It’s only natural to fall into the temptation to resent my situation. I feel I’m up against the wall daily with the relentless routine that is my life as a parent and a sufferer of chronic pain.
No matter how many kids are involved – parenting is a tough gig. They may still be fully reliant babies, moody cranky teenagers or anywhere in between. Kids demand our attention and support. And it’s under this pressure that we have to guide them, to show them how to navigate life safely. Not an easy task when we are stressed out to the max and are dealing with our own problems and pressures.
My routine is pretty much the same each day. I wake up, work in the mornings and take care of the triplets during the afternoon. I cook dinners, bath the girls and by the time they go to bed I am exhausted. At the weekends we try to do something out of the house with the girls and on a Sunday we tend to chill. I cook a roast dinner and we watch a movie. Then it’s back to Monday and the same routine. And whilst all this is going on I deal with nerve pain flare ups. It’s not easy. I was also prone to bouts of deppresion when my pain is ramped up.
So how to deal with the monotonous routine. It takes a certain mental attitude. After all it is the stress that must be dealt with, the slump in moods and resentment that we all experience as parents from time to time. We have to stay conscious and present in family life. And as dad’s we are relied on to bring mental and emotional stability under our roofs.
Some of us have hobbies and distractions that give us a break from the norm. It’s important to have an outlet outside of home-life. Not so easy when we have babies to deal with but after the initial shock of new parenting we do eventually get a little time to ourselves. I personally write, aswell as this blog I write in other forums dealing with mental health issues and chronic pain. I also sing in a rock band which gets me out of the house once or twice a month.
But we need more than distractions to survive the stres of parenting. In a mental health rock bottom 8 years ago I reached out to a stranger who seemed to have found a solution to resentment. A way to deal with the daily grind without becoming overwhelmed. I was interested in how he did it, because I was going all to shit just trying to deal with family and work life with just one kid, let-alone triplets.
He had a one word answer. Meditation. I laughed him off at first because I had tried many types of meditations and most were just bs. Distraction techniques that put a band aid over the problem and never solved anything. It seemed a flimsy reed to me but I was open to anything. My family life depended on my sanity. And I was slipping down the rope each and every day.
He introduced me to non contemplative meditation, a simple observation exercise. It was also free and non religious which I liked. So I gave it a shot and I instantly discovered a solution. Within days all the stress energy in me was expelled and I stood on a new footing. Through practicing daily meditation, just 10 minutes x3 times a day i found a way to deal with stress and the nagging fears and agitations of parenting. I found a new way to approach life.
Not only was I able to face life with a new courage but I also discovered a way to stay free from anger, a way to master resentment and fear. I was no longer prone to deppresion and anxiety. And I continued it to this day. And even though I still feel the pressure of parenting it no longer overwhelms me. I still have moments of moments of doubt and frustration but they are short lived. For the most I have a handle on life.
I found a way to step off the stress wheel of parenting and live life on life’s terms. Which for a man with a history of mental health issues and anger problems is a big deal.
Il leave the meditation link here if you are interested in giving it a try. I hope if you are struggling you do. It may just be the solution you have been looking for.