How to be a calm mom even when it’s really really hard
I always imagined I would be a calm mom. A super cool mother and a best friend to my child. Turns out this fantasy I had, like many others, was crushed by the harsh reality of having a real child and not a hypothetical one.
Being in this parenting gig for few years now I have some stuff to say on this subject.
First of all, everyone makes mistakes. I personally don’t know a mom that doesn’t lose her s**t. There might be some goddesses out there who discipline their children with soft words and the magic of their warm hug, but I just never met one. So for all we know they might be an urban myth.
For us real moms, the ones that struggle with mommy tantrums and raising our voices so even the neighbor’s dog brushes it’s teeth, I have a few things that might help you.
I learned these stuff the hard way, through trial and error.
1. Find your trigger.
It can be a simple thing. Maybe you are hungry. Or dehydrated. Or you haven’t had a decent coffee in days. Maybe it’s a bigger problem that is stealing all your attention. Find the things that are making you jumpy, annoyed or frustrated and see if you can do something about it. Most of the times our kids are just a wrong target to our frustrations. Sometimes a small thing they do makes us overreact as a result of a bigger thing that is going on in the background.
2. Have an outlet.
Avoid mommy burn out by having an outlet. Once in a while go to the hairdresser. Have a coffee with your friends. Watch a movie. Have some thing that will make you a calm mom when you get back to your kids.
3. Organize for success.
Being a mother is all about organization. Being a calm mom even more so. Organize your time so that you have some uninterrupted time with your kids if you are a working mom. If you are a stay-at-home mom choose a period of your day when you are not thinking or doing anything else but being there for your kid. Even if it means building blocks on the floor. I know it can be boring for some moms, but you are underestimating the therapeutic value of playing on the floor with your kid completely free of distractions.
4. Pick your battles.
Kids will be kids. They are not supposed to act like adults. You can’t win every argument. You can’t teach them every lesson just when you wanted to. So pick your battles and persist in the ones worth fighting.
5. Count to ten.
Try to calm down before making an action. Count to ten, breathe, have a piece of chocolate or whatever works for you. And them decide to what degree your child is in trouble for doing what children do :).
6. Will this matter in 5 years?
Prioritize. Ask yourself if this thing will matter in a day, a week, or in a few years. Act accordingly. The look in our kids eyes when we go in beast mode is not worth for a glass of spilt milk or whatever.
7. Have some me time.
Having time to yourself is a proven way to be a calm mom. Try to have at least half an hour to yourself every day if possible. This might not be possible in the newborn phase when you are dealing with different kind of issues. When kids are a bit older they can play or draw and you can have a coffee while quietly supervising them from the next room.
Kids are expected to act like adults many times. But they are not. They are tiny humans still incapable of acting in a socially acceptable manner. Children are still not developed to sit through a dinner in a restaurant or talk without screaming and piercing your ears at some point. They don’t really care how tidy you like your house. There will be times when your house will be spotless again don’t worry. And you are gonna sleep through the night. Just maybe this is not that time. Adjusting your expectations to your kids spirits might help you be a calm mom. Accepting the phase they are in will make it more tolerable.
9. Work through you issues.
Sometimes an outside worry can prevent us from being a calm mom. Problems with your partner, troubles at work, stressful family situations can all make us impatient. Work through it and try to separate it when interacting with your child. At the end worry does not solve anything so try not to worry for the things you can not change. Easier said than done, I know. But taking it out on your children will only make you feel worse about yourself.
10. This too shall pass.
Kids grow out of most of their annoying habits. Or don’t. Sometimes it’s nothing you can do but have love and patience for them. The emphasis would be on the patience parts cause kids are experts in pushing our buttons.
So to all wannabe calm moms, good luck and have tons of patience.
My Quiet Spot
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