Being a mum has become the most important achievement in my life, and the one I am most proud of. I am completely and wholeheartedly dedicated to my 3 beautiful girls and love every second of it. However, I can also say it has challenged me in ways I never imagined.
Like many other parents I found myself suddenly having to juggle all my responsibilities; the responsibility of being a parent, being a business owner, being a supportive wife, friend, sister and daughter and somewhere on that list, finding some time out for myself. In the process I have come to realize that I’m not perfect, I’m not a superhero, that I do need to sleep at some point, and that’s ok!
So today I wanted to share with you some of the strategies that have helped me to be a ‘cool’ mum, and when I say COOL I mean a RELAXED MUM…
Having 3 children under the age of 5 I’m constantly confronted with challenging behaviors and needs, so having a child care background I decided to start putting what I knew and trusted into practice.
It’s not easy to apply (especially when you’re at boiling point!) however I try to implement my number one classroom strategy at home; taking a second and assessing what is actually causing the behavior, listening and talking with my children, rather than at them, so that they can learn to express what they are feeling.
I found that this actually taught my children to problem solve, it also helped them in situations outside of home, at pre-school and their extra-curricular activities because they started being able to recognize their emotions and learnt what situations provoked them.
I had a discussion with my partner in crime, my husband, and we together brainstormed a few strategies on how we could be ‘cooler’ parents. This is what we came up with and contunue to implement.
You are in total control, all of the time of your actions. We all explode sometimes, or not handle things the way we would have liked in high-stress situations, because let’s face it we’re human. Regardless, don’t make excuses, just take responsibility for your actions and make it better. If you start making excuses, what are you teaching your children?
LOOK AND LISTEN
When things have just taken a turn for the worst, take a moment to stop and LOOK at the situation, what is causing this? Then LISTEN to your children let them tell you what happened or how they are feeling and work it out together, it doesn’t always have to result in punishment.
NO PHONE ZONE
Let’s admit it our phones consume us, more than we may realise. Make the effort to create a phone-free environment for an hour or two every night so that you can be totally present with your kids. Remember, most of the time your kids just want to spend time with you.
Yes, I know sleep goes out the window when you embark on the journey of parenthood, but trying to get a decent sleep gives you the energy to be patient. Having a short fuse is often derived from a lack of sleep, not having enough sleep is never your children’s fault but sometimes we take it out on them as though it is.
If we are calm they are calm, children will adopt the nature of their parents and their home environment. Try to implement some time during the week that involves calming activities, this may be as simple as reading a book. You’ll be surprised at how much this can help!
SET THE RULES
Have rules that work for your family, make them clear and stick to them. Tell your children why we need these rules and remind them when they start to challenge them.
Remember, there is no perfect parent or perfect strategy. Some strategies work for some families, and not others, all we can do is try! Don’t be afraid to talk to fellow parents and see how they handle things, it may just be the missing piece to your puzzle.
I hope my list of ‘strategies’, that has helped me on my hard days, helps you in some way.