It is no surprise that parenting comes with huge lessons of ‘overwhelm’ – the common feeling shared by almost all parents if not all. Life feels like an overflowing fountain of ‘demands’ – not demands from children all the time but demands from life. Come to think of it, parenting is a wonderful SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. Many people do not completely understand the word spiritual. ‘Spiritual’ is anything that forces your ‘spirit’ to grow by having to go outside its comfort zone. Spiritual is anything that teaches us better values or to be a better version of ourselves. Having walked a wonderful parenting journey for 7 years and mentoring many parents through articles and direct conversation, I will like to share 5 simple ways to lessen that ‘overwhelming’ feeling and reduce your frustrations.

  1. Organize your home and learn management skills
  2. Prioritize social life
  3. Plan your career life
  4. Realistic expectations from your child
  5. Realistic expectations from yourself
  1. Organize your home and learn management skills – Organization is the master of leadership skills. A great leader is the one who has the skills to multi-task, prioritize, put things in order, stay focused and organized. Remember that being a parent is a lot about being a LEADER.

    What happens if your supervisor at work reaches work late, leaves work even later, doesn’t eat on time, has no proper places to file his work and has no idea what the day and week ahead will look like? Same is with you as a parent.

    One part of organization is your physical space: how well are your things and your kid/s things kept? Can you tell me in your sleep, where ANYTHING is kept without having to get up – whether it is anything in your kitchen, bedroom, dining, etc. Use organizing bins, trays, holders to make sorting easier. E.g. I place puzzles in zip lock bags, her stationery in a heavy-duty organizer on her table, soft toys in a laundry basket, all bed sheets in one drawer, a drawer for art work, one for miscellaneous items, one for puzzles, etc. My bedroom and kitchen is super organized too.

    Another part of organization is time management. How well are you with your routines? If you sleep and wake up more or less the same time daily, your life will be 80% better with your kids than you ever estimated. Your sleep-rest and body cycle has a huge impact on your mood, on your health and amount of energy you feel. Same is with your kids. Do not let them rule your routines, take charge, set time boundaries for them with T.V., eating, sleep, etc.

    What you feel, you transfer to your kids. Mentally plan your meals for the next day rather than having to wake up with a huge frustration question mark of – “Now what to cook today?” Standing in front of the kitchen cabinets, scratching your head over breakfast and lunch deals for the day is poor management. Think of every minute of your life as a great investment towards your kids. How many minutes do you want to waste and how many do you want to multiply?

  2. Prioritize your social life – Yes, we love to party and meet, greet and laugh. But Parenting is a lot about learning to make adjustments, compromises and changes in one’s life. Before my child, I would be out every Saturday and Sunday with husband and his group of friends. Once my child was born, not only did I have to change my routines for the 1st few months, but I made permanent changes to my social life.

    I don’t mean to say stop having fun but the AMOUNT and DURATION of your outings can be reconsidered. How much do you want to cook for your guests? Is it important to ‘impress’ them or to spend time with your children? Each day as a trade. When I plan a day in my mind, I ask myself- how many hours do I want to spend today with my child, based on that I make my other decisions. I may not be able to deny guests from coming home or having to attend parties but I surely DEFINE how much energy I want to put into preparations or having to stay at a party. My time with my child is not the time that is LEFT OVER after everything is taken care of, my time with my child is the 1ST thing I set aside or plan for the day and then everything else revolves around it.

  3. Plan your career life – Once again it is about need vs. demand. What do I demand from my life vs. what I need. For 6 years I dedicated my life, time, energy to my child because I CAREFULLY CALCULATED it this way – once she starts full time school at age 5, she will NEVER EVER AGAIN IN HER LIFE have a FULL WEEK with me at home. She will be spending more time at school than home and never again will I get to PLAN or SPEND 40 hours in a week with her. Hence, I rather set my career aside for those 5 years, even if there were financial challenges, I rather save money and my time with my child than give away that time to a stranger in a day care for whom she will be ‘one of the 20 kids’. That was my choice, you must make yours to what suits you bets. Do understand that time with your kids will never return and make a wise choice based on that along with all the other needs of yourself and your family.
  4. Realistic Expectations from your child – Would you rather have a ‘smart’ child who attends 5 or 7 different classes and tops in math, academics, dance, etc. or would you rather have a child who tops in ‘the language of love’. While classes can teach your child ‘skills’, sharing valuable time with the parent teaches the child invaluable lessons of love and self-growth. Exploratory play at home can be nurtured by the parent which teaches many skills to the child along with learning to build a bond, show and receive care, feel secure and important.  Also, not all kids are made for the ‘A+’ game. Grades is not everything and success is not correlated to grades alone.

    Don’t overburden them with expectations that their body or mind is not made for. Focus on their strengths, explore their talents and be realistic about their limitations. A rational and loving approach will make your parenting life easier, simpler and more successful.

  5. Realistic expectations from yourself – Now tell me that you do this – take over way too much than you can handle. You invite guests today and then accept the birthday invitation for tomorrow, then realize you had bought tickets to a party, then have groceries left to do, wish to be a super mom but also need to be super sexy, want a super skin, miss watching the latest movies and can’t stop browsing the entire world’s Facebook! P-R-I-O-T-I-Z-E !!!

Your kids do not need a super mom. Just be a M-O-M, that itself is great. Chose the top 5 important things in your life. E.g. here is my list:

  1. Spend at least an hour with my daughter on weekday and 5 total hours with her on weekend.
  2. Health – exercise 4 days a week, eat healthy 5 days a week, care for skin / hair twice a month (not the priority right now).
  3. Career – Advance in one’s career at a steady pace and build business slowly on the side.
  4. Socialize – Have an enjoyable outing 2ce a month if not more and call any close friends and family members every 2 weeks. (No receiving calls on weekdays or times when I spend with her).
  5. Learn – learn something new every month either from book, training, observation, etc. (No reading news or news channel, Facebook only to learn new skills).

I hope this article helps you settle down some of your frustrations and overwhelming feelings of parent-hood.

It is nice to be hopeful that life will continue well and it is wise to be realistic that life can change anytime! Make the most of today. Investment in your kids is the greatest investment you can ever make and that is not about how much money you invest in them or their future, it is about how much QUALITY INTERACTION you live with them in this very moment, HERE and NOW.

Also READ:


13 Reasons to Introduce your Toddler to Physical Fitness


The 1st time ever I SAW a fitness gym was when I was 24years. The 1st time my daughter SAW it when she was 2. At 5 years my daughter has been to a Live game of Basketball when I did so now at 34 years. Neither have I ‘seen’ a stadium ever before.

I haven’t tumbled till date and she does. She knows so many stretches, body exercises which I haven’t seen, heard, known, or done. Although I was lucky to have a great personal trainer from age 24 to 30, yet, coming to USA, I understood sports and physical fitness in a new way. In India, there is little awareness of how important physical arts is, esp. among the lower middle class + resources are limited and costly for parents who value it.

My daughter began Martial Arts at 4 years of age. I must admit that we have been lucky to have found great instructors for her. She is not very sports inclined but she has grown into it in the last one year. The amount of confidence and growth I have seen in her is beyond explanation.


Advantage of Introducing Toddlers/Children to Sports and Physical Fitness:

Creates Body Awareness: By moving our body in different and challenging ways on a regular basis, we learn to ‘understand’ our body. This creates more physical awareness and strengthens one’s sense organs. I grew up in a culture and country where the focus on the mind was a lot more and even more than the mind – the brain which is different from the mind. I learnt little about my body, I loved it less, I knew it less, I understood it even lesser!
Boosts Self-confidence: All mind and no body is an irrational focus in life. In India, there is a lot of importance to academics but is not balanced out with enough sports or physical education. Even when I played a lot of throwball and handball in school, I never learnt the warm ups they do here. I have never done push ups for a sports warm up. Never knew what is kick-boxing, pilates, or zumba.  I’ve never jumped over or climbed over a wall or a fence. Being able to move our body in unique and challenging ways inculcates a lot of self-confidence!
Facilitates Self-Love: There is no doubt that being physically fit and knowing the tricks of the game makes us feel good. Sports and Exercise has that ‘feel good factor’ which you want your kids to ‘stuff’ in their subconscious early on in life. Early learnings are the best learnings because they get submerged quickly into the subconscious mind as a ‘way of life’. Creating that feel good factor as a way of life in early childhood means GIFTING them with a Life-Long Skill of Loving Themselves

– Stress Buster: Exercising gets our brain to release endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that make us feel more positive, feel good, and reduce our negative feelings. Let us admit it that children go through their own kind of stress. They have several physical changes to adapt to and on top of that, they have to keep up with our ‘crap!’ L-O-L. How many times in a day do we INSTRUCT kids what to do and not do; how many times do we throw our anger and tantrums at them? Besides us, they have school challenges to cope up with. I empathize with kids for sure!

–  Easy to Train: Kids naturally move around a lot. They have supple bodies. This makes training their bodies a lot easier. The younger the age, the better the outcome. Professional training ensures that they get age appropriate exercises to build on.

Self-Protection: Self-defense techniques imparts skills for self-protection useful at any point of time. Unlike the belief I had, at least by witnessing her Taekwondo class, I realize, it has several elements of sports embedded in it. On the other hand, I believe, even if children were to learn any other sport, they would have an advantage in self-protection over someone who doesn’t. Regular and long-term sports training, creates a sense of ‘flexibility and quickness’ of both the body and the mind – a skill that can come handy when one needs to self-protect.

Builds on a Possible Future: We may introduce our children to sports just for the love of or benefit of sports however, children may develop a deep connection with it. It could create the stage for a future in The Sports Field or expose them to early skills to be used later in inter-collegiate sports. Several colleges and universities also have extra credits for students who play sports. There is really nothing to lose here!

Sharper Mind: The body and the intellect are closely connected. The reason why regular exposure to sports improves on concentration, focus, and memory is because it requires us to have CONSTANT PRESENCE OF MIND to indulge in any physical exercise. Can we close our eyes for 2 split seconds when jumping, running, tumbling? We must be conscious of every action, every landing, every move and this strengthens the brain muscles which comes to great advantage in Academics!

Healthier Body: I doubt I need to write more about this. We all know the health benefits of sports and physical fitness. There is no doubt, no two ways about it!

Remember, children differ in their liking for sports. One child may like basketball, another tennis even when both are equally sporty by nature. Sometimes it requires ‘trial and error’ to different kinds of sports. Honestly, I forced her into Martial Arts and now she loves it a lot! Part of the reason is also because she loves The Energy of the place she goes to – the instructors, the teachers, the method of teaching. Make your efforts to discover what your child will enjoy. Do not presume or jump to conclusions too quickly. It took my daughter a good 3 months to begin liking it and now she doesn’t want to be off it.

Family Bonding: Sports can be a great way to have fun with family. My daughter thoroughly enjoys our baseball games in the backyard or simple catch and throw. Best part is that it requires little equipment and space, can be played indoors and outdoors and creates some unique memories of happiness.

Special Needs Kids or Special Skill Set: Specific sports are excellent for Special Needs kids like those who have ADHD, ADD, Autism, etc. They help in increasing focus and concentration which is one of the most important skill these children must build for healthier functioning or to cope better. Children also learn to Solve Problem and work in groups while playing sports. As adults we know how important it is to have skills to Work well in Teams. Your career in IT, as Teacher, at home within the family – all of it requires problem resolution by working in harmony with other individuals. Learning to balance our needs with others, solve problems effectively, and create healthy win/win solutions is what Sports implicitly promotes.

Provides Opportunity to Socialize: There are several sports that promote group involvement. When kids meet other kids they learn to interact, to greet, meet, adjust to other personalities. This is a skill we need at every stage of life. Going to school, going to work, staying home with family, love relationships later in life and making and keeping up with friendships is all about being ‘Social’. Socializing skills are intertwined with Self-Confidence.

A Competitive Spirit: Sports builds that competitive spirit which we want to have in today’s world. The aim is not to create an attitude of ‘Rat Race’ but to develop a Love for Healthy Competition, a Love for Winning and also the Grace of Losing Humbly. Sports teaches it all. Who knew that playing sports for extended childhood hours would help You in your field of marketing, insurance, IT, selling, etc.?!


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