It’s Friday and here’s my Full Perspective response to one of your questions.
“I am a mother of 4 and feeling overwhelmed by all the little things that i feel I can’t give quality time to my kids. How do I change that?”
As another mother of 4 – I can completely relate to that. It is overwhelming, hard work and often very relentless. I laughed at my son yesterday when I said at the weekend you’ll need to do some chores and he was like ‘mum I just want a day off’ – Don’t we all!!!
Firstly – I don’t have any magical solution because there is none, but here are some things that will help.
Re-evaluate your expectations
Where are your expectations in terms of what you expect of yourself and your kids. Often it’s the thoughts about how things should be vs how they are that make it hard. The bigger the gulf between the ‘should’ and the ‘are’, then the more we struggle.
Think about all the areas of your life – where can you lower your expectations/standards so they are attainable rather than a stick to beat yourself up with.
What is the simple and easy solutions that you’re not taking because you feel you ‘should’ be doing something better. I remember a counsellor many years ago saying to me it’s ok to feed your kids beans on toast a couple of nights a week and it was a bit of a revelation.
Make time – prioritise
Often what runs the show is all the stuff going on in our heads about all the things we have to do but often it’s not what we actually want to do.
Make time to do the things you value and are important.
With the kids it might be going for walks, the beach, swimming, playing uno, watching a film together – make the time to do those things above all the jobs you have to do.
Make time to do things with the kids individually – even if it’s a 10 minute Uno match or a walk to the shops to get some sweets or time cooking dinner together. It doesn’t have to be perfect. 10 minutes of 100% mum attention is a such a gift when you’re a child.
For you – make the time to do things you want to do – for me I need freedom to go to yoga classes, spend time on my own, go to the beach, time with my family and friends. If I don’t do those things I am grumpy and resentful as hell. Make time to do things that make you a nice person to be around.
I know not everyone has access to the same physical, emotional and financial resources. Review what you CAN access – who/what can you get help with and then do it.
It could be help with childcare, house, laundry, organisation, decluttering.
It could be emotional help maybe friends or a coach or joining a group such as motherhood unloaded.
Asking your kids to take some responsibility depending on their ages. My older kids (ages 12-14) now sort some of the washing, they have to put away their clothes and they change their sheets on their beds. They take the dog for a walk. They’re also all learning to cook and are now often taking responsibility for different dishes. One of my twins helped me sew on all the clothes labels at the start of the school year using the sewing machine. They are all boys and it’s really important to me that they never believe it’s a woman’s job to do the stuff around the house. Kids are much more capable that we give them credit for. Think about those poor kids round the world working in sweat shops (which is horrendous). Pulling their weight in an age appropriate way is helpful for them and helpful for you.
What I’m trying to say – is don’t do it on your own.
Don’t buy into the marketing
There’s a lot of hype and marketing about all the things we ‘should’ be doing with our kids which leaves us feeling like crap parents when we don’t.
Keep things simple and within your means both financially and energetically.
Overstretching yourself to meet some hyped up standard does nothing except make you a grumpy and stressed person to be around.
Establish clear boundaries about who is doing what, around your time, when you’re being a mum, when you’re working (if you are), when you are being you. These boundaries are vital.
Work on your mindset and beliefs
We all have days that feel like shit and are hard. Learn how you can chalk them up as bad days rather than meaning anything else. Work on affirmations – today will pass, I can cope as I’ve coped with worse. EFT is super helpful here too.
Join my free masterclass, which delves deeper into this….The mental load of being a woman – why caring is not good for your health.
If you’d like to get a question answered in the Full Perspective, click the button below.
Much love, Tricia xxx