Being a parent is the most rewarding job in history, and the oldest. But it’s also the hardest (only nonparents would argue the point). Sometimes it can get downright impossible to handle – what with work, finances, time, and most of all, your own kids, conspiring against you.
No man or woman parent is an island (Alcatraz, comes to mind), and parenting should definitely not be a one-person show. Although everyone’s circumstances vary, there are several places that many of us go for help. Some are familiar, others may not be so. But when you need to lean on someone or something, try these before losing your collective marbles.
- Family and Friends: The most obvious and helpful of all resources is family and friends. Nobody knows you and your kids better and nobody can help like they do. Because they are so accessible, it’s also easy to take them for granted. Don’t. It may sound simple, but make sure to thank your family and friends when they babysit, or run to pick up medicine for your kids, or just for listening to you complain about how much homework they have. Also, return the favor when you can.
- Online and Apps: It’s easy to want blame the internet and social media for so many of the troubles we have as parents. But the truth is, the digital world can provide as many solutions as problems. From symptoms of sickness, to ideas for birthday parties or dinner recipes, being a parent in the 21st century means you have to be digitally savvy. If you’re not, it’s never too late to get there. At www.TheChildrensTrust.org you can find a wide assortment of support programs and providers, as well as news and information to help all parents and their children.
- 2-1-1: Parenting follows no set schedule. Emergencies and issues can happen at all times and in the middle of the night it’s easy to feel completely alone as all your other support systems are inaccessible. But calling the 2-1-1 switchboard is always and option. There will always be another human being on the line willing to listen and help, or direct you to someone who can.
- The Children’s Trust Parent Club: The minute your first child is born you immediately join the “club.” At The Trust, we invite you to join our Parent Club – a new initiative that promises to unite parents across the county in a multitude of FREE parenting workshops. How many? Up to 1,200 a year! Learn principles with raising responsible and caring kids, handling challenging and troublesome teens and a plethora of other topics. More than that, join fellow parents and facilitators who you can share your experiences with and learn from. Be part of the club. To sign up, or schedule a workshop in your area, visit www.TheChildrensTrust.org/ParentClub.