Hello lovelies! Let’s dedicate this post to discuss Wonder Woman, no I am not talking about the DC comic character. I am talking about the everyday super hero ; the working mom, the stay at home mom; MOMS. Yes those amazing women that have to manage being a mom, a cook, a cleaner, a therapist, an accountant, an entrepreneur/career woman, secretary, organiser, the ultimate planner and school function coordinator, chauffeur and let’s not forget this is to be done without neglecting one’s own health and beauty, and partner …oh and of course this is to be done in time to get a decent night’s rest to have the energy to do it all again the very next day. Most of the times, as moms we find it difficult to break away from the busy demands of work and home to really just enjoy our children and life. Even if we are taking advantage of the weekend’s flexibility to spend some time with family, you know as well as I do you are catching up on some of those endless To Dos on your list and of course the errands that have rolled on over into your “free time” (HA as if there is such a thing). We all are guilty of it, getting it all done, everyday and taking on the world EVERYDAY, but if you asked any mom would they prefer to tackle the endless obligations of the day or experience and cherish the moments they have with their children, I am pretty sure the latter would be the consensus (unless you have AWFULLY BOLD children, which of course I can sympathise with you completely haha! Just kidding of course….you too have to spend time with your bold children!)
So what if you didn’t have to give up taking on the World everyday but you just made a few changes to make sure that you are in your children’s world everyday and not just running it; we have compiled a list of some subtle changes you can to your life to make parenting more fulfilling and less exhausting.
- Dedicate a Time: Whether your are a working mom or not, we know you are a busy mom so the first thing to do is dedicate a specific time to be with your children. Minutes are so long to children that if you gave them 5 minutes, it would feel like an eternity to them. So schedule it, like you would a meeting with an important client or a parent teacher meeting. No matter what you can afford, ten minutes or half an hour, spend it and make up your mind to do your best in connecting with your child/children by doing whatever they love to do or what you love to do with them.
- I often read to my eldest son, books that he would not normally not be interested in but I love and he enjoys just hearing me read and sitting next to me or we might watch a Ted talk together and talk about it.
- Play a board game with them and if you don’t have loads of time try UNO or a game of Chess/checkers.
- Go for a walk or run with them, you don’t have to exclude them from your TO Dos or hobbies.
- Set up a Weekly Family Meeting: There might be times when you would feel frustrated by your work/demands of parenting and all the complexity that comes from achieving the perfect balance and it’s ok to not have all the answers, or to not be overly thrilled about dealing with real life family issues on a day to day basis. Child raring and life in general is exhausting when you are trying to get the most out of each day and doing your best, but you should always try to let your children understand where you are coming from. That you aren’t perfect, that you are trying to resist reacting versus responding, and that you feel under pressure because of this or that. Your children need honesty, always, so don’t put on a show that everything is ok but don’t punish them because everything isn’t ok either, just include them in your struggles. Kids can have a great way of looking at things, being really insightful, understanding and if nothing else at least you were honest with them and included them in family discussions which they will feel pretty good about I am sure. So set up a meeting where you see where everyone’s emotions and attitudes are for the week, or set some goals and standards, maybe some changes need to be introduced and who best to review the boss. Make sure everyone has a voice, it’s a safe and open discussion area and everyone is present. It will make your family priorities easier, and parenting easier as you will have a bit of guidance and insight that you might not have had.
- Connect Before Setting Limitations and Make Limitations Clear: If you have any concerns with your child, such as their underperforming in studies and lack of seriousness towards life then instead of scolding them relentlessly, you must always connect with them first and talk to them, see what balance or solution you can find to not drive yourself crazy trying to help them achieve their goals. Of course remember you first want to be clear on what their goals and make sure they aren’t your goals or expectations. Once you do this, you can then proceed to set limitations that might help to make things work out for them, help them with a plan or maybe with better focus. Consequences rarely work in my household, incentives and praise do better with my children, but some actions require consequences and normally children of appropriate maturity will agree and come up with those consequences themselves. Having the house rules and family goals set out where your children can read them is the best way to set clear limits. You can also set out the consequences and incentives for them to be able to read those too so both your children and you can be held accountable. It doesn’t have to be just the parent who dictates all. Unless you want to take after the famous Roman Emperor Caligula and for some us our parents, “I don’t care if they respect me so long as they fear me.”, haha!
- Cook with your children or making cooking for them special: Most children always have a favourite dish. If you have had a busy week and couldn’t fit in a lot of quality time choose a night to make your kid’s favourite meal or make a fun theme for dinner; you can set out a menu and take their order and pretend it is a fancy restaurant they are attending for the evening. You don’t of course have to go through the trouble of a 5 Star Chef meal but just make it fun, or get them involved if you are brave enough and let them help with cooking. My kids always help pick out some meals for lunches and dinner when I am doing my meal planning, because they argue less about what is for dinner? They participated in the picking of it and sometimes the making of it and I don’t know about you but meal times with children are some of toughest moments of parenting in my opinion so I would do anything to get a peaceful dinner at least once a week, and I mean anything.
- Make the Weekends COUNT: Weekends might be the only time you get real free and flexible time. Take advantage of it and don’t waste a whole day (yes I said waste) trying to get so many chores and jobs done, RELAX and use that time to spend all of your time with your children in a way that will benefit all of you. You don’t have to have a luxury themed outing every weekend that can be both stressful and expensive so make sure whatever you do, enjoy it and make sure your children see that. Plan a cycle or a trip to a place to explore an interest that your child has, get involved in the playing when they are at home or just sit and have a cuddle with them but be with them. Involve them in the plans, ask them what they want to do and where they want to go? Set a budget and travel time limitation and I am sure ideas will coming flowing fast and if they don’t just Google it…a lil tip of mine, I keep a list of places to visit or events coming up in my Family Planner so when I am out of ideas I can quickly find some options for the weekend!
Last but not least Stay Yummy!
A Yummy Mummy Tip
If you start anywhere, I would start with the Family Meeting. I know it sounds crazy and extreme and not all members may be able to “fully participate” but it’s not as formal as you think. You can do it really formal and I will elaborate on some great tips for a family meeting and resources in future blogs, but you can do it over dinner or during a quiet weekend evening. It is the perfect time to schedule and discuss all the other tips mentioned above. You can schedule cooking time with or for the kids or talk about meals, plan out your weekends or talk about new interests the kids may have, the kids can come up with ideas to bring down the stress and bring up the harmony and as the parents you can let them know what is going on and if there is any issues or tension, it is the place to let them ask questions and where they can at least know that whatever the reason is, it is not their fault (well we hope anyways, haha).
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