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You wake up in the morning feeling like Mary Poppins, ready to tackle the day with smiles and laughter, to teach your kids with kindness and patience.
But they burst into your room, wake up the baby and start fighting on your bed like gladiators in ancient Rome.
So instead you reign HOLY HELL down on them, because, HOW DARE THEY?
This had been my morning, more often than not. And because of this, I knew that something needed to change. Something drastic, so I could set myself up for the day I dreamed of having- one of kindness, patience and love.
These are easy ways to be a happier mom- every single day.
1. Turn Off Your Phone
This is number one for a REASON!
One of the biggest differences you can make to positively parenting your children is turning off your phone and being present. You may not even realize how far gone you’ve been from them, how greatly your emotions are affected by the things you see on your screen.
Have you ever actually tuned in to how you are feeling while you are scrolling through social media?
Or realized that checking your online bank account, online shopping or checking your emails can actually take you on a rollercoaster of emotions that have nothing to do with your kids, but you react to them like it does?
Turn off your phone, right when you wake up and turn it back on when your kids go down for a nap or have quiet time.
It’s a huge realization that you actually have a lot of time in the day to do things you want to do when it’s not wasted looking at a screen.
2. Say ‘Yes’
Saying ‘yes’ to your kids as often as possible is going to have a profound effect on your family.
Is saying ‘no’ abruptly kind of your go to answer these days? It sure was for me.
Once you get into a habit of something, it’s easy to just keep repeating that habit.
Ask yourself why you’re saying no to whatever the request is. If it’s a good reason (like safety) then say no. But if you really don’t have a good reason, just say yes.
I started to realize that every time I said yes to things within reason, we were all happier. There were less melt downs, more happiness and less stress all around!
Your kids might even have a chance to learn a good lesson. Timmy wants to go to school wearing his shirt inside out? What’s the worst that could happen? Yeah, sure Timmy, go for it!
And if he has a bad experience, lesson learned.
If he doesn’t, you avoided a fight. Win-win!
3. Tune In To Your Thoughts Throughout The Day
What are you doing with your thoughts? Did you know that you can only be focussed on either a positive emotion or negative emotion, not both? So if you aren’t thinking positive thoughts… you guessed it. They’re probably negative.
It’s honestly pretty straight forward with your energy-
You get what you give.
Which means if you’re spewing out negative energy, you’re gonna get that right back at ya, usually in the form of your kids attitudes. It’s not good for them or you!
Sometimes I find thinking of something I’m thankful for helps-
- Clean drinking water
- A fridge with food in it
- My kids are safe
- We have a roof over our heads
Or repeating an affirmation can pull me out of a slump-
- I am kind
- I am fierce
- I am wise
- I love my children
- I love myself
- I am patient
- I am worth it
4. Do Something For YOU Everyday
What are your dreams, your goals, your aspirations?
Maybe it’s as simple as wanting to work out more or eat healthier. Or maybe it’s wanting to take your family on a vacation or work from home.
Whatever they are, do ONE thing every day that counts towards getting you there.
Just because you have kids, doesn’t mean these things should take their place on the back burner. Embrace that life is busy, use your kids as inspiration and show them that anything is possible!
It’s easy to feel weighed down by having kids and that you just couldn’t possibly do anything.
Or you feel guilty for even thinking about taking the time to do something for yourself.
The truth is, it’s not only for you. When you do things that bring you joy and light up your soul, EVERYONE around you benefits. And you’re being such a positive role model to your kids on self-love by showing them you’re worth it.
So, pick your goal and do something to start getting you there.
Make the time to work out. Look up legit side hustles you could do to work from home. Research the trip you want to take and figure out how to make it happen!
5. Remember That This Isn’t Forever
This is a common theme around here. I think it’s because I need to be constantly reminded myself.
This chaotic whirlwind, the insanity of small kids? It will be GONE, OVER so heartbreakingly fast.
What happens when it’s the last diaper you have to change? The last time they drink out of a sippy cup? The last baby toys have been packed into a box marked ‘donations?’ What if this is the last time you pick up your son or daughter to be carried because they’re too big now?
It’s easy to get swept up in the chaos and feel overwhelmed and unhappy. But try to remember that one day, you’ll miss these days. Try to slow down and enjoy your time while they’re small.
6. Laugh More
This is directed at myself too. When did I become so serious? Why is everything such a huge deal?
I know that part of it has to do with the never ending barrage of craziness with kids. But, shit!
My kids are funny. My kids are cute! Yeah, they can be little hellions too. But choosing to shrug most things off and laugh with them? It always makes you feel better.
6. Always Question- Never Accuse
My reactions to things aren’t great. I’m the ‘shoot first, ask questions later kinda gal’ which might be awesome in a revenge movie but it’s not so great when you’re parenting.
The other morning, I listened to the sounds of a fight breaking out and then escalating between by 3 year old and 5 year old. It started getting rough, then silence for a small moment. And, finally, a glass shattering on the bathroom floor.
I tore in there, guns blazing, yelling at them. How could you do this, don’t you know someone can get hurt, how could you let your own selfish fighting cause shattered glass, etc, etc.
They both looked at me and started crying. You’d think at this point, I could have gotten down to their level and had a teaching moment- oh no, the righteous mom anger was flowing too hard to turn off at this point.
I kept at it, seething in anger until I finally made a comment that my daughter corrected me on. She said, ‘mom, the glass broke because we each decided to share and we let go at the same time.’
I burst into tears of shame and guilt. I hugged them. I apologized. And I vowed to always question, no matter how awful the situation seems.
It’s up to us to give our sweet, innocent kids the benefit of the doubt, and give them the chance to explain.
So, always question- never accuse.
*Always Forgive Yourself
Always, always, always forgive yourself if you’ve had a bad day. I know it’s hard because I really struggle with this. On especially hard days, where I was anything but the kind and patient mom I wanted to be, I’m so tempted to just cry myself to sleep.
Instead, I’ve been replaying the day with how things should have gone.
And I smile because I see myself reacting calmly, giving hugs and kisses where they’re needed and being oh so patient.
Do you know what this does for the next day?
It rewires your brain to react in the ways you imagine.
So instead of replaying the awful moments over and over and falling asleep to that playing- change the tape. And forgive yourself because you are only human.
The next day you have a beautiful gift-
A chance to completely restart and be the person you want to be.
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