Sometimes it feels like we can be at war.
At war with ourselves, with our children, with our partners, with the world. And it can be made worse when it feels like our friends who are no longer stuck in the parenting trenches, suddenly don’t get it anymore. Or maybe they have never had kids, and REALLY don’t get it.
- spontaneous BBQ’s
- drinks at 9pm
- getting together at 6pm
- going for a morning run at 7am
- kids not invited to a party or a wedding or a work do
- work events/ meetings right on dinner and bed time
There seems to be a lot of this sort of thing going on at the moment, and frustration, already at the surface, bubbling to the top and overflowing.
If friends, colleagues, and family, make plans that don’t work with your immediate family, with your kids, or with your home beliefs then you have to learn to be okay with it. I know that sounds easy and I know it isn’t. We can feel hurt, misunderstood, and be made to feel like we are making a big deal out of nothing.
- Let others make the decisions that they are going to make, and then decide calmly if that works for you.
- Reply to the invite, or situation, immediately upon deciding whether you will or won’t make it. In most of these cases of stress and frustration it is because you can’t make it, so let them know and keep the message simple and to-the-point.
- “Really sorry, but we won’t be able to attend. Hope you have a good night.” Or, “Really sorry, but it’s not going to be possible for me to attend that meeting/ event this time.”
- Trying to explain why, will NOT make them see any better that you are still in the trenches of parenting, and doing the hard yards with sleep times, tiredness, or other stresses. Simple is best.
- By not engaging with your stress and frustration that ‘they don’t get it’ you won’t be feeding a drama, or blowing up a situation. And you will feel better too.
- Find some alternative solutions or ideas to see that friend or work colleague. Come up with another solution to a problem, if the only ones suggested are not suitable.
Obviously, ranting and offloading privately does help us let go of the stress too lol, but it rarely gets resolved by confronting head-on. Friends who are through and out the other side, are just happy to have made it unscathed, and yes, they have forgotten. Friends who don’t have kids are never going to get it, and also friends with different parenting styles to you won’t be fully in your corner in the trenches either. They are still your friends and colleagues though, and you can’t force them to look through the window of your parenting life.
Look after your OWN energy, keep your drama at a minimum, and make other plans, or come up with some different solutions yourself.
You will feel more empowered doing things this way, and able to be more ‘present’ with your kids too.