Last week we talked about our tough parenting emotions… the frustration, anger, guilt, and sadness that we all feel at some point while raising our little bundles of joy.  These feelings are never going to disappear.  There will always be hard days, weeks, months, and even years.  So how can we deal with this?  To a parenting outsider, it might sound like all of us are crazy for going down this road.   But we know the truth.  We all know we wouldn’t trade our little monsters for anything…not even for a full night of sleep and a clean house.  Instead, we have to find ways to cope with the challenges.  My advice: sing.

It all started on a camping trip a couple of years ago with a good friend who also has two children.  Inevitably, there were moments of frustration:  “No, we can’t throw the entire bag of marshmallows into the fire at once to watch them explode,”  “No, you can’t pee right outside the opening to our tent no matter how bad you need to go,”  “Your brother cannot be used as bait for any approaching werewolves…”

When we felt like we wanted to throw in the proverbial camping towel and go home, we started to make up silly songs.  Our children thought we were crazy, but we were having a blast.  And guess what?  Frustration, gone.  Tension, released.  We were able to get back to the business of parenting without any residual “bad stuff” hanging on.

After our trip, we began compiling songs for the “Greatest Hits of Parenting” Soundtrack.  When you’re feeling overworked, overwhelmed, tired, or grumpy, give it a try.  Your kids might appreciate it, or they might not (which more often than not is the case in my house)

But YOU will feel better…and this is about YOU!  Sing to your kids, sing aloud to yourself, sing the song in your head, sing it to your partner when you finally get some alone time…whatever helps to let the bad stuff roll off your back.  Do it!

P.S.  If you don’t know a song, please use the handy dandy internet to find it and listen.  You might find a new favorite…

For the times when your child won’t stop asking you for candy in the check out line:  No, No, No” By Destiny’s Child

For the times when your toddler is having a tantrum over dinner or maybe when you’re letting your baby cry it out for the first time:  Simon and Garfunkel’s “I Am A Rock”

When your daughter has gone into a tailspin after a tiring day at child care and you’re not sure what to do: She’s A Maniac” from Flashdance

When their B.F.F.s get I Phones and they… don’t:  You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones

When deciding between orange juice or apple juice turns breakfast into a nightmare:  “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls (Tell me what you want, what you really really want.  I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want…)

And for pretty much any moment of any day:  Respect” by Aretha Franklin  (This is the mother of all parenting soundtrack songs and will get you moving, grooving, and forgetting your troubles.  It might even get your kids to clean up their plates after dinner)  

When the going gets tough…Sing!  What are some of the songs on your parenting soundtrack?