There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one. ~Sue Atkins
Wise woman, Sue Atkins. Don’t you agree? We, mums, should all have a print of that quote hanging somewhere in our homes; prominently displayed to catch one’s eye multiple times a day. Because let’s face it, there are times when we can feel like we are awful parents.
Whether it is forgetting the lunch pail for the 2nd time this week or losing absolutely every shred of patience we possess and raving like a woman gone mad, we all have moments of being completely certain that we are without a doubt the worst parent on the planet. Ever!
That’s absurd, of course. But, we go there, don’t we? Instead, when those thoughts arise, let’s make a conscious decision to nip them in the bud. There is no need to entertain thoughts that will only darken your outlook on… Well… Possibly everything! You have enough stress in your life!
Motherandbaby.co.uk posted some great tips to get you back on the sunny side of life. We’ll highlight them for you.
- Smile. Even if it’s forced, your brain will recognise the action and react positively. Charles Darwin was among the first to propose the idea that our body actually triggers an emotional response. It’s called the facial feedback hypothesis and studies have proven the idea to be fact.
- Resiliency reigns. Odds are your child has moved past your epic failure unscathed. I mean, just look at them. Running about, joyfully, as if nothing ever happened… Hmmm… Perhaps you should take your cue from them, mum. Seriously. Just look at them. *sigh* Running about… Those little faces wreathed in smiles… Is your heart melting right about now? Good.
- Take a walk. Yes, a bit of fresh air does a body good, but we were thinking of taking a walk down memory lane. Nostalgia, that warm and fuzzy feeling that we wrap ourselves in when remembering the good times, causes us to think optimistically about the future.
- Ring your friend. Vent to someone that identifies with your circumstances. And if she, in turn, shares a mum fail or two of her own, all the better!
- Get a head start. Tick a thing or two off tomorrow’s list of things to do. Feeling ultra prepared brings a sense of satisfaction. Not to mention, you may find yourself with a bit of free time on the morrow.
- Jot it down. Take some time to write down a recent super mom moment. You may feel so empowered that you purchase a journal! Writing is a catharsis. Writing about the stressful parts of your life can free you in an entirely different way. Not only is it good to get it out, by way of logging it in your journal, but when everything works out okay, it will probably entail recorded Super Mum solutions!
This last tip is ours.
- Apologise. But don’t just throw a “Forgive me.” out there, be willing to give your child a reason you’ve behaved the way you have. “Shrieking at you for giving your brother a clown face with the colourful markers was not an appropriate response. However, you are 6 years old and I am sure you understand the rule. You may not use the things in Mummy’s drawer without asking permission. Those were permanent. Now, we have a bit of a mess, don’t we? If we can’t get it off by tomorrow evening, he will have to wear it for the Christmas pageant. What will the other wise men think about that, do you think?”
We believe that last tip is the most important and not just because we thought of it. ?
When we explain why we’ve reacted poorly to a situation, it is good for our souls. We are taking responsibility for what we’ve done. We are not leaving our children to shoulder the blame for it. And, they will, you know. Yes, that little sweet pea is joyfully bounding about the room minutes after with seemingly not a care in the world. But, somewhere, there is a tiny blemish on her precious little spirit. When we take responsibility for our reaction to whatever the situation, we do a great lot toward erasing it.
Not only that, Mum, you are giving them a life tool that will be worth more than we can ever realise, really. Everyone loses their cool or forgets to accomplish a task, knowing how to deal with it responsibly is very special, indeed.