What? Bare minimum parenting?
Noo..that can’t be!
You rub your eyes and check the title again.
Bare minimum parenting!
Sound’s like music to your ears right?
What if I could tell you there is an easier way to raise a decent child AND come out the battleground of parenthood in one piece?
No more helicopter parenting. No more scary statements that make you obsess over every little thing that happens in your family!
Are you in?
During my career as a Nanny, I’ve seen just about everything. One thing I find myself participating in, more than anything else, is normally calming and consoling parents.
Just last week, a parent broke down in front of me. She said she wasn’t good enough and kept getting things wrong. She felt incredibly bad when she couldn’t attend bake sales and school plays. And it’s funny. Her children are growing into wonderful, kind and genuinely good people and she is totally head over heels in love with them.
At the end of the day, there is a difference between education and parent shaming!
I know that every parent wants the best possible outcome for their children. I’d want you to find a safe place, where I know you’ll get all the right information you need to raise a child but still feel loved unconditionally. No matter if you slip up or don’t do something by the book, this source is still there telling you things like this are okay!
And that’s exactly what I intend to do for you!
What is bare minimum parenting?
Aha! There’s that music to your ears again. The simple sentence that makes parents around the globe simultaneously say “ahhhh” as their whole world seems to feel a little lighter than it did before.
Sometimes, as a parent, doing less is more. This doesn’t mean to actively participate in such bare minimum parenting that we have to neglect our children or love them any less than we already do. You are simply being smart about it. It is important to be selfish once in a while, for your own sanity and to know what’s important to you in your life. You can carry on with this attitude even after having children.
Step 1 – The list
In order to become a bare minimum parent, you’ll need to know what is important to you and your life besides your children. For example, take a look at mine:
Now, I know these are simple things, but it doesn’t mean I’ll give them up after having kids.
Do you remember the parent who broke down in front of me? Part of the reason she was having such a tough time was due to the fact that she was burning out. In her important list, she liked to go on long walks, have a clean house and occasionally put on a hair mask and go for a bath. She felt guilty and used this time to spend with her kids and then if one kid was a little difficult she suddenly felt that she couldn’t cope.
If we neglect ourselves, we will be unable to deal with even simple mishaps.
All of us need little lists. Whatever it is that is important to you, write it down and do everything to make it happen. I know that for many of you it’s pretty far-fetched to go on a long spa weekend due to childcare (or if it’s not please enjoy!). So try to choose important things that you’ll be able to commit to.
Step 2 – Imperfect you
If you are a parent, I assume you want to be a good one. However part of our problem is worrying when we are not perfect. Many parents (probably you included) wish to be seen as superheroes. We fixate on this idea like crazy!
There will be times where you forget things or something doesn’t go according to plan but guess what? It doesn’t matter! This is all part of life and no parent does everything perfectly. All you can do is your best and it’s pretty likely you will raise a pretty wonderful individual.
You don’t have to be perfect, just be real!
Like you did in Step 1, write down (or visualise) the top 10 most important things your child has. I’m pretty sure you’ll focus on vital things like shelter and love and these are the most important needs of your kiddo. As long as they have these, everything else is secondary.
Step 3 – Block out the noise
It’s super hard to ignore people’s comments, especially when they are centred around your family and children.
On one hand, there is always going to be someone somewhere that doesn’t like the way you choose to do things.
On the other, there is always going to a handful of people (such as myself) who are ready to support you no matter what your parenting style and choices are!
Whether it’s at the playground, family, friends or even work colleagues, I guarantee there will be people who will find a way to shame you as a parent because they would do something differently.
As unfair as this is, people are always going to do this. However, you must stick to your guns. As long as you are nurturing, and loving your child you are doing amazing and it is entirely your choice how you raise them!
Not letting comments get to you, regardless of where they come from is damn hard.
One of the most simple, but effective techniques to deal with this is to simply imagine yourself in a bubble. Whenever something like this happens put yourself higher than these people and don’t let them change the way you felt when you woke up, don’t give people that power.
You might also like to try something called grounding meditation. Like many other forms of meditation, it is quite similar. All you have to do is close your eyes, put on some calming music and imagine yourself growing like a beautiful tree. Growing from the root up takes a strong and important foundation, such as your role as a parent. Every little bit of positive influence you can give yourself is making the tree grow taller and taller until you each all your little branches, where you need to spread your arms and become even more powerful. If you’d like to try this at home, I left a little link at the end.
Step 4 – Self-care
My client families probably hear the words way more than anything else I teach them. But I cannot stress how vital self-care is. As a parent, you simply cannot look after little kiddos if you do not look after yourself. You are important and just as your little one needs love, so do you!
Bubble baths/ walks/funny films/ friends night/painting/reading…whatever it may be, please take a little time out purely for you.
You’ll even find your time with your children more enjoyable. You’ll be able to really engage in their activities and stories as you’ve cared for you too!
Step 5 – Time to worry waaaay less
Are you ready for your fifth and final step? Ohho I can almost hear the drum roll!
Remember selective hearing? Much like that, this part is what I like to call “selective worrying” (Fancy font for effect!)
“How do I selectively worry”? You might ask
Well, here’s exactly how!
Perhaps your little one has a cold, or maybe you forget to pack their favourite lunch or perhaps they ate something off the floor and now you are worried like mad!
Well, time to stop that.
Children will get a million colds!
As long as they are fed a nutritious meal of some sort it’s all good!
There’s a high chance your little one will eat crumbs and such off the floor all the time! Which is a good thing actually! The more children’s immune systems are exposed to pathogens from a young age, the stronger their bodies will become at fighting off slightly nastier things!
I know it’s only natural for you to worry. But trust me, the less you fret about the little things, the more you will boss the parenthood stuff.
To all parents, you are doing a fantastic job! You got this!