At some point in parenthood, you’ve no doubt had to deal with a situation that was out of your control. Whether it was a difficult pregnancy, different birth from what you imagined, poor health of you or your baby, sleeplessness, or other challenges, these events cause stress and frustration, which negatively impact your health and mental outlook on life.
Learning how to cope with events you can’t control will help keep you in a positive frame of mind and alleviate your stress.
Consider the Serenity Prayer, written by Reinhold Niebuhr:
“God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
The words of this prayer exemplify the solution to a problem that plagues all of us. Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that you can control only your own actions (and reactions), you can begin to find some peace of mind.
What Can You Control?
Worrying about the people or events in your life that you can’t control can cause all kinds of stress-related health problems, such as angina, high blood pressure, and yep you guessed it sleeping difficulties for you are your baby.
If you need to feel more in control of this parenting gig, try to focus on your parenting values and actions that you can take to be more aligned with them.
What your parenting values are and who influences these is something you can definitely control. It may not be easy to do things differently from friends and family members or from how you imagined it or to accept how things are but do consider…
Live One Day at a Time
When you intentionally consider each day a gift, your struggles don’t seem as dire. While life does deal some bad hands, such as death, divorce, and parenting challenges, it is important to know pain and joy in life are attached, it is not possible to open your heart to love without the pain of grief for example.
When you purposely feel gratitude for the good moments within each day, you can genuinely start to accept your struggles as a path to a new beginning.
Coping with Sleep Difficulties
One of the most stressful situations is coping with sleep difficulties for new parents, this is because it is often a symptom of other complex underlying issues* or normal but hard baby behaviour.
By accepting that you can’t change some things, you’ll become more powerful in changing the things that you do have control over. You’ll free yourself from the negative thoughts and emotions that can stifle you.
Use these tips to help you cope with things out of your control, and you’ll find peace, joy, and the passion to persevere through all challenges.
*Other complex issues might be unidentified feeding issues, food allergy, big changes such as a house move, new sibling, separation of parents – again what are the things you can control and change rather than the things you can’t and also what can you still be grateful for