Be a Better Parent by Being Kind to Yourself
Watch Time: 2:28 Minutes
We all want to be a good parent—even a great parent—but we know that’s a high bar to set and live up to. Venessa discovered that she didn’t have to do everything perfectly to be a good mom. And she didn’t have to do it all alone. Venessa found help through therapy, journaling, and learning ways to be kind to herself. Hear Venessa’s story on how being kinder to herself helped her become a better parent.
How to Deal with the Pressures of Parenting
I'm Venessa Prince. I'm a mother of three. I have Travis, who's 11, and I have twins who are 12—Tristan and Katie.
I got married at a pretty young age. I got married when I was 19. I got pregnant two years later with the twins. When I found out that I was pregnant with Travis, I was so overwhelmed.
Is It Normal to Feel Overwhelmed?
There were a lot of days when I cried. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And now they're preteens, about to be teenagers. And the stress is like Jurassic Park, where you have little raptors constantly testing the boundaries and the weaknesses.
Help set up your teen for success by setting clear boundaries for behavior.
What About Dealing with Stress?
Whenever I'm feeling stressed or I can tell that they're getting stressed, I try to change the page. Let's step away from this issue. Let's go take a walk. Let's do anything but this thing that's stressing us out. And, I think just having that refresh helps so much because it kind of puts things into perspective.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help.
I put myself into counseling to help with some of my anxiety and my stress. It also just gave me some tools that I could use, like setting boundaries. I learned techniques that I could use to stop negative thoughts. To stop ruminating over things I couldn't change or to deal with stressful situations. Therapy has been so helpful. I still try to see someone maybe once a month or every other month, just to check in with myself. Make sure that I’m not letting things build up too much.
What Are Some Helpful Things Parents Can Do?
One of those things for me was journaling. I have pages, volumes filled with my stress journey. One of my intentions behind journaling was to remember and capture small moments that I might not remember now. And I don't remember them. But when I read them, I'm like, “Wow, that happened.” I realize there's so many good things that I did. So many good things that helped me to become a better parent.
Practicing self-care by journaling is one of many great ways to set yourself up for successful parenting.
What Would You Say to Other Parents?
I would tell them just to understand that it's not gonna be perfect. They're gonna make mistakes. That's OK. We all do. But it's important to have grace with ourselves. To forgive ourselves. Because at the end of the day we're trying our best.