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How to Balance Parenting and Wellness: Thriving as a Parent in Atlanta

By Mayra Richards

Overview: My 3 keys to balancing parenting and wellness are the following: 1) Grace, 2) Flexibility and, 3) Creativity. We need all three to thrive. The grace to not control, the flexibility to keep moving, and the creativity to expand to something that fits your family. 

Atlanta is a very transitional city— Your friends will often move away to the Metro Atlanta area which consists of about 29 counties. Yes, you read that right: 29! Most of the friends you make when single or newlywed will move within a 10 mile radius, which will be about 30 minutes away. In the hustle and bustle of Atlanta traffic, that might as well be 4 hours. You might see them once a month. So how do you thrive when the #1 key to thriving in parenthood and finding personal wellness is finding your village? 

If you are a parent, you have heard many times that it takes a village. It really does, especially if you want to be sane in twenty something years. Why? Because having a group of people you can count on, laugh with, and go through tough situations with matters. Being a part of a community has many benefits, particularly in that it improves your mental health. 

Father and son. Reach out to a caring therapist in Marietta, GA today.
Build the life you want to lead.

Having a group of moms and dads who you relate to gives you a sense of belonging— Isn’t that what we are all looking for? It also gives you the strength to keep going on days you feel like running away from your own home. As much as we love our children (and we love them so much!): We are constantly needed by them… and that can wear you out pretty quickly.

I do not believe in rhythms, mainly because rhythms do not usually work with kids. They are continuously developing— One day they will take three hour naps, and the next they are done taking naps! At least that’s what happened to us when Leona decided she was done sleeping during the day at 2 years old. Then, we had our second girl, and that threw our routine off a second time. Again, kids are the biggest blessing and the biggest disruption. As a parent, a repeated pattern is kind of impossible. Not one person that I know has a completely agreeable and stable child. Every night is the same bed time routine, and every night our girls will come up with something different to add on to it. I am truly impressed by their creativity, truly! 

So, how do you balance it all? 

My 3 keys to balancing parenting and wellness are the following: 1) Grace, 2) Flexibility and, 3) Creativity. We need all three to thrive. The grace to not control, the flexibility to keep moving, and the creativity to expand to something that fits our family. 

  1. Grace to be intentionally imbalanced. Ask yourself: What season am I in? Where is my focus going in this season? Every time I have a baby, I cut down my hours at work. (Yes, I am privileged to be able to do this) For that first year, 80% of my focus will be for my tiny human who practically needs me, and my toddler who emotionally needs me. I have seen in full-time working clients that they give themselves the grace to be “good,” at their jobs. Be good at your job, ratchet than excellent. For some of you, your “good,” will exceed expectations anyway!

  1. Flexibility to change your expectations. What is your priority? Right now life can look different every day.  Every day is an opportunity to exercise our flexibility as humans. This week, I worked out 4 times. Looking ahead to next week, I will probably make it to two workouts. And that is totally okay! Do not get hung up on having your goal be the same every single week, day, month as a parent. Those weeks when you can give more to yourself is a bonus week! Balance will come in the average of things you did for yourself in a year. Some years we travel a lot, and some we do not. Financially, travel years can be rough on the bank account. However, my spouse and I love dating each other! Going on dates is our priority, which means that our money goes towards babysitters and not as much to facials or appetizers. 

  1. Creativity to expand what you previously thought you should do. What do I want my family to look like? Parenting is one of the most creative outlets in my life. I love creating a life I love. I take in a lot of advice from my mentors and other women who have older kids. However, I do NOT compare myself to them. My spouse and I allow ourselves to create an environment that we enjoy. We put our girls down by 8:30pm because we love to sleep in until 8AM. We cook fast, easy meals  because we would rather go play outside with the kids after he gets off work. We allow Leona to invite friends over at the age of 3 because we value community. She asked the other day: Can you ask my friend’s mom if he can come over? And I did, because that is what works for our family. You are different from anyone else in this world, your spouse is different from anyone else in this world, your kids are different from any other kids in the world. Take a deep breath and create a family structure that works for you— Friend, that is what balance looks like for you! 

Parents holding baby. Reach out to a caring therapist in Marietta, GA today.
Let go and let God!

In conclusion: Grace gives us permission to let go of perfection and embrace the chaos. Flexibility helps us roll with the punches and adjust our expectations on the fly. And creativity? Well, it's all about thinking outside the box to make parenting work for you.

So, Atlanta parents, remember this: you're the architect of your family's story. From forging connections with your neighbors to redefining what balance looks like for you, the power is in your hands. And as we journey through this city together, let's support and uplift each other, knowing that we're all in this beautiful mess of parenthood together.

Key Takeaways:

Surround yourself with a community that you believe in, who embody the values you want to instill in your children. Finding your tribe in Atlanta will help so much with your mental wellness, and ease the burden of building a balanced life. The balance you create in your life will look different than the balance anyone else seems to have. Do what you need to do!

Remember, progress is a journey, not a destination, and every step forward, no matter how small, contributes to long-term success. So, stay focused, stay disciplined, and keep moving forward towards your aspirations. With dedication and perseverance, you'll find yourself achieving your goals and living the life you desire.

As a team of faith-based counselors serving the Atlanta area, it brings us immense joy to walk alongside individuals who are committed to finishing the race of life well. Regardless of where you find yourself on this journey, know that you are not alone. Your desire for healing is both valid and achievable.

I encourage you to think about the things that hold you back in life. What stops you from showing up as the person you want to be? What hinders you from experiencing your relationships in a fulfilling way? When did you start to feel this way?

Now, think about the reasons you have never tried therapy. Might they all boil down to certain fears that you have had for as long as you can remember? Can you trace back the feeling of shame, or being stuck, or not being valuable enough back to a certain memory from the past?

Once again, it is never too late to heal. It is NEVER too late for you. And God would never give up on you, so don't give up on yourself!

Remember this: Your journey toward healing is a testament to your resilience and the unwavering love of a higher power. Embrace it, embrace yourself, and know that the best is yet to come.

Begin Working With A Therapist to Reach Your Goals in Marietta, GA

Please consider reaching out to a qualified therapist. Our team of caring therapists would be honored to offer support with in-person and online services from our Marietta, GA-based practice. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:

Other Services Offered at Remain Connected Counseling

Our team knows you may experience other issues in your life. This is why we are happy to offer a variety of services including teen therapyanxiety treatment, and EMDR therapy. In addition, we also offer life transitions therapy and depression counseling, and more all under a Christian counseling lens. By using online therapy, these services are available to anyone in Georgia. Learn more about our team of dedicated therapists and contact us for more information.

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