My Current Struggles and Why I am not a Failure

Parenting is hard.  I have to give credit to my parents because they made it look easy and I guarantee I wasn't the easiest kid to parent. My brother and I are responsible for many sleepless nights I can only imagine.  All that being said, we all could use a user manual on how to raise our kids.  While it sounds like a blissful idea, lets be honest, the great thing about kids is their uniqueness and a user manual would only create zombies.  

I am not the perfect parent; to be honest, most days I'm probably not even a good parent. Most of the time I am OK at best.  Below I'll highlight many of the things I am working on and in a follow up post, I'll share some insights on how I am working on each blunder. Despite my shortfalls, I am not a failure.  When I lay my head down I night and reflect back on the day, I come to realize a few things. One, most days, everyone walks away without broken bones and stitches. Two, we all have a roof over our head and plenty of food on the table. C, we all love each other very much and my kids remind me of that often with their random "I love you's" throughout the day. Four, my kids are kind hearted and getting all of the nourishment they need and excelling in many areas.  All this to say, here are a few things I am working on in 2020 to become a better father. 

Health and Fitness

This is something I am always working on and it is typically always a struggle.  It is really important thought that I get this right.  Let's face it, success or failure in parenting rides on whether or not there is enough energy left in the bucket at the end of each day to deal with whatever comes up.  Staying healthy and fit ensures that I stay engaged with the family and ultimately determines how quickly I lose my patience.  It is incredibly important that I take time for myself throughout the day to not only workout, but catch my breath as well.  I've been practicing boxed breathing for some time and it has been a tremendous help with keeping calm.  I still lose my cool once in a while, but these moments are less frequent.

Sleep

You are probably laughing at this one because sleep and parenting don't necessarily go hand in hand.  That is very true however my wife and I have really focused on this throughout the six years of our parenting.  I function very poorly if I get less than eight hours and prefer ten hours of sleep.  One way we achieve this is by having a set routine for the kids every night.  I won't divulge our bedtimes but I take care of the nighttime routine with the boys while my wife feeds our littlest one.  I usually read to the boys for 15-30 minutes depending on how fast we get through vitamins, teeth brushing and bathroom breaks.  After that it is lights out and usually by that time our littlest is fed and ready for bed.  This gives us an hour or two to wind down from the day and by 10/10:30 we are in bed. I'll share the rest in a later post, but I assure you we do the best we can to get the eight to ten hours of rest. 

Patience

Patience is by far the biggest struggle I face but I work on it constantly.  I'm noticing that if I take care of the first two points on here, my patience is a lot better.  Patience is like a muscle that constantly needs worked on, but also it can fatigue very quickly. Every parent struggles with this to some degree. Don't believe me? Go to a department or grocery store and observe every parent that has ever dealt with a child melting down because they want something.  

Gratitude

I have so much to be thankful for in this life, it isn't even funny.  I have a poor way of showing it though.  Often times, I let the negative self talk and little bits of jealousy influence my feelings and emotions.  Finding time to reflect and practice gratitude is extremely important.  This year I really want to focus more on this.  I've noticed, even with just a little bit of practice, I have become a much happier person and things don't get to me quite as easily.  

Empathy

Do I sound like an absolutely horrible person yet? I hope that isn't the case, because I am not saying I am not patient, empathetic, or gracious, I am simply saying these are things I am focusing on.  Empathy can be a big struggle for me, especially when it comes to every little boo boo that plagues this house.  Having a little girl though has increased my empathetic reserves 20x though, but I am not sure why.  If you have any suggestions though for improving this, please hit me up in the comments, it is greatly greatly appreciated.  

There you have it folks.  These are just a few things I am working on this year.  I don't want to inundate you with a ton of detail, but there will be more to come.  What are the biggest things you are working on as a parent over the next year or so? What can I help you with over the next year? Drop a comment below. If you are interested, check out our list of services we have available. I'd love to connect and work with you

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