November 05, 2021
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how to stay motivated as a parent
As a parent, it can be tough to feel motivated when there’s so much to do: for your family, work, home, yourself – you name it. It doesn’t really matter what time of year it is – it’s always something. Fall can be a hectic season for moms and dads with all the festivals, gatherings with family and friends, and the holidays looming large. Maybe you’re overwhelmed with everything on your to-do list, or you just feel like you lack enthusiasm right now.
If that’s where you find yourself as a parent, here are some ways to ignite your motivation as you and your family make the most of this time of year!
1. Remember that it starts with you.
It’s often easier for parents to live out Newton’s First Law of Motion, which states that an object in motion stays in motion. It’s hard to stop when you are overrun with things to do. The thought of slowing down is overwhelming. So we put on a happy and excited face when in reality, we lack energy and motivation.
You’ve probably heard that “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” It’s true! You have to find things that provide energy for you. It’s essential to understand that taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. Actually, it allows you to be a better parent.
2. Find ways to have child-free times.
Make time in your schedule to enjoy being alone. You may have to get up early or stay up late. You may have to resort to using the bathroom as an escape. Sometimes I find myself sitting on my back porch enjoying the sound of crickets and cicadas and watching the sun go down. Whatever you have to do, make space for yourself.
3. Remember your why.
Most parents work hard to raise their children to become productive adults in society. Raising kids is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be times that you are tired. You may feel like nothing is going the way you planned or thought. In those moments, remember your reason.
Parenting is easy. (Said no one EVER.) HAA! Parenting is one of the hardest things you will ever do. There will be times when you feel like you have nothing to give. Many of us have felt the same way, so believe me when I say you are not alone. Feel. What. You. Feel. Then find that drive from deep inside to help you get back on track so you can be a motivated parent. You are exactly what your children need.
5 ways kids can affect your marriage (& what to do about it)
Being a parent is amazing, but it’s tough. Life changes with kids, and each stage of parenting brings new challenges. There’s a lot to balance. Let’s be real: kids affect your marriage.
Here Are a Few Common Ways and What to Do About It:
1. Self-care often takes a backseat for parents.
Self-care, what’s that? Both of my elementary-age kids have schedules, activities, homework, projects, and social lives. (Wait, when did their social lives replace mine?) It can be hard to carve out alone time, but you need it, and so does your marriage.
2. You may disagree about parenting styles.
We all enter marriage with a belief system about how to parent, and it’s often based on how we were parented. Couples talk about if they want to have kids, how many, and when. But they don’t talk about how to parent. And that can lead to frustration.
3. Date night can get put on the back burner.
Dating is crucial to a healthy marriage, and kids can affect your ability to do that. Before kids, there may have been elaborate date nights, expensive dinners, flowers, and gifts. Now, you don’t feel like there’s time to think about dating. And what do you do with the kids?
4. Your sex life may change.
Early on in parenting, your sex life often takes a backseat because babies make life interesting. But you’d expect it to bounce back once you’re past the toddler years. For many, it does, but it isn’t always consistent. And kids always find a way to interrupt. Sex can become just another item on the to-do list, and that’s no fun.
5. Marriage satisfaction may decrease.
Kids and all the issues I mentioned above can affect your marriage by adding stress to your marriage. When stress mounts in your relationship, satisfaction decreases. You’re not alone in feeling this way. Research published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that many parents with kids experience reduced satisfaction, too.
Be intentional about having a healthy marriage, because it’s the best thing for you and your kids.
what we’re lovin’
This week’s picks come from Anna Reeves McCutcheon, an active participant in the Chattanooga Fellows Initiative, former FTF Intern, and now the Social Media Manager here at First Things First! Take a peek at her recommendations for this week because they are just THAT GOOD. Check ’em out 👀:
📗 Strong and Weak by Andy Crouch– A book that completely transformed the way I think about vulnerability in relationships.
🎃 Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Muffin/Bread Mix– Just trust me on these. I like to make a homemade cream cheese icing to go with.
🍌 Bananagrams– My family likes to sit around after our big Thanksgiving meal, drinking coffee, and playing Bananagrams!
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