“I love my kids but parenting is such a drag at times that I can’t enjoy a stay-in-bed flu for half of a day.”
I felt this one deeply when a mama of 4 spoke to me lastnight. Indeed parenting is a challenge and it’s a bigger challenge now with all that is taking place on the outside. But here is how I deal with my 3 years old, 2 years old and 7 months old boys:
1. I communicate my boundaries to them.
I found that I was asking Dhruva to do one thing more times than I liked. It was making me tired and I often ended up yelling, which probably shot my bp up everytime. When I realized this, I stopped getting annoyed and told him and Avi, “Mommy only has to talk to you one time. If you don’t listen and mommy has to talk to you again, mommy will get the pot spoon.”
Sue me for using fear in this process but until I get a hang of me, it works. Now, I sometimes talk more than once but as soon as I ask, “How many times I have to talk to you?” and they respond “1 time”, they get into action.
2. I communicate in positive language what I want them to do.
I tell the boys, ‘keep the place clean’ as opposed to, ‘don’t make a mess’. ‘Share and play with each other’ as opposed to ‘stop fighting’. This helps them to speak positively as well and, they do what I desire. It’s less energy this way.
3. I teach them the things that are their toys and those that are not.
The tin of milk, the books, the bowls, and many other things that are not toys were once hijacked and played with. Instead of getting upset, I try to teach them what they are allowed to play with and what they are not. They don’t listen 100% of the time, but they do.
4. I try to understand their different personalities in my quiet times.
Dhruva is super quiet and would sit one place, while Avi is very active, bold and head strong. I try to work around their personalities so that they express themselves freely without me fighting for power in the process or, commanding them and subsequently shutting them down. It’s extra work but I might as well work it now.
5. I reinforce their positive behaviours in their quiet times.
When they are getting dressed or going to bed, I reinforce, “remember you always play nicely and you listen to mommy and daddy” etc. This really helps to keep them ontop of my expectations.
6. I look for moments of humor or the innocent unfolding of their magic.
I try to stay present as much as possible. Their conversations with each other lightens my mood. I would advise you to allow yourself to experience and participate in their innocent play and conversations. It helps with your well-being.
7. I teach them to correct me when I slip up.
I’ve had outbursts of “Shut up”. Realising the damage instantly, I tell my kids, “Don’t say shut up, say be quiet please.” I also tell them, “If you hear anyone saying shut up, tell them don’t say that. Say be quiet please.”
It works. They keep me in line. I keep them in line. I’m dealing with my deamons every day.
I accept I can never know my every reaction. But the good thing is, if you’re self aware, you quickly correct yourself and you find a way to deal with your triggers.
8. I notice what happens when I’m losing my cool.
I struggled with an unexplainable rage during and after my last pregnancy. I observed what happened to my body when I drifted to that reaction. I fold my lips and press them tightly together, my forehead tenses up and sometimes I clench my fists before yelling or raising my hand. Who would think I went through that? But I did. Knowing the way my body reacted helped me to withdraw and shift the energy in those moments. It was a major challenge at first but over time I got better and I don’t respond that way anymore. I also ask my guides everyday, “Please help me overcome my anger”. Trust me, they do!
9. I accept that people will criticize me and offer their expert parenting tips in the most unasked for moments.
This can be a tough trigger to control. Dhruva was just 2 years old when I was bombarded with questions, “Is he potty trained as yet? Why don’t you take off his pampers at home to let his bum air out?”
Pregnant with Khush during this time, i often wondered, “Why don’t you shut the f*** up and keep your opinions to yourself?”. Yes it was that annoying and I have no regrets thinking that. Let’s keep it real please. Pregnant and tired, who asked for your input?
Over time I trashed it out in my mind and decided to put my Guides between myself and the person(s) whenever they go down that road. I also thought about the “why” and realized that it was my personal healing that needed to take place and, the other person’s need to be heard and recognized that was manifesting. People of a specific mindset (those who are not very confident in who they are or their worthiness) often unconsciously use every opportunity they get, to have a say. I let it be. Sometimes you just need to facilitate people’s ignorance.
10. I accept that people will judge me and question how I was spending my time when the kids make a mistake.
It doesn’t matter who, “Where were you?” and “What were you doing?” are questions you should be prepared to answer. Why? Because you’re not supposed to go to the loo, or turn the pot. In fact, you should do nothing but watch the kids and, while you’re watching them, hold their hands and feet and make them do everything possible not to make a mess. It’s crazy how people can be unrealistic and narrow minded in this process but it’s ok mama, you are a superwoman.
Over time, i stopped defending what I was doing when my boys make mischief. I get accused that I see them doing the wrong thing and I leave them, but who cares. My mental health is way more important in this parenting process. Who would understand how swift they are and how well they communicate that 1 keeps you distracted while the other is flooding the bathroom? No one except the person watching them.
For me, if I get upset, it takes extra time and energy to rework that response. I choose at the beginning and ending of the day.
You should too. No one will understand you more than “you” mama. Accept the castle in the clouds ideas and keep flowing.
And remember, I see you. I feel you. I love you and i’m here to support you ???