Who am I and what knowledge do I have?
My name is Doug Greek and I am a parent with an Education Doctorate. My Doctorate is in the area of leadership and curriculum and I have been a teacher for 15 years (as of 2021). I believe I am both book-educated and life-educated when it comes to child development. I am a first-generation college graduate as well as a first-generation educator. I have had all of the “classes” of theory and practicality in the area of child development and education BUT this all went out the window when my wife and I had our first child. We were married for 14 years before having kids, so I thought we were ready. Even after 26 years of marriage, we are still learning.
*I fail on a daily as a parent. The goal is to learn every day and in the famous words of the Arendelle scholar, “Let it go.”
What to expect from this Blog?
Definitely not answers, I am not that kind of a doctor. I do have practical situations that you may relate to or identify. I believe people post all of the “great and sweet” things too much. Where is the struggle that we all feel when raising kids and trying to make a living in this world? Mental health is a real thing we should all acknowledge and I feel being real is a great place to start. That is what you will see here, real-life stories with possible support and links to sources that are way smarter than I am.
Now, let’s get going!
Being a parent is not easy. There’s no doubt about it. It’s the toughest job on this planet, and you spend your days juggling kid-related responsibilities with work and life in general. If you’re like most parents out there, then you want to do everything that you can for your kids but don’t always know what to do or where to turn for help. This blog post will provide some tips on how to make parenting easier by sharing struggles and solutions from real parents just like yourself! Being a parent is rough. But, it’s also beautiful.
I’ll start by mentioning that parenting is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. I love being a father but it can be extremely frustrating at times. Having kids means you are trying to do two full-time jobs at once while never getting enough sleep or exercise. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way:
- Take Care Of Yourself First! You cannot take care of anyone else if you don’t first take care of yourself! Eat well, get exercise, get adequate rest and carve out some time for yourself each day even if only temporarily where you can recharge your energy levels. This is especially important when your child gets sick or has an accident which can always happen. I jokingly say, “my sick days are for my kids.” It’s a constant struggle to balance convenience and self-care.
- Learn as much as you can about what your kids like. If you are not in the know then they will run the house. If your kid is into Fortnite you should also know Fortnite. This is a major struggle for me because I do not see value in the “thing” but I do see value in the connection it forms with my kids.
- Learn how to use a schedule. I have a weekly schedule that lists out what is going on in our lives for the upcoming week so I can plan ahead. This helps me prepare for any inevitable meltdowns which always happen when you least expect it especially when you are taking care of others! If dad has a meltdown, everyone else does too.
- Don’t feel guilty about saying “No.” This is something my life as an educator has taught me from day one and even to this day. You DO NOT have to do it all and the world will not implode if your kids miss a practice or play date. You
- Get ready for the spotlight to be on your parenting. Everything is a “moment” in time and we will analyze that over and over. Don’t get me wrong, I have learned how truly special my children are, but even the simplest everyday things could cause a meltdown. Give them time markers, “we will leave in..” or “internet will be off in x minutes” these are all reasonable.
- Dig deep down inside yourself and find the energy to go out in public with these little people who take up all your time, patience, and sanity. When you look at others you might see dirty messy hair, clothes that don’t match, torn pants because their sister stepped on them, etc., but trust everyone deals with the same struggles.
Life is not easy when balancing kids, marriage, and career. The best advice I can give is to love each other and yourself. Life will be a struggle but whatever you do, don’t forget the reason why you both work so hard. It’s for those two little humans who make your life worth living and fighting to improve daily.