If you can’t help but to lie awake at night and think about everything that went wrong or right during the day, you may be overthinking parenting.
If you spend way too long packing your child’s lunch for school in the morning because you’re worried that it doesn’t cover enough food groups, you might be overthinking parenting.
If you’re constantly questioning whether or not you’re a good parent, you might be overthinking parenting.
The truth is, if you’re reading this right now, you’re a good parent. How do we know that? Because you’re worried about whether or not you’re a good parent.
Bad parents don’t care enough to worry about it, so the fact that you’re here shows that you care, and that’s what being a good parent is about.
However, if you’re overthinking things, it can be hard to function as a parent and it can have an impact on your children.
Here are 3 simple steps to help you stop overthinking as a parent.
Step 1: Forgive Yourself
Everybody makes mistakes. We’re human, after all. But, you wouldn’t berate your child for being a bad student if they got a few math problems wrong. You’d praise them for the ones they got right, and help them figure out what they did wrong so they can do better next time.
So why are we as parents so hard on ourselves that when we forget to give our kids their gummy vitamins in the morning?
The first step in keeping yourself from overthinking parenting is to recognize that you’re going to make mistakes, then forgive yourself and MOVE ON.
Learn from your mistakes so you can do better in the future but recognize that you’re not always going to do things right every time, and that’s ok.
Step 2: Trust your instincts
There are tens of thousands of parenting books on the market today, and countless articles and blogs devoted to giving parenting advice, but with so many “experts” out there, how do you know who or what to trust?
While there can certainly be value gained by reading what others have to say about parenting, at the end of the day, you need to trust your own instincts and realize that you know what’s best for your child.
Step 3: Keep things in perspective
Are your kids fed? Are they clothed? Did they get to sleep last night? Do they feel loved? Those are the most important things that you need to make sure you accomplish as a parent, and everything else comes in second place.
As long as your kids are well-cared for and well-loved, they’re going to think you’re an amazing parent because you are. No need to overthink it.
If they’re not getting made-from-scratch home-cooked meals every night because you only have time to make hot dogs and macaroni and cheese, that’s ok. They’ve been fed.
If they’re wearing stripes with spots because you let them dress themselves in the morning, that’s ok. They’re clothed.
If you weren’t able to get them to bed on time because it took you half an hour to track down their night-night blanket, that’s ok. They slept.
If they get upset with you for trying to kiss them goodbye “in front of the whole school,” that’s ok. They’re loved.
Bonus tip: Every morning, look yourself in the mirror, take a deep breath, and tell yourself that today, you will live in the moment and not overthink parenting.