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Three Ways to Transform Parenting Anxiety Into a Sense of Purpose and Pleasure

When working women first have children, they frequently go into overwhelm. In part for the obvious reason, it takes a while to figure out how to manage home, work, relationship and the little person or people all at once. At core though, new parents go into overwhelm because they calculate the cost of adding kids to their lives, and their anxiety multiplies.

With more responsibility comes a feeling of limitation -- less time, less space for personal pursuits. Less sleep, less spark, and let's face it, less intimacy. Then comes resentment, for you and your partner, because neither person's needs are truly being met, which can lead to argument and division, even divorce. So it's important to remember three things when you add kids to your life.

First, you are raising your children to be independent, free. Eventually you will let them go, and it's your partner who will provide comfort and companionship. So, carve out ritual time to connect to your beloved, no matter what. It goes without saying that communication is key. But remember to spend some time daily on topics unrelated to the to-do list or toddlers.

Second, while kids do come with moments of maddening frustration (do we really need bed time drama every night?), they also bring new levels of intentionality, purpose and discernment to your life. Because with less time you learn to value every moment more. You become more discerning about what you do and who you spend your time with. You move with more purpose.

And third, your purpose is what your kids have come to experience. They've chosen you because they need to experience life exactly as you've designed it. And even the 'mistakes' are part of the package. So strap them on, and take them with you, whether you're engaged in the magical or mundane. Include them in the grocery store run, bring them into the kitchen while you cook. Let them see you in your element at work, and at play. Because they learn so much more from what you do (and how you feel doing it), than from what you say.

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