I’m not really one to set resolutions as to be honest, I’m not one to purposely set myself up to fail. However this year I wanted to set myself some parenting aims to try and make our family life a bit easier.
Sofia started school in September and all of a sudden my little baby who I birthed and have raised over the past one, two, three and four years binned her paint covered nursery scruffs and embarked on her school journey where she’ll remain for the next 12+ years (….hopefully). Since her baby brother came along there’s been some adapting, more iPad, more TV and not as much 1:1 attention and it’s no secret that this four-going-on-14 year old daughter of mine drives me nuts on a daily basis…even in those short hours between after school club pick up and bed time.
So the focus of my 2019 parenting resolutions is really about me trying to change my behaviour to, hopefully, create some calmer moments in this mad house!
Be more patient – I’m the first to admit I’m a bit ‘chimpy‘ and so often react quite quickly in certain situations, especially when I’m tired. Which is often. So I’m aiming to be more patient and less snappy and aiming to take a breath and waiting five seconds before reacting to any situation. Unless of course they run in to the road/pick up a burning ember/eat poo – you get the idea.
Play more – I’m not much of a ‘play’ mum. I’m more of a take them to places and let the place do the entertaining type of mum. But sometimes I think I take them out too much. So my aim for 2019 is to ‘play more’, sit with them and have tea parties, play cafes and kitchens and help them set up the dolls area or build train tracks.
Flight mode more – I’ve been doing a lot more of this recently and it’s already made a huge difference. I’m living more in the moment instead of worrying or wondering about what’s going on on various social media platforms or The Daily Mail showbiz column. No more checking my phone every five seconds or mindlessly scrolling for hours on end, I hate to admit that if I was on my phone and the kids wanted me to do something for them I’d often huff and get a bit pissed off. No mother of the year award here. So I aim to flight mode more and live in the moment rather than behind a phone screen.
Wake earlier than the kids – On the very rare occasion that I’ve ever woken earlier than the kids, it’s like an angel has scattered brilliance all over my morning and got the harpist out playing melodic tunes. Everything runs so much smoother when I’m able to get a headstart, there’s no stress and I’m ready so it allows me to just focus on the kids rather than trying to squeeze in running a brush through my wild hair or slapping some make up on in between referee’ing their morning wrestles….and always being the last mum on the school run. So my aim for 2019 is to set my morning alarm to wake up earlier.
Less shouting – Following on from my chimpy ‘be more patient’ aim, is to be less ‘shouty’. Often after saying something two or three times, the fourth time comes out alot more shouty than it really should. I know that shouting doesn’t make a blind bit of difference to their behaviour so I’m really just wasting unnecessary energy. And risking my neighbours calling social services on me. So my aim for 2019 is to lower my voice, change my tone and adopt a bit more gentler parenting.
More listening – I’m guilty of sometimes ssh’ing the kids if I’m in the middle of doing something, but a quote that I read recently really resonated with me ‘If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff’. I want my children to always feel like they can talk to me about anything and the thought of them feeling like I am disinterested or too busy doing other things to listen, makes my ice heart break slightly. So my aim for 2019 is to listen more, no matter how small their words seem.
Less working – Working three days a week is something that I am really lucky to be able to do. But even after nearly five years, I still can’t strike the work/life balance. And it’s one of my biggest stresses. On my days off I still try to get work done when Arlo naps – but recently he hasn’t been napping, which means I haven’t been able to do the work I’d been planning to. It’s not expected of me to do it, but I struggle to switch off on a Wednesday and not check in again until Monday, I’ve always been the same. So my aim for 2019 is to less the pressure off myself to not feel like I need to work on my days off, and simply enjoy spending time with the kids, guilt free.
Have you made any parenting resolutions for the year ahead? I’d love to hear them!