How to Nip Parenting Struggles in the Bud (Episode 76)
Sometimes life is not perfect, and things don’t go as planned. We all have those parenting struggles: we’re tired, sick, and overwhelmed. Whether it’s your great intentions for blissful bedtimes or a broader realization that your life is not what you hoped it to be, this isn’t a time to throw in the towel.
It's time to course-correct - and we'll share with you what this means on this weeks' episode of the Mama Says Namaste Podcast!
Shifting to an Intentional Family
As a recap for those of you who may not know our whole story, we shifted from the “standard American dream” to a very non-traditional lifestyle. Nathan has gone from banking to real estate to being a full-time daddy, and we just celebrated seeing all of the lower 48 states and two years RVing the states full-time.
Pin for later:
Where are we this week?
We are basking in some down time in our hometown of Nashville, TN, and doing some big updates to our tiny home to make it even more homey for us! We spent the weekend painting and are thrilled with the results!
Follow us on our journey on Insta as the FieldTripGypsies!
Don't be afraid
We aren’t waiting for vacation or some day way down the road to enjoy this life. We seek to celebrate and add in a “vacation” moment every day. We don’t know when this life will end, so we aren’t putting it on pause assuming we can get to it all later.
There are so many facets of who you are that you can explore. Sometimes we hold back on doing things for fear it has to be a 30 year commitment. But dipping our toes in the water helps us to get so much clearer on where we DO want to go.
There aren’t end goals when it comes to relationships. That implies there is a moment where growth stops. Seeking the feeling behind the goal allows you to work toward those emotions around where you are and constantly striving to maintain and improve them. A relationship is more an evolution than an end goal.
Marriage and parenting struggles aren't going to fix themselves. We have to be willing to work through them.
Relationships are not about end goals. It's the emotion and the connection that evolves over time.
Parenting Struggles: Where you can get into trouble
When we let issues sit and fester. It may not be a huge deal now, but when you carry a long fuse, at some point, it will eventually ignite.
Just like a car, it’s very difficult to stay on center all the time. It’s a constant shift of the wheel in either direction to course correct. If we ignore until we’re veering off the road, and then shift the wheel completely in the opposite direction, we’re liable to flip the car or some other accident. Don’t crash yourself by keeping it in until you have to drastically swerve in reaction mode.
If you create a culture of course correction in your relationship, it’s easier to maintain. However you have to earn that right. You have the power to change you - if you focus on what you can do to better yourself, it’s beautiful how you’ll see that reflect in the relationships around you.
The Dog and the Nail
There was an old man sitting on his porch, whittling, with his faithful dog laying down beside him. A young man came up and started talking to the man, and noticed the dog was crying pitifully the whole time they talked. He asked the old man, “why is your dog whining like that?” To which the man replied, “ah, he’s sittin’ on a nail.” When the young man questioned why on earth the dog didn’t get up and move, the man, with all the wisdom he gathered observing people from his porch, simply said, “well, I guess it doesn’t hurt him enough.”
We moan about the spouse who isn’t there for us, the kids who don’t pick up,
and we feel that pain.
Yet how much does it have to hurt before you make a change?
We can choose to be proactive and move toward the life we want to cultivate, or we can just react to all the things that don’t go out way. (And on that note, it’s hard to have everything go your way when no one knows what that is!)
Do you have to wait until the nail draws blood on your skin? Does it have to escalate into an explosion?
Sometimes it’s so completely out of left field because the pain is never discussed or shared until it’s brutal and reactive.
Who is surrounding you?
Sometimes you have to do more than change your mindset - sometimes you have to change the people around you as well. Author Jim Rohn says, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Negativity breeds more negativity, and positivity does the same.
If your life were being recorded, would you be ashamed of how you act?
If these people are the ones you love - your heart and soul - oftentimes your bloodline…why would you give them the scrappy energy-deprived remains? How are you managing your energy so that you are giving the ones you love your best and not your worst self?
Quick Tips for families
Bedtime battles -
- Communicate what’s going on - big day the next day, you’re exhausted, etc
- Every action has a consequence - if then, then that
- Team effort - we work together to collaborate
In marriage -
- Get into the practice of little course corrections - this is much easier on the ego!
Tiny emotional deposits make it easier when you mess up. In the same way, communicating the small stuff helps it from being the big stuff. Give grace and space - you can’t do that if you are silent until you explode - then it does seem like a slap in the face.
The more you practice doing it, the higher your chances are of nailing it.
As parents, we may be okay to sit in complacency or just “deal with it” - but we have an even larger ripple effect with our children.
How high is your high and how low is your low? Look at a course correction vs. a wild swerve.
In doing these small course corrections, you’re able to pull from this to move forward. Either you’ve been down this road before and you are more and more familiar with how to correct it, or it’s a new issue, and you know you’re in it together vs. all alone.
Your Weekly Challenge:
What is something small - not those insurmountable ones, but something you need to call a “time-out” on? What can you communicate to those you love that will keep that huge mountain of conflict from happening? Own your own emotions and voice your feelings, not accusations. Whenever you point the finger at someone else, there are three more pointing back at you.
Find your voice and open up about what is going on inside. No one else knows unless you voice it…and sometimes that simple process is the best healing you can have.
If you need a mediator or an outside perspective, get a coach. Seek help. If you are an effective teacher, leader, coach, mentor, etc…you are continually learning and seeking to improve. It is a sign of wisdom to seek help, not failure.
Sometimes the outside perspective is what is needed in order for both parties to really feel heard and validated. Don’t just hope that something will happen. Get intentional about pursuing it. I would be honored to walk with you on your journey.