What I really wanted to say is, how to be a calm mom when you’re losing your shit! And, please stop reading if you’re going to tell me that you are perfect and have never lost your shit. Ok? Now, for us imperfectly perfect mamas that have at least once lost our shit, well because motherhood is hard, please continue reading.
I always thought I’d be a calm mom, and I am. However, I have such short temper and zero patience! I know, sounds great, right? But, at the same time I have learned that we cannot be perfect a mom or dad and that we are always trying our best. So for those days when tantrums are never ending, and you raise your voice so loud your neighbor probably heard you, and when you just need five minutes to yourself because you have been on duty 24/7, try this –
1. Set zero expectations
Every morning you wake up set zero expectatons for that day, so that anything you do will feel like an accomplishment. I have to start my day with coffee, if I don’t well – that’s a story for another day. So just give me my coffee… after that everything else seems to fall into its place. Getting breakfast out of the way is the next thing, but some days are better than others and we have breakfast at 8, while others it may be 10 (ok judge me, see if I care).
2. Pick your battles
This is one of my mottos while trying to raise these tiny humans. Kids are kids, and they are supposed to act like kids – so let them be little, let them make messes, let them be silly because you cannot teach them every lesson you want that same moment and you cannot expect them to act like adults. Brushing teeth in the morning & evening is a must in our house, so that’s one thing that I won’t give in on. Luckily, the boys love to brush their teeth. Another thing is putting their shoes back where they go after being outside. They know this, and there are no arguments there. However, picking up their toys every single day is not something I necessarily care about although I would love for it to always be tidy and organized, but again they are kids.
3. Will this matter later?
Ok, so always think – will this matter in a few years?! Is it really worth going crazy over some spilt milk, it’s a different story if it’s breastmilk 🙂 My boys spill their juice, make a mess when they eat, leave fingerprints every where and I mean everywhere but I don’t really care. Everything can be washed, cleaned and it’s part of them growing up. How are they supposed to be self sufficient if you don’t let them do anything by themselves? Obviously, I always try to teach them and show them how they are supposed to do things – like hold their fork, or hold their glass but it doesn’t always work that way.
4. Count to ten, or twenty.
Try to calm down before taking action. When you’re in the moment you can regret your actions later, so count to ten, or twenty or to whatever it takes for you to calm down. It will give you time to reason and determine in how much trouble they are in.
5. Have some me time.
This is so important mamas! We are with our kids all the time, and need that adult interaction at least once a week. I rarely every skip weekly coffee date with my bestie, and sometimes we turn it into a sushi date or a shopping trip – but whatever it is, it relaxes me and brings me back to sanity. Also, every day I make time for myself – whether it’s sipping on my hot coffee, doing my nails, flipping through magazines or whatever, it allows me to take care of myself and remain calm for the rest of the day.
6. Go for a walk.
Going out for a walk brings back the energy and calms me down. The fresh air, the sunshine and just being outside mentally and physically calms me down while it exhausts the boys so they nap so hard 🙂 which also means more me time (see #5 above). Living in Chicago the weather doesn’t always allow us to go for walks and being that baby A arrived in January, it wa a while before we could go out for a walk. But, when weather permits we take a morning walk every day and sometimes in the afternoon too, before dinner.
Hopefully this will make you think twice when you’re about to lose your shit and help you stay calm. Good luck mamas!