In his book, the author warns the reader on page 70. “When I’m at the end of my rope, I laugh like a goat”. On the day of the meeting, therefore, we watch for the slightest bleating. He arrives discreet and stealthy between two sentences. Obviously, Shiva Shaffii is not, or no longer, an exhausted parent. She has found the absolute remedy: laughter.
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This mother of two boys, now aged 11 and 13, remembers her early days as a mom, when she felt overwhelmed, exhausted. “I was losing my joy, I was extinct, anxious, I no longer existed. I needed to talk. As I speak easily, it saved me. “
Quirky look and self-mockery
Born to an Iranian father and a French mother, Shiva grew up in Paris, surrounded by two sisters, including a twin, in a family where people laughed a lot. “An offbeat look, combined with the power of self-mockery, allowed us to take a step back from events”. Exiled from Iran since 1979, the father uses humor as an antidote to the absence of freedom.
Hey, hey … when the children arrive, don’t young parents also see, in a certain way, their freedom being restricted? “It’s such a tsunami! We are not warned of what will happen. Toddlers take up so much space. You have to live it to understand it ”, pleads Shiva Shaffii.
So the perfect family photos on social media, very little for her. “They lie to us, and they make us feel guilty », Denounces the author. Being a parent, she recalls, means giving up sleeping late, full nights of sleep, reading, unplanned outings with friends … A life similar to that of a high-level athlete, who does everything possible. only the pressure, carries a huge mental load and, what is more, is afraid of doing wrong.
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What if we stopped looking for perfection, and if we changed our outlook on our daily life as a father or mother? In 2016, Shiva Shaffii launched the concept of “Exhausted Parent” (2) on the Internet and social networks, available in the form of a blog, videos (“interview with the nanny”, “bedtime”), tutorials, newsletter, etc. in a humorous and quirky tone.
“Exhausted Parent” today brings together a community of over 500,000 members who have chosen to laugh at their lives as parents and share their experience. Building on its success, the brand, which reaches up to 15 million parents per month, has diversified into games, clothing, notebooks, books, etc.
The specificity of his latest work? “I give no advice”, underlines the author. ” We’re all different. It’s up to everyone to invent their own parenthood, without forcing themselves, by focusing on what they like and what resembles them. The main thing is to remain authentic and to have fun ”. An imperfect parent, yes, but a happy parent!