Parenting Tips To Help With Overwhelm And Exhaustion

May 17, 2022

Trying to consciously parent one child versus two children looks very different, so I wanted to share a significant experience that has really guided me along my conscious parenting path. I get so many emails and comments about how much the message of intentional parenting or conscious parenting resonates with people and how they want to integrate these principles and begin to embody what it means to consciously parent. 

Let’s start by simplifying this concept. Intentional or conscious parenting means that you are parenting yourself before you parent your child. 

This means strengthening your emotional intelligence and recognizing things that might trigger unconscious behaviors or patterns before we parent our kiddos.

Often we can project a lot of our own inner wounds unconsciously so doing this type of work to become aware of where we are and then showing up for our kids from an aligned place becomes an exercise for our bodies and minds. 

Think of yoga. 

There is no destination, you are just constantly working to strengthen those muscles. Showing up consistently becomes easier with practice because you’re getting stronger over time. 

This was something that I felt I was starting to really get a hold of while I was parenting one child. I felt like my muscles were strong as it was easy for me to get back into alignment whenever I found myself acting from a place of past wounding. 

Then we had our second child and it was like starting all over again and relearning how to navigate and find even deeper layers within yourself. You think you know yourself so well right until you find yourself in a new situation or there’s a new dynamic that enters your life. It’s then that you find a whole new dimension of unhealed trauma and wounds that need to be cleared out. 

That’s why this work is exercise, it’s practice. We’re never done growing and evolving. This journey will constantly test you. 

One night, we had one of those nights where Nya was exhausted and it was difficult to put her down. We were in the middle of bedtime and Kai had his needs too. Mike and I were exhausted. So, as you might imagine, no one was at their best. 

Everyone was stressed, Mike and I weren’t communicating well, and the overall energy wasn’t right. Kids are highly sensitive to these kinds of shifts in energy and Kai was tuned in and became Mr. Empath, trying to make sure that everyone was ok. Very sweet, but not his job. 

In all of the chaos, I recognized that I was being triggered at that moment. I had this inner pull to fix everything that I couldn’t handle. I couldn’t hold space for my daughter’s crying and discomfort while also trying to manage my own emotions and needs while also showing up for Kai, his needs, and his emotional process. It was all too much. Tears were rolling down my face, I felt pushed to my limit at this point. 

The beautiful thing about conscious parenting is that you have awareness in moments like that. We tap into that consciousness and can align with our bigger vision; and know that while we’re feeling strong emotions, we’re going to be ok. 

It’s good to feel those emotions. We have to process them in order to move on from them. If we’re just trying to suppress them, those feelings don’t get dealt with and they stack up and will eventually explode with unintended consequences. Suppressing emotions also teaches our kids that it’s not okay to have big emotions and that they too need to suppress them. That’s the exact opposite of what we’re looking to do in this intentional parenting / conscious parenting space.

In my moment of frustration, I took a breath and acknowledged that I was severely overwhelmed and I let Kai SEE me overwhelmed. We initiated a conscious conversation where he asked me, “Are you okay?”. I explained to him that mommy was so tired right now and that she was having a really hard time with everything going on, but that mommy would feel better soon, she was just having a moment. 

That gave Kai permission to just be, and be okay. It allowed him to watch me work through this because he understands that emotions flow in waves and knows that he himself is never sad forever, nor is he tired forever. Kids innately understand that emotions are much like waves, and that they’ll come and go when we give them space to feel them. That’s how it should be. We need to let the emotions move through us so that we can get back to a state of alignment.

Looking back at that night, the lesson for me is to just be.

It’s hard when you want to show up for both kids, yourself, and your marriage all at the same time. We can’t always do that, so being present in the moment is critical. 

I was in front of Kai and we were having dinner together, just the two of us. I realized how much I was pinging to Nya crying upstairs and I had to stop and remind myself to be with Kai in the moment. I had to hold space for him and myself and know that my husband will care for Nya’s needs. 

I’m not saying it’s easy. We as parents have that innate desire to “fix it”. We want to solve all of the problems, right now, so that everyone can be happy. But life doesn’t work that way. The reality is that others need to go through their emotional processes too. It’s okay if it makes you uncomfortable, we have to learn to hold our own power and remain in our own energy. Even if things are falling apart, we have to recognize that the moment will pass. The kids are going to be okay. Our partners are going to be okay. You’re going to be okay.