited by:
Plus the harsh realities of:
Jobs, commutes, bills, student loans, family commitments, and saving for retirement.
With so many obligations, it’s easy to flip into survival mode. And it’s hard to adopt the parenting style and techniques of a country far, far, far different than the U.S.
So the reality for many parents is they can’t parent like a Scandinavian.
Because it’s comparing apples and oranges…
On the surface, it might seem you can adopt some of their methods.
But a significant reason the Scandinavians can do things a certain way is that they have a societal infrastructure that sets them up to do so.
But all is not lost.
While you may not have a legal system that allows a year of parental leave…
You can take steps to reduce the stress of the day to day by taking inspiration from their approach.
And apply those ideas to your own reality.
One way you can capture the present moment is by focusing your attention back on the breath.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed, try this:
Think about how you can be less hard on yourself:
Take a deep breath.
And I’m not saying this as a cliche one.
A real one:
In through the nose for slow seconds, then hold for 7, then out for 8.
Remember your priorities for the long term.
And take a moment to remember the big picture.
Because you’re in this parenting thing for the long haul. (Especially if your little one is under 5), you’re only getting started.
Don’t cut yourself some slack. Breath deeply. Focus on the future…
And try to enjoy the journey along the way.
Your partner in parenting,
P.S. what do you think about the way the Europeans approach parenting?
What do you like or dislike?
Drop a comment below…
We’d love to hear from you!