Don’t try to parent while tired

Tag Team Parenting is critical to happy parenting.

I try not to parent while tired. When I parent while tired, all my ideals as a parent go out the window. Instead of a happy household where the kid is well behaved and we are laughing and getting stuff done, it devolves into a screaming mess with either me or my son taking a time out. I know I do pretty well because I rarely have to take a time out and neither does my son.  But it does happen. And when it does, no one feels good about what just happened.

As I’m the adult, it’s my responsibility to make a change when things aren't working.  And what I’ve realized is that when I realize I am tired, I need to hand my son off to my husband to handle for me so that he can be the calm rational parent our kid deserves.  Because really, when our son is tired and cranky, having a tired and cranky parent isn’t going to help him calm down.  So – we tag team so that he can, hopefully have a calm parent to care for him..

 I realize that I’m lucky because I’m married and I have a partner parent who I can tag team our kid with.  Many parents are not so lucky. They are it. But as I’ve grown into parenting with my kid, more and more I realize that – it takes a village is really true.

My son has friends in the neighborhood and I do go out and spend time socializing with the other parents as the kids play.  Now, I know what you are thinking, if they are at another parent’s house- free child care!  And I do take advantage of that. But here’s the thing, my fellow parents and I act as a tag team when we need it.  So if one of the neighbors isn’t feeling well, the kids will play at our house. Need to have an uncomfortable conversation with an ex – shuttle the kids off to a neighbor’s house.

This sort of neighborhood tag teaming is only possible if the adults get to know one another and commit to supporting each other as parents so that we can all do better. When there is a behavioral problem with one of the kids, we get together and discuss how to handle it so we are all working together to help the kid cope better and learn to behave better.

Take the time to develop a parenting support network so that when you need someone to take over for you, you have help. You do have to nurture yourself.  Don’t try to parent while tired. It rarely ends well.

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