When Parenting is HARD (The Power of AND)

How to support yourself through the challenges of parenthood

By Mel Peirce, Parenting Coach and Contributor, Macaroni KID Nashua March 28, 2024

Let’s face it…  parenting can be really hard and lead to lots of headaches and heartaches.  We love our kids and want the absolute best for them, and it breaks our hearts to see them struggle. They can also drive us crazy and seem to know exactly how to push our buttons and drive us right to the edge of our sanity, and sometimes over.

Before I go any further, I truly want you to know that if you’re really struggling, I get you.  I know that there are many days that parenting is hard, and I’ve had my share of them.  

The problem is that when you think that parenting is hard, you’re actually making it harder for parenting to become easier.  It’s like trying to lose weight when you don’t believe that diets work for you.  You just can’t get there from here.

This month we’ve been delving into what our brains do when we are faced with challenges.  I shared how our brains are very literal and have no sense of humor — so when we think that parenting is hard, our brains will look for all of the evidence as to why it’s hard.  It won’t think of any solutions or even be open to the possibility that it could be easier.  Your brain is running a parenting is hard program, and everything gets filtered from that perspective.

If you’re like many of my clients that are stuck in a parenting is hard place, it’s hard to even imagine that it can get easier.  You have been thinking that it’s hard and you have tons of evidence to back up how hard it’s been.  Your brain cannot accept that it could be anything but hard, and it’s going to double down on showing you all the evidence as to why it can’t be easy and why it’s hard.

So when I’m coaching parents in this place, I meet them where they are and encourage them to add "AND".

Here’s what that looks like:
Yes, parenting is hard…  AND I can handle it.
Yes, parenting is hard…  AND I can figure this out.
Yes, parenting is hard right now…  AND we’ll get through this.
It’s going to get easier.

When you acknowledge that parenting is hard first, your brain gets on board with you so it’s open to hearing what you say next.  You know this by how it feels.

When you tell yourself that parenting is hard and I can handle it — does your body relax a little bit and do you feel some relief?

This is how you support yourself through challenges.  When you start to tell yourself that you can handle it, you can figure it out, and it’s going to get easier, your brain will start to filter and look for evidence to back up those thoughts — and it will start to get easier.

But if you try to start by telling yourself it’s going to get easier without acknowledging how hard it is first, your brain is less likely to buy it and it won’t filter in a way to support you.  It really is that simple. 

I invite you to consider where you can add in “AND” this week, and how you can support yourself when parenting is HARD.   

If you’re struggling and finding parenting is HARD, know that you don’t have to go it alone.  Click here to line up a free call and learn more about how I can help make it easier.



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