…because chances are they really are sorry, they just don’t know how to tell you.
Right, so I’m seeing the irony in a new blog about being present with my children. I have one of those minds that latches onto things, attaches, so that I can no longer live in the real world. I can’t sleep, be present or get things done because I am constantly referring back to my new project. It’s not so bad when it’s a craft project, I don’t mind the kids seeing me get excited about something creative they can join in on, but when my time is taken up with the laptop, and my mind is elsewhere, it bothers me.
So, in the spirit of being mindful to both be a better parent and find happiness, I have to come up with a plan. Perhaps limiting my blogging time to a few structured sessions per week, and trusting that my ideas will come back to me at those times? Or keeping notes on my phone until the next session. I’m trying to watch the thoughts and ideas come and go and let them come and go. Trying to trust they will come back when I need them, or newer, better ideas will take their place when the time comes. Watching the thoughts and not engaging seems to be working a little for now. And if that fails, I jot down a word or two in my “notes” on the phone to jog my memory later on.
How do I stop thinking about it and just be?
I’m assuming this will be a battle for a week or so until the excitement subsides and the new ideas stop consuming me, so until then, I will just have to accept that my mind will wander…
Here are some interesting thoughts on being distracted by technology by Hands Free Mama.
For now I think I will go with the excitement and new-ness of it all, and aim to be spending some structured time in front of the screen. Never when I should be with my kids, but more as my new job. And if it were a paid or volunteer job, the kids would either need to be cared for by someone else, or sound asleep tucked up in bed. So to start with I’ll aim for after bed time. We’ll see.
In these sacred “me” times, I’m going to give the Pomodoro Technique a whirl. More on it here.
Oh yes, this sums it up perfectly. Just imagine those little people running around with a big smile on their dial, because someone they loved, trusted and adored passed it on.
Often in the midst of dire, “help me now” parenting moments, instead of looking for the most appropriate strategy for our situation, the kindest way, the way that will have the longest lasting effects, the way that will improve my relationship with my children forever, I sometimes think, “What is the fastest way to solve this problem”. Because, being a sleep deprived mother of 3, pulled in 3 different directions in any one moment, wanting a shower for the first time in 3 days, sometimes, I just want it done. Now. So I can sleep. Or shower.
Having previously thought that getting angry might work, or at least make me feel a bit better (literally blow off steam), I’ve often (an understatement?) just lost the plot. Screamed, yelled, threatened, punished. Sometimes I’ve thought counting to 3 might work, like at the end, by some miracle the spell would have worked and the kids would have turned into model children, sitting at the perfectly laid dinner table in their crisp starched white smocks, waiting for their daily serve of meat and vegetables.
And then, sometimes, when they’ve caught me on a good day, energetic, positive, loving, well slept, they might do something to push my buttons, something that would usually tip me over the edge, and I find myself showing them that I still love them, no matter what. Laughing with them, hugging them, reassuring them. And do you know what? It has turned out to be the fastest way. The fastest way to diffuse the situation, the fastest way to reconnect and become closer to each other, and most importantly (in that moment at least), the fastest way to overcome the testing behaviour.
Initially in these instances I would think the bad behaviour was gone because my child had “won”, because they got what they wanted, or because Mummy gave in. I thought I was taking the easy way out and persisted in trying to find a better strategy.
But now, onto my 3rd child, having read plenty of parenting books, thousands of blog posts and studied 2 degrees based on children and relationships, I’m coming to realise it works because it is right.
I know some of you reading this who already know this beautiful secret, that the more nurtured, reassured and listened to, the better our relationship with our children, but then why are there so many “guides” to good behaviour, difficult to follow, with specific rules, like counting, special chairs to sit in, naughty steps, reward charts etc etc etc. Surely it can not be as simple as loving and being compassionate?