Monday Morning Madness…
The stress of a manic morning trying frantically to get out of the door…
…The clock is ticking… and you have to get the kids to daycare, school and yourself to work… and the pressure of time is relentlessly weighing down…What lays before us? Our lovely children are still half dressed and in the merry land of the timeless along with the fairies and the adventurers… blissfully unaware of our attempts to leave…Meanwhile, you’re trying to find Micky’s other shoe (while he is still playing with his toys) whilst trying to help zip up 3 years old’s Mary’s coat – which is stuck…and while frustration builds… baby Jake begins to cry… Ugh…
You happily feeding Jake as the other two children appear on time for breakfast already dressed (yes even a three-year-old can do this on her own if the clothes are simple. You compliment them for being on time as Mary pops in her own bread into the toaster and Micky helps himself to some fruit. After breakfast, they both help to clean up after which they both put on their own coats and shoes whilst you put Jake into his car seat to be carried out. And we all leave happy, stress-less…and…on time…
Which fairy tale is this you ask? Be not discouraged…I too have seen the former case and have arrived at the latter thanks to some powerful tips I will happily share with you.
Tip for the Mother
First of all, remember to take a deep breath…we didn’t come with manuals on how to be parents and children didn’t arrive with their how-to books. Millions go through something similar to the above story. Moreover, along with the curve balls of colds, ear infections and bills…it’s all so overwhelming. Even Deepak Chopra (a world leading medical professional and author) said that the first 2 years of motherhood is one of the top stress factors alongside the lifestyle of modern times.
Most importantly – and I really do prioritise this one – is self-care.
We often forget in our busy lives alongside getting the kids fed, off to school and extra-curricular activities, the household, work, our partner and social appointments…We forget ourselves… And as a mother juggling it all…I have come to know that the more I truly honour my needs (of course in the face of the situation) the more I can be there for everyone else and all else.
So my first tip is to make sure you ask yourself what you most need and honour that. It could be as simple as taking a yummy bath with magnesium dead sea salts and natural oils for yourself or asking your parents or a good friend to look after the little one while you go get a massage. If you are a single mum see if you can get in touch with a support group or maybe a neighbour you feel good with to have a moment for yourself to do something that is nurturing for yourself. Even just making time when everyone is in bed to really gift yourself a moment to relax and have a delicious foot bath. I invite you to make it beautiful and add some rose petals… And by all means, let the dishes stand for a moment! More essential tips on healthy self-care
Powerful Tools To Handle Daily Routines
This is the most important one: Get the kids involved! Skills are not an inborn trait- they are learned. A great way to do this and they will have such a great time making this is a routine chart. Sounds a bit sterile I know but you can make any name out of it, like the Go For or What to Do Chart.
What you do :
- Make time to prepare: Time to make mornings fun…The child is in charge! My biggest asset as a parent over the years was my sense of humour and using encouragement (more on encouragement vs praise in a later article)
- Ask them all the things he or she thinks needs to happen in the morning to get going. If he or she is not old enough then you write or draw it out for them.
- Then let them know that they will be the one in charge of themselves getting ready. No more mummy telling them what to do…Woohoo!
- So you explain that they will be coming up with their own routine for the mornings.
- Then ask them in what order they would like to do everything- bear in mind that (this has to work for you too)
- Now they can really get into the fun and make the chart themselves. You could take photos of them in every stage like: a photo of them brushing their teeth or making their beds etc Or they can draw themselves doing this. The chart turns into a dynamic and useful art piece.
- To get them used to time, they can set their own alarm clock and they can time themselves as they get dressed for instance or brush their teeth.
The absolute beauty of this is that you are no longer the one telling them what to do so that you have strife or struggle over it…No- the chart tells them. I just say “so what’s next on your chart? I practised with my daughter when she was 3 knowing that when it was time for school she was well underway. A plus point was that she didn’t follow the chart for a reward, she followed it because it was the routine. Click for your free routine chart! Happy Morning Chart
Empower the kids by giving them choices to stay out of those power struggles…What do I mean by this? Well, the word entails it itself…power. Like the old adage: “it takes 2 to tango.” We entangle ourselves in a power fight with our children. So it is up to us- the adults- to manage this situation.
One great way to do this is by first making it clear you understand how they feel because it creates a connection. You need to do this first do you want cooperation from your children. Makes sense. Just think about someone who understands you and if they asked you to do something, you feel a willingness. Now imagine a person you really do not connect with and repeat the scenario. You feel resistance.
Here’s an example:
“Jane, you must be feeling quite upset (naming her emotion really helps) because the chart says it’s bedtime and you are playing, and its bedtime (note the use of the word and instead of “but.” You say no in this sentence and at the same time it gives the feeling of inclusiveness). Tell you what! You can either hop to the bathroom or slide like a snake. Your choice, which will it be?
These kids of limited choices work marvellously. Not only do you give a sense of power to your children, you gift them the capability of thinking and choosing for themselves.
Now, this might sound like a funny one…but here we go:
This might sound like an odd one, but society undermines the overwhelm of having your first child, along with the home, bills, work…life can seem heavy and demanding. Especially when society also expects so much from us as parents to do a “good” job and to get it “right.”
The thing is you children are pro-energy sensors and pick up on your doubt and worry… So a great thing to remember is “it’s alright to make mistakes!!” in fact, it is the only way we learn anything…so embrace your mistakes. This brings in such encouragement and freedom for children to feel like they can make theirs. All of us come with a great system: our intuition. It helps guide us to the next decision and move…Let it guide you and you will find yourself making a foundation of enjoyment, learning, awareness, confidence and you will know what to do.
So enjoyment is another number 1. When we enjoy our children it gives them a feeling of safety and deep trust and connection… I love what Oprah says “do your eyes light up when your child walks into the room?”
I love thinking in terms of long-lasting results. So I regularly ask myself “so what?” “Will it matter a decade from now that my kitchen is still messy, or ironing for that matter?” How you spend time with your children and your partner is what matters… So enjoy the mess…before you know it they will live on their own and your house will be all tidy. I tell myself this as I walk into my 11-year old’s room 😉
Here’s to calm, flowing and fun Monday Mornings!
psst! What do children need most?
& more helpful and essential information in these videos here
This video discusses what children need in order to thrive in life! These insights changed my life and so are so so important. It will help you to connect and create a solid foundation with your children. It's always about connection- and here's why…I'd love to answer any questions or reply to any comments. Even if you just want to say hi! Here's to changing the world one parenting step at a time … As always Here's to your flow…Wen-Wei Ps Keep eyes peeled for my next Power of Parenting workshop.Or when you want to host me for your school, a group of parents or to book me in for a private session just contact me here or send me an firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Rest2flow on Thursday, 21 March 2019