It’s so easy to tolerate some fear, a little doubt, occassional laziness, and limited procrastination. But each of these is severely limiting my life. Destroying them completely would make a huge difference.
#1 Don’t correct your kids.
They might be tearing the house apart, wrestling in the middle of the cereal aisle, or playing tag as you’re trying to get them out the door for school. They need to stop what they are doing, but you have no business correcting them if you are angry. Unless it is life threatening, LET IT GO. Would you want anyone to talk to you the way you talk to your kids when you’re frustrated, angry, or overwhelmed?
So don’t do it to them. Always speak to your children the way you want to be spoken to, and when you can’t say what needs to be said in a respectful tone, don’t say anything.
Believe me. It’s NOT worth damaging your relationship with the people you love most even if you want to strangle them in that moment. Because the truth is, they aren’t going to suddenly grow up and change when you yell at them. Yelling doesn’t cure them of anything.
So why do we do it? We do it because we are frustrated, tired, and overwhelmed. We aren’t thinking. We are reacting. Don’t start listing a million reasons why you are tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed. Don’t start beating yourself up for yelling. Just stop. STOP. Ok, now read the next step.
#2 Apply the 5 minute rule. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Take that time to breath and tell yourself how amazing you are and how much you love your kids. Breath in slowly. Hold it for a few seconds, and breath out completely. Do that at least 5 times, and your blood pressure will come back down. Oxygen will help you access the part of your brain that can actually think and not just react. After you have taken time to breath, look at a cute picture of them on your phone, play a happy, soothing song from your Don’t Let me Kill My Kids playlist, and say aloud things you are grateful for.
None of this means your kids are getting away with whatever they were doing. You need to fill your cup until you are ready to speak to them in a respectful tone (without gritting your teeth).
#3 You are YOUR responsibility. You need to take care of yourself so that you don’t become angry, tired, and overwhelmed. I know it is tiring to repeat yourself over and over again. If that’s what’s happening, get new strategies, a new mindset, and reach out for support. You have to take care of yourself if you want to start parenting rather than just reacting. It does not matter if you are working full-time, part-time, or at home with your kids 100% of the time. You will get tired. You need to take care of yourself. Stop making excuses or blaming your mamma.
Choosing the right planner can feel overwhelming because it’s a 12 month commitment. We buy them to keep us organized, help us remember where to be and when to be there, and to get things done. We look for something that’s pretty, so we’re inspired to actually use it.
Back in 2015, I was determined to find the perfect planner. I spent hours looking at different brands online. However, I just couldn’t see spending $60 on a planner no matter how much I loved the cover. I had to know if the format would work for me before I parted with my money. So, I copied the format into a lined notebook.
My first bullet journal
A Moleskine I bought at Target marked the beginning of my journey to planner peace.
I enjoyed that format for a few weeks, but it evolved into something else. I later learned that what I was doing was bullet journaling.
As you try out different formats, your own style will emerge, too. You might find a planner on the market that is just what you need, or you might enjoy continuing to just use a notebook.
I like how I can incorporate memory keeping right into my planner when I use a simple notebook.
My second bullet journal consists of 2 Moleskines for one monoth whereas my first BUJO contained several months in one notebook. It’s SO flexible!
Even better: don’t choose. Use a planner and a notebook. That’s what I’m going to do for 2019. I’m going to use a Hobonichi Techo Cousin for all my planning and tasks while still using my bullet journal for everything else like taking notes, brain dumps, seasonal bucket lists, and monthly reviews.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your kids this summer is to have fun things planned for you to do together and separately. If everything else falls apart, at least you will have made some wonderful fun-filled memories to look back on!
There are all kinds of day camps you can sign the kids up for including ones revolving around sports, church, writing, reading, camping, crafts, debate, etc. It just depends on your budget, your child’s interests, and the amount of time you want to spend in the car driving them to and from all these fun things.
Make sure you ask your children what they want to do. Don’t assume they want to just relax at home for a solid week or that they want an activity planned every single day. Just because your BFF is doing it with her kids, does not mean your kids will want to as well. Don’t let them become complete slugs all summer or wear themselves and you out by being gone all the time. If you’re not sure how to find that balance, I am going to include sample daily schedules in another post in this #summersanity series.
It’s fun to start with a bucket list of things you would all like to do over the summer. This could include big things like a trip to the beach and little things like a weekly picnic at the park. We like to visit a different park each week to keep it interesting, but I grew up in a small town with only one park. It never got boring to me as a kid because I didn’t know anything different.
After you have your bucket list, you can add things like vacation Bible school, visits to the grandparents, and family vacation that you do every summer.
Tomorrow’s blog post is all about feeding all those adorable little people!