How to be a more relaxed parent…

How to be a more relaxed parent…

If you’re after ways to help be a more calm, relaxed and chilled parent, you’re in the right place. The school holidays have prompted me to have to find my inner Zen to be able to get through the bickering, arguing, fighting, and loudness of my three kiddos.

kids bridge

So I’ve asked my tribe of mums what helps them, and here are some popular suggestions to help you be a more calm and relaxed Mumma or Daddy. Enjoy!

  1. Take time out for yourself
    This is a universally agreed way to help you relax. Being a parent is stressful even when it’s not and the constant putting someone else’s needs before your own can increase your stress levels. Some regular time out for yourself, even if it’s just a 20 minute bath or read a book for an hour in silence, can help you feel recharged and connected back to yourself. If you can have time outside your home to yourself too, then great, but if not then grab those important quiet times where you can. Housework will still be there after your time out but you’ll feel better for it.
  2. A wise woman told me not to intervene in sibling fights unless there’s blood or broken limbs/items
    I VERY much need to implement this, as my older 2 argue a lot at the moment. I don’t blame them, they are 15 months apart in age and have been together pretty much non-stop for the 6 weeks they’ve been off school. They’ve had I think a total of 2 days in the 6 weeks away from each other. I always end up getting sucked into trying to help them deal with their arguments but from now on, my policy is for them to sort it themselves. BOOM! Also I need to remember I am here to help them figure out a solution, not give them a solution.
  3. Stop comparing!
    Social media lives aren’t real and a snapshot of your friend’s lives don’t always tell the full story. Do not compare, everyone’s different and your life is yours and yours alone. Motherhood and childhood is not a race or competition.
  4. Don’t try to fix what isn’t broken! 
    With my first baby I remember being so caught up in what I was supposed to be doing. He co-slept unintentionally and I spent many months trying to get him to settle in his cot. Looking back I wish I’d just gone with it and thought – it works for us so why change it?! Instead I remember thinking everyone else’s baby is asleep in their cot so mine should be too! If it works for you – go with it! I’m glad that in the last 8 years things are changing and there is more out there to help support parents in whatever choices they make.
  5. Fresh Air! 
    One of the most underrated ways to relax for me is to just GET OUT. Go for a walk with the kids, I personally love the beach, it makes me feel so happy inside. Also country parks, and anywhere that you can breathe in a big lungful of fresh air and clear your head. Also the kids can run riot and burn some energy. Win/win.
  6. Tell people that you’re meeting up with that you’ll be late.
    I’ve just implemented this in life. I’m always late, someone is always needing the loo, time flies, and it’s just life with 3 kids. I’m not stressing about it. I’ll get there (In the end!) Tell your friends and family that you WILL be late. Or, tell them to tell you a time half an hour earlier than the actual meeting time! ūüôā
  7. Mum friends
    It’s important to have others that you can talk to who are going through the same things you are at the same time – it makes you feel less alone and reassured that your crazy days are happening to others too! Reach out to other mums and dads, even if it’s a chat in the park or a parenting forum online.
  8. Pick your battles
    You can’t win every battle, and you don’t need to make everything a battle. Kids are unreasonable and fickle and changeable and sometimes you gotta let it wash over you. I struggle with this!
  9. Running (or any exercise!)
    Similar to fresh air – exercise increases the endorphin flow to your brain and helps with your mental health. Anything that gets your heart rate up and makes you feel good is a winner!
  10. Lower your expectations
    Life with children is crazy, messy, loud, hard, frustrating, rewarding, emotional, draining, tiring. Expect it to be like this and you won’t feel so frustrated! But it’s also fun, wonderful, loving, exciting, fulfilling and downright amazing. Embrace the crazy, because before you know it you will long for those crazy days again. I already miss my older 2 being babies but I remember when I was living in that time, and the mayhem of them being 15 months apart, it felt HARD. I’d give anything to go back now, it was so amazing!
  11. Breathe and evaluate before reacting / interacting
    It’s so easy to react to something on a whim and afterwards think that you over reacted or handled it wrongly. I am the QUEEN of this. But if you can remember to just take a few seconds to really think and breathe before reacting, it can completely change a situation for the better. I read once that if you’re feeling like you are losing your patience, say to yourself “THIS IS NOT AN EMERGENCY” or similar “NO NEED TO PANIC” to just remind yourself to take a breather.
  12. You control your own actions
    Similarly, for those mums who feel like they lose their temper quickly, remember that you cannot change or control your child’s actions – but you CAN control and change your own reaction to it. Your reaction is what’s important, not the child’s actions.

Now I know if I can implement some of these my own life would be much less stressful and I’d be a better mum for it. But it’s easier said than done!

And if the above fails, some mumma’s have also said….

1. Wine! Gin! Alcohol
Highly rated in the list of ways to relax is alcohol! I think many parents find it helps to relax after a long day. Personally I’m more of a cup of tea kinda girl but whatever helps you relax, wine, chocolate, tea!

2. iPads/Tablets
Everyone has differing views on tablet/gadgets, but many parents agree that they have their uses. Long car journeys, to solve TV disagreements, YouTube (Obvs) plane rides, and general need for some quiet! Also you can download so many learning apps that they can be so useful at times, and help educate your kids too!

3.  Get a full time job!
The less time spent with your kid the less stressful life is right? RIGHT?
WRONG! I used to be a working mum and actually you cannot win. Working mums have guilt for being away from their kids, they have massive commitments to work and have the added stresses of work deadlines, commutes, being switched on at work when they may have had little sleep etc! There are massive pros and cons to being a mum who doesn’t work outside the home or one who does, and actually, both are hard, and sometimes a parent doesn’t have a choice in the matter, but one of the other might be the ONLY option for them.

Found this helpful? Please do share this post with your friends, and tell me what tips/tricks help YOU to relax/be more calm….

 

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School attendance is not something to be effing rewarded!! 

School attendance is not something to be effing rewarded!! 

Things that are totally annoying #452

I know it’s a total first world problem, but it really annoys my brain when school’s reward children for having 100% attendance. THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. It actually pisses me off.

Who thinks this shit up? Lets reward children for coming to school every day. However it’s not really the kids’ achievement if they go to school every day. It’s the parent or carer who gets them up, dressed and ready and takes them! Clearly the child has been lucky not to have been ill all school year, and of course well done to the mum for getting them there every day. But what message does it send to the kid that has a long term condition and has hospital appointments or a bout of illness, or the kid who caught a sick bug and had to have a day or 2 off after being sick (school’s policy to prevent illness spreading!)? I just think it is such an odd thing to reward.

Why not reward the kid who has tried and tried and tried his best to accomplish something but may not have quite got there – but has really given so much effort? What about the kid who has still managed to do all their homework despite hospital appointments for a long term condition? What about the child in care who has had a hard few years but always has a smile in school? There’s so many more things that can be rewarded! Or plain kindness! 

Some of these kids will NEVER be able to achieve 100% attendance – what can the kids do to improve on this? They can’t do anything at all….  so it’s just silly to reward it!

Also, I think because school’s now reward this ‘achievement’ it means that the kids that are unwell for whatever reason are being taken into school when they should be kept home, because parents don’t want to jeopardise their attendance record. Which means illnesses are being passed around the school, pox, virus’ and bugs are being spread more because parents are marching their kids to school when not totally recovered from their illness to make sure they get their wonderful attendance award at the end of the year. Why? To make the school look good?

The school my 2 attend have a reward system – bronze silver and gold certificates for the kid’s who have full attendance. That’s bad enough. I’ve seen various schools do stuff like theme park days out for the 100% attended kids…. yes, THEME PARKS! Also special lunches (McDonald’s lunch was one I heard of!), parties and soft play days. It really bloody boils my piss. WHY??????

Does your child’s school reward 100% attendance? What do you think about it being rewarded? 

Monday morning school run fun! (NOT)

Monday morning school run fun! (NOT)

 

Step-by-step guide on how to be a mum with school aged kids on a Monday morning. You’re welcome!

  1. Wake up before dawn with Monday hitting you in the face like a frying panmondays
  2. Wonder why the toddler hates you so much
  3. Feed him lots of food Рwhatever keeps him happy and quiet
  4. Sip a coffee with one eye closed and wonder how this became your life
  5. Make the most of the partial silence as toddler watches Teletubbies because soon the big 2 will wake and all hell will break loose
  6. Older kids wake up and are pissed off that it’s not the weekend still. You and me both kiddo!
  7. They don’t want any of the 10 breakfast options that you have for them
  8. Can they have crisps for breakfast?
  9. Regret not doing packed lunches the night before – WHEN WILL YOU LEARN?!
  10. Break up 2 fights, clear up cheerios and milk off the table again because toddler has no self control and wants to wear the bowl as a hat
  11. Rescue toddler from standing on top of the table dancing in milk
  12. Shout at Remind bigger kids to get dressed 45 times
  13. Convince eldest that he does need to wear clean underwear every day
  14. Stop toddler putting random bits of uniform in the bin
  15. Listen to diva daughter moaning about having her hair styled for school
  16. Resist hitting her with the hair brush
  17. Get yourself washed dressed and ready in 2 minutes flat because HOW FUCKING DARE YOU DO ANYTHING FOR YOURSELF!
  18. Toddler empties 3 cupboards and starts eating something off the floor which you hope is something from breakfast today
  19. Oversee tooth brushing by saying ‘BRUSH’ over and over again
  20. Help find shoes because your kids have ‘selective kid blindness’
  21. Sort out an itchy sock
  22. Stop toddler climbing in the fish tank
  23. Referee argument over who got ready first or who gets to walk out of the door first… (yes really, kids argue over this shit!)
  24. Toddler decides to do a huge dump just as you are walking out of the door
  25. Leave the house looking like you’ve been burgled
  26. Wonder why school starts so bloody early

If you have¬†these crazy morning experiences like me *please say someone else does!* I’d love for you to¬†LIKE this post and SHARE with other mums who might empathise!

Thank you xx

 

You Baby Me Mummy
Having a child at Primary School – expectations vs reality!

Having a child at Primary School – expectations vs reality!

When your little angel starts school there’s SO many emotions running wild on your part. You worry that they will need help, no-one will help them, they won’t have friends, they will be lonely, they will piss their pants, or worse, shit themselves. You think they might wonder where you are and why have you left them with all these strangers. You want them to be happy, liked and to enjoy it. On that first day you feel your heart has been stamped on when you walk away from the gate and leave your most precious thing in the world with total strangers. In most cases they love school, they come bounding from the gate at home time and all your worries are gone! You now have a child at the school! Welcome to the club!

school

Expectations of having a child at school:

1. Mornings spent eating breakfast together, chatting about their day ahead, everyone is ready and out the door clutching their book bags and lunch boxes… leisurely walks to school admiring the clouds and trees.

2. Your child brings home beautiful artwork / maths sheets for you to look over and display proudly on the fridge, your child is a genius!

3. You engage with lovely chat with other parents at the school about your children’s new schooling, perhaps having a coffee with a few of them after drop off. Like minded people all brought together by their children’s education.

4. Your child speaks fondly of their day, regaling you with tales of what Johnny did at break time that was so funny or a hilarious joke the teacher made during Phonics. Along with their new understanding of times tables.

5. Homework. You sit with your child whilst they complete their homework, perhaps giving guidance and advice whilst occasionally stirring the delicious home-made dinner that’s cooking on the stove.

6. Friends. Your child will make so many new friends, after school play dates are a-plenty. Heartwarming.

7. Uniform. They look so cute in their smart uniform. Always so polished and grown up.

Reality of having a child at school:

1. Mornings are spent telling everyone to “HURRY UP OR WE WILL BE LATE!” or “PUT YOUR SOCKS ON FOR THE 10TH TIME!” Children do not want to eat breakfast / get dressed or leave the house for school. Getting small people dressed every day within a time limit is one of the most underestimated tasks of motherhood. I’m crazy shouty mummy in the mornings. Otherwise we would all be late. Every day. They forget shit. Book bags? What book bag? “THE ONE YOU TAKE TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY DIPSHIT DARLING!”

2. Your child brings home approximately 57 pieces of paper per week. Some of them are indeed lovely artwork that I treasure and put on the fridge. Most of it is random scribbles, notes from other kids, someone else’s work, and screwed up bits of crap. The kid then cries when they find said screwed up paper in the bin! “Mummy I brought that home for you!!” they say with a look like you’ve just shat in their cornflakes. I’ve been guilted into keeping lots of crap.

3. You enter into School Mum hell. It’s a bloody minefield. Don’t get me wrong, you can and will make friends with a few nice normal mums. I have made some lovely friends at the school. However, you will find more drama with the mums than with the kids. Mums in cliques, mums falling out, mums who look at you like your from another planet. The odd dad and nan of course. Smile and say good morning, and get in and out as quick as you can. Unless of course, you have a toddler that wants to run laps of the field on the way in and out every day. Then smile and scream internally. Someone should definitely invent a drop off toddler cr√®che place at the school gate, so those blessed with under 5’s can leave them at the gate each morning with trusted carers and not have to round the child up like a sheep twice a day.

4. Your child has no idea what they did all day. At all. “How was your day today?” you ask them wanting to hear all about it. “Good” they answer…. hmmm “What did you do today?” you ask. “Nothing” NOTHING????? NOTHING? YOU SPENT 6 HOURS AT SCHOOL GETTING AN EDUCATION AND YOU DID NOTHING! “Can’t remember” is another common answer. They can never remember what they did. Sometimes they will shock you by saying “Oh today, guess what…” and proceed to tell you a story about how someone was sick on the carpet and had to go home. Lovely.

5. Homework. Oh lord. Your child may be enthusiastic about homework, but eventually, they don’t want to do it. Boring. They want to do it tomorrow, they don’t understand it. As they progress through school, sometimes even YOU don’t understand it. Google is your friend here. Also helping children with homework sounds easy enough. The¬†screaming toddler swinging from the light shade makes it harder. Do not be defeated.

6. Friends. Your child will of course make friends. However, they will also make enemies! Arch enemies. Girls are terrible for this. This one isn’t speaking to them anymore, they aren’t friends with another one. Jenny is now their best friend. “But I thought Jenny was mean to you yesterday?” you will ask. Don’t be silly mother! Friendships at school are cut throat and fickle. Just roll with it and hope they aren’t being violent to any of these people. Unless someone hits them first, of course.

7. Uniform will be the bane of your life. You have to wash and iron it and have it ready for them to wear EVERY SINGLE WEEK DAY. They walk into class all neat and tidy in the mornings and come home looking like they’ve been dragged through a hedge, backwards. Their jumpers will have paint / yogurt / snot down in. Boys have their trousers put on backwards, you know after P.E. Hair looks a mess. Collars sticking up. They lose uniform. “Go and look on your peg again dear” you will say with gritted teeth for the 100th time this week. JUST KEEP YOUR BLOODY CLOTHES ON!!!

8. I have to add this one, even though there’s no expectation no 8. School may bring some nasties to your house that you never even dreamed of. Some kids may have already experienced this stuff in nursery etc. But school is a lovely breeding ground for:
– Nits. Head lice. Lovely creepy crawlies running around in your child’s hair. Gag.
– Worms. Little tiny white thread worms that make your kids bum itch in the night. Boil wash everything, clean everything in sight, cry into a cup of tea and wonder why on Earth no-one warned you about this sort of stuff when your baby was newborn.
– Chickenpox. Stay indoors for all eternity and go insane.
– Hand foot and mouth. Goody.
– Stomach bugs. There’s nothing that raises fear in a parent than to hear of a nasty bug going round the school.

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best