Every parent will tell you that some days are harder than others. Just last month we dealt with #BabyD’s first real illness – a double ear infection and a virus – and knowing your baby is hurting and not being able to make it all better immediately is incredibly trying for any parent. That, coupled with a drastic change in #BabyD’s sleep patterns made for a rough couple of weeks.
Those tough weeks got me thinking about some tips for making it through those rough days. Parenting is difficult, even on a good day, and remembering some simple, quick things will help you and your partner survive the challenges.
1) Say “I love you” often – even if you’re tired and cranky and at the end of your rope, say “I love you” just one more time. Even if you don’t really feel it, make yourself say it that extra time. It’s an important reminder for you and your partner that it really is true – no matter how difficult the situation is, you still love each other.
2) Make sure you have at least one 10-second hug per day – I’ve heard and read that “Ten seconds of hugging a day can lower your blood pressure.” Even if the baby still won’t stop crying, he or she can wait those ten seconds for you two to hug. The stress release that comes from that simple act is huge.
3) Remember that you are on the same team – it may feel easy to lash out at your partner when you’re in the throes of a rough day or a long night, but it is so important to remember that you guys are on the same team and fighting the same battles side by side. You are both tired and you are both struggling – just remember that your partner has your back and is there to support you and you need to do the same for him or her.
4) Do something nice (even something little!) for your partner – make him or her a cup of coffee or tea. Bring him or her a cold beverage. Make sure the bed is made the way he or she likes it. Do something little that will help remind your partner that you still care.
5) Cut each other a break – I’ll say it again: parenting is hard. Caring for and raising a child is one of the most difficult tasks in the world, whether you are a first time parent or have six or more kids at home. Cut each other a break, because you both want what is best for your child. You may have differing opinions at that particular moment, but neither of you is out to harm or damage your child. Before jumping to conclusions, before snapping at your partner, take an extra moment and an extra breath and remember that you are both in the situation together and cut each other some slack.