I get it. There is nothing that can push your buttons as much as a whinging child or toddler or listening to your children fight and bicker all day. Or the sound of the TV or the trampoline squeaking or the noise of a football or basketball being constantly hit around the garden. Believe me. I know. I have 4 busy beautiful boys. And as much as I love them and am so grateful to have them, I also equally know how super challenging it is too.
I know things right now are tough and more amplified than normal so I thought I’d put together some insights to help you. Next week I’ll give you some tools and strategies.
- You cannot change your children’s behaviour – you can only change yourself
As much as we wish we could, we only have control of our own behaviour and emotions. We cannot change or control our children. The way you respond to the situation is the only thing you have influence over and is the only thing that can diffuse it or make it worse.
- Check in with what you’re feeling
It’s completely valid at times to feel impatient, anxious, tired, frustrated, fed up, angry, disappointed, sad, jealous, annoyed, etc. You are allowed to feel these ways and feeling these ways does not make you a bad mum. If these feeling come up, then let them – acknowledge them, name them, validate them, and then let them go. When we ignore them they just get bigger. Saying I’m feeling impatient and I understand why will let it go.
- Notice how these emotions feel
Possibly you can feel a tightening in your chest, or a churning in your stomach, or fit of rage about to boil over. Notice what this feeling is. What does it remind you? Can you connect the feeling with an emotion? If there’s butterflies in your stomach – is that telling you that you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed?
- What are the triggers?
Do you know what’s triggering you? Is it the noise? Mess? Something from your own childhood? Some belief that you have about how children should behave? Or maybe what’s happening doesn’t align with your values? It’s taken me ages to realise a trigger for me is the fear my kids will get bored, or sometimes I get upset because I feel they don’t appreciate all they get or sometimes it’s the constant noise of the background TV.
- Address your needs
It is rare that someone who has had enough sleep, enough rest, enough food, enough water, enough support, enough empathy, enough time out will feel overwhelmed with their kids. It generally happens when we are depleted. Notice what is is that YOU need so you can react better. Even in times of coronavirus, we can still put things in place so we are well looked after as best as we can.
- What else is going on?
Maybe your distracted? Worried about work? Got something else going on? Often it can be that we’ve got something else taking up our head space and that means we don’t have the space we need to help our kids. I know when I’m busy at work I do struggle more to have the time and space. Or if I’m sucked into spending time on my phone too much or wanting to finish a project or make dinner or something else it just means I don’t have the headspace to be able to react in a way that I would like to.
- Is there another voice there?
Sometimes what can happen is when we are dealing with a situation you’ll find another voice getting in the way – the voice that’s telling you how you should be dealing with it, or possibly your mother’s voice or something else that’s there… notice what the dialogue is and who’s thoughts or beliefs or values are these? Is a part of you getting angry with you for how you are dealing with the situation?
Having these insights can help us to work out what’s going on. Once we understand that we can start to make changes to alter the situation. You can’t make change without taking the time to reflect what’s going on. If you’re struggling to identify what’s going on as it feels so too much, you may be interested in signing up for my 6 week programme for overwhelmed mums. Investing in this programme will make significant changes to your family life supporting you to feel calmer and more relaxed. When we’re able to handle our own emotions and triggers, it has a massive benefit for our whole family and relationships and ripples out to the wider community and society.
Much love, Tricia xxx