Does this sound familiar?
You're constantly tired exhausted and on edge. So you're less patient than you'd like.
The kids get under your skin. You try to stay calm but you're so tired you crack. You lose it and yell or slam the door.
As soon as you do, you feel worse.
You're tired and cranky and impatient and now ... you're also drowning in guilt. And self-loathing.
You hate not being the parent you wished you would be.
The calm, patient, understanding person you want to be. The person who has everything in order and under control.
Instead, you feel like crap. Useless, impatient, and imperfect.
You're snapping at the kids. The house is a mess. Nothing is as it should be.And what's worse is that now you have to find the energy to try and fix it all.
When you're so exhausted you could sleep for a week.
So what's the solution?
How To Fix The Problem
In fact, you need to seriously prioritise yourself.
You need to learn to live guilt-free. Here's how.
Work Out What You Want
You need to work out what you want an dwork towards it.
It really is that simple. It's not easy, but it is simple.
Work out what you want your life to look like. Write it down, or draw it, or articulate it to someone.
Get really clear on what you want, and what you don't want.
And then start making your life look the way you want it to.
I recently heard a freelancer say that she was only taking on jobs that made her happy. The ones she really wanted to do.
She was only going to work with people she enjoyed working with, and on projects that would enrich her.
I thought, "I'd LOVE to be in that position. I'm so envious."
But you know what' I've realised? We can all be in the same position as that contractor.
I can be in that position, and so can you.
You just have to choose to live that way.
You have to choose to live deliberately. To use your single precious life in a way that makes you happy.
You have more options than you think. Really you do.
And here's the thing that no one else will tell you, you choose to live the way you do. And you can choose to change it.
Create Your New Life
If you want to break the guilt cycle you need to make yourself a priority. Start getting plenty of sleep, eating well and sneaking in some exercise.
Start saying no to everything that's option - unless it makes you feel good.
Start making quality family time a priority.
Yes, it's an effort. But anything that's worth doing is an effort.
And this effort will pay off. Because you'll be breaking that guilt cycle and creating a life that brings you joy.
What could be better than that?
So start today. Exercise your 'no' muscles. If you start to feel a twinge of guilt, remind yourself that you're prioritising your family.
You're looking after yourself so you can bring joy to those you love.
Prioritising yourself is the gift you give to your family.
You can choose to keep living the way you are, or you can make some changes.
It really is as simple as that.
I can't wait to see what you choose
This post first appeared on How to Train Your Children.
Cate is on a mission to help parents stop yelling and create families that listen to each other. She does this while imperfectly parenting two boisterous girls of her own, and learning from her mistakes. Download her free Cheat Sheet to Get Your Kids from "No" to "Yes" in Three Simple Steps and reduce your yelling today.