I’m no expert on doing it all. In fact, starting this blog has definitely cut into the little sleep I’ve become accustomed to. Wrangling kids is part of my everyday and my to-do lists are never ending tasks that are more like wish lists these days. There are, however a couple of things that help me to keep a a bit of perspective and get through the day with a little bit of a smile when times get crazy.
1.Recognise that there will always be ebbs and flows
We’ve all looked at a weekend schedule full of events, activities and deadlines and had a bit of a grumble. Fair enough – we all need a break but recognising that there will be ebbs and flows in all areas of our lives is integral to surviving motherhood.
I’ve learnt not to put too much pressure on myself when I have a lot of deadlines. During these times I know that I won’t be able to see family and friends as much. I try to communicate the fact that I can’t be as social in the lead up to deadlines and saying it out loud to loved ones takes some of the pressure off. Knowing that we’re all on the same page makes me feel less stressed and more supported. I’m also able to focus better on my work as the cloud of guilt is dissipated. And as soon as that deadline passes or the event finishes, I’m knocking on their door ready for a coffee and a playdate.
2. Reset your focus
This too shall pass is a timeless saying for a reason. Having vivacious little ones can be taxing on us mums but a slight adjustment to our mindset can do us a world of good in the midst of crazy. Recognising that there is a time for everything is important to our wellbeing. It may be difficult to see tantrums as an opportunity to teach when we’re in the eye of the storm but having the awareness that one day these little hell-raisers will grow up, move out and we’ll miss them can take the edge off during tough times. Even if the awareness is buried deep, deep down during those epic meltdowns taking time to recognise this concept when things are running smoothly will make us more likely to be able to draw on this awareness when times get rough.
Accepting that a little bit (or a lot of chaos) is all part-and-parcel of having our little ones can make difficult times a little easier to bear. There will be whinging. There will be whining. There will be crying. But it will also stop. And when it does take a minute to do something that makes you happy.
3. Make time for what makes you happy
It may not be surprising to know that most mum’s don’t take the time to think about what makes them happy. Take a minute to think about something that will make you happy – going for a walk, binge-watching reality TV, doing your nails. Figure it out so that when the opportunity presents, you can hop to it and get happy!
I’m attempting to read a book that I’ve wanted to read for a while. There may be baskets of laundry that need to get done. It may be 11pm. I may be exhausted and I might only get through a couple of pages but at least I did it and the knowing that I did can work wonders for the attitude I when I wake up the next morning.
4. Prioritise things that will make the kids happy and fulfilled
Nothing makes us happier than when our kids are happy. We may not be able to spend the quality time we would like to everyday but taking time to prepare a few things ahead of time can really help to change the mood of a house. If your kids love play dough – have the ingredients for them to make their own ready to go. Get them involved in dinner prep. They’ll love to feel like they’re helping. Or simply play their favourite game with them. And really play it. Get into character, look into their eyes and be present as you race that little toy car around the race track.
Doing something that will make kids happy doesn’t have to be elaborate or time consuming but it can make a world of difference to their mood and yours. Our little ones might drive us crazy most days but as mums we still want to see their little faces with big smiles.