Juggling the Joys of Motherhood

16
May
2013


Becoming a mother can certainly tip the scales in one direction – often in the direction of exhaustion and overwhelm.  This is true for all seasons of motherhood – I can remember thinking that things will get easier as my kids get older, but that was not always the case.   Tasks that took my time when they were little, just changed a bit and they still required time, energy and creativity.

Motherhood in general can set things off balance.

I am sure since I am struggling now with finding a ‘new’ balance in my life, there are others who are looking for ways to find pause in the chaos that can mount.  I hope these tips will help you find balance and rhythm as you approach summer and want to spend more time with your kids doing fun stuff!

Everything Every Day

Each day has only so many waking hours. One of the temptations in our quest for balance is to try to give equal time to all our responsibilities and interests every day. However, unless you plan on spending two minutes on each activity, task, or interest, this is probably not going to work!

Here’s a way to compromise: rather than trying to do everything every day, break your tasks and responsibilities down into weekly things. You probably can’t read a book or take a bubble bath to unwind every day, but why not once a week? If you can’t make time to play with your children for an hour a day, do it for a few hours once a week. Looking at things from a weekly perspective rather than a daily one can make all the difference.  This is what helps moms tackle tasks in the Weekly Household Planner.  What I’ve created is a general task list that will help you cover most of the areas in your home on a regular routine, but sometimes your schedule and routine won’t allow you to cross off all those tasks – that’s okay!  Grace mama – grace!

It’s Your Family

Your head can spin if you start researching and discovering the opinions of others as to finding balance in motherhood. This is because you will find that for every person, there’s a different opinion (almost)! Some will say mothers should “never” work outside the home; others will declare it’s essential. Still others hold to the philosophies of “attachment parenting” while others believe you should “detach” from your kids as often as possible.

To reconcile this, just remember that it’s your family, and no family is exactly like yours. No one lives your life but you, and no one can decide what works best for your family but you and your family. What feels “balanced” to you may look off-balance to someone else, and that’s okay.  I share more on this in my book, “Becoming the Confident Mom You’ve Always Wanted to Be” – you are the expert on your kids, your family and your life – not me, not your fabulous “have it all together” mom neighbor down the street – YOU!  God gave you your family and most especially gave you what you need to care for them.  {I have a hard time remember that on some of those hard days ladies, so I get the doubt too!}

No One Is an Island

Even if you feel alone, you’re not an island. Don’t try to do everything yourself, and don’t feel guilty if you need to ask for help. Being able to “call in reinforcements” – whether it’s a family member, sitter, husband, friend, etc. – can make the difference between a happy, balanced mom and a stressed, off-kilter one!  This is probably my toughest area to conquer.  I hate asking for help.  I want to be able to do it all myself. I struggle with perfectionism and I think I should be able to do it all, all the time, perfectly.

What Do You Want?

Here’s where you can make a list to help get things straight. Asking yourself what you want out of life is worthwhile, and setting long-term as well as short term goals is a good idea also. But what about each day?

How do you want your ideal day to look?

What can you do to make that happen?

Start making changes as you work toward that ideal schedule.

My favorite saying to share with moms is that making a small tiny change is a BIG step toward larger change in your home.  It all starts with a small change in one area.  Pick just one thing to focus on and do it well – then move on from there.  You will see how just the smallest thing can make positive changes in your home.

Remember when I shared about my struggle with my parenting a few weeks ago?  Well, I’ve made a few small changes and I can see light at the end of the tunnel.  It took me making a small change and sticking with it.  Commitment, consistency and determination – perseverance!  That is my word for 2013 – and I am working toward it in all areas of my life.

What small change can you make today to realign yourself? 

photo credit

 

The One Thing

26
Mar
2013

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT:

Grab my new ebook for only $.99 – TWO DAYS ONLY – MARCH 25th & 26th!  Now, back to our regularly scheduled post!

300x250TCM-frugalista

 

 

 

We can easily become overwhelmed with the behavior of our kids; we get frustrated, feel like a failure and get really angry when they continue to do the things we’ve asked them to stop. [Read more…]

No Fail Parenting Phrases

14
Mar
2013


With kids, especially teenagers, you might think that they were born to be lawyers. We tease my older son when he begins to “lawyer speak” us and use terms and suggest we aren’t specific enough.  We can laugh now, but it was often very frustrating!

They can seem to turn your words around on you in a second. If you are dealing with this issue, I’ve got some relief!

Below you will find out ways to phrase your words so that there is no mistake as to what you are saying to your child.

The truth of the matter is that often kids can call parents on something that they say because we, as parents, aren’t sure what we are really saying. Have you ever felt that way? It’s not uncommon.

Parents want to be friends with their children. But, as a parent, we are called to be something more – their teacher. As such we are not their friend, at least not while they are growing up. It is our job to make the hard decisions that might annoy them now, but profit them greatly in the future. In that way, our words have to be sure and purposeful as often as possible. [Read more…]

Managing Meltdowns

8
Nov
2012

tantrums

I am back in the season of temper tantrums – wheeeee!   I’ve heard from a lot of you as well, struggling with how to handle melt-downs from our little ones in a way where we are not losing our cool.  It is hard and a constant battle.

All children display tantrums at different times and to varying severity.  My journey with 4 different children has produced four different temperaments that I’ve had to adjust in order to be the parent I need to be for them.  It means I need to grow and change, which is often very challenging!  Who ever said parenting was going to be easy?

What Is a Temper Tantrum?  

There are many levels of tantrums and vary with different personalities of children.  They will also vary with environmental influences too.  You can have some children scream, wail, flail and jump around or others may pout and stomp all over the house. However your child displays it, a temper tantrum is unmistakable.

It is performed usually in response to the answer “no.” When kids don’t get their way, they can act out. The earliest act is often the tantrum. Through this method, they can test the boundaries of their influence over their parents’ behavior. They can feel like they are in control, and it often feels that way.

How you handle it will determine if it is effective.  Tantrums are frustrating and can throw your day into a loop.  But as I’ve been plowing through this season with a toddler once again, I’ve come up with some tips to stay cool and hamper the tantrum.

Go for the HUG

They won’t be expecting that. A big bear hug catches then off guard and may have them warming to you. Then ask them what’s wrong. This encourages their honesty and a more effective solution to their problem than stomping and screaming.  You know your child best and whether this may fit their personality style.  This approach can make the intensity of the tantrum worse, so be aware and cautious.  But it can be very effective.

Be a detective

Why are they throwing such a fit? Did they just come in from school and need to blow off some steam? Maybe they are restless and sleepy? Have they had enough ‘mama’ time?  When was the last time they ate?  See if you can find the origin of the tantrum before jumping to conclusions. Circumstances can influence tantrums so when you can examine outside issues you can avoid future out bursts.

Avoid giving in

If you give in to their demands, then they will know that they can get anything they want by throwing a hissy fit. Whatever you do, if the answer you gave was “no” then stick with it.  Consistency is your best friend, helping your child trust your word is key in earning their respect.

Ignore them

Some people think this is cruel, but your child may just want attention. If it has worked in the past, they will try it again. Keep an eye on them so they don’t hurt themselves or anyone else, but don’t say a word to them. Eventually they will get tired of being ignored and stop. Just make sure that your patience and nerve can outlast them.  I have found that often times my son has to cycle through this melt-down – there is nothing I can do to make things better and often when I try to reason and persist, it only makes it worse.  So, I step away.  This has been working very well in our home as of late.

When my little one starts his melt-down I clearly and calmly get on his level, talk to him slowly near his ear and tell him I cannot help him when he is crying.  When he stops crying I will be able to listen to him and help him.  I will then go on doing what needs to be done in the area.  This behavior on my part has reduced the length of melt-downs considerably.

Meet their real need

If your child has had a busy day, perhaps they need down time sooner.  Proceed with the evening routine ahead of time so they can get to bed and rest. Feed your child dinner if you notice that they might be hungry. It is not a crime to sit down to a meal earlier if it will help your child to calm down.  I have also noticed if we’ve had a particularly busy day and there has been little ‘us’ time, things tend to break down quicker.  This is a single to me to stop what I am doing and spend some time together.

Change the subject

Instead of giving in, find something new to talk about that might interest your child.  Diversion is a great tool and can often be a tool in your back pocket.  I am sure we’ve all had success with that one!  Young ones have a short attention span and it may distract them from whatever they were fussing about.

Avoid it all together

When you give your child choices instead of commands where they can use a ‘no’ response, you are less likely to end up in the typical tantrum pattern.   For instance, at bedtime my little guy needs to go to the bathroom.  This is not a choice, but I can give him a choice on how he does this.  So, he is given the choice whether he wants to go in the downstairs bathroom or in the upstairs bathroom.  This tends to avoid any ‘no’ answer as well as complete defiance.

How you respond to your child when they have a tantrum will influence how long the tantrum lasts and to what degree it escalates.  When you can have some strategies in your pocket to use you will feel better prepared to preempt them or respond in a positive way rather than negatively.

How have you tackled tantrums in your home?

Photo Credit


Road to 31

6 Common Parenting Mistakes

6
Nov
2012


Let’s face it – children don’t come with instruction booklets.  Over my years of parenting I’ve had my opportunity to make plenty!

We’ll talk about the 6 most common mistakes parents make and how to avoid them!

  • Do as I say but not as I do
  • Comparing One Child to Another
  • Doing Nothing
  • Bribing
  • Great Expectations
  • Lack of Consistency [Read more…]