Sometimes being a mom can make you want to lose your mind. Weather you work inside or outside your home, or like me have been blessed to be able to stay at home with your precious little people, being a mom is perhaps one of the hardest yet most rewarding things you will ever do. Before my son was born I never looked around at a mess that was made and thought "what did I get myself into?" and then in the same thought "my son is my dream come true!" sometimes I think I'm crazy, there are moments when I think I'm the best mom in the world, and then there are the times when I think I'm the worst mommy there could ever be. It doesn't matter what I think though, when all is said and done, the most important is that of my son, when he grows up and thinks "I'd be proud to have my wife be the kind of mom you were" then I know my job was done right :)
To help me get through mommy-hood with my sanity intact I've made a list of reminders for myself:
1. Choose your battles: does it really matter if he wants bright orange shorts and a red shirt with green socks and his sandals? I'd rather get weird looks from strangers then cause a tantrum over control over clothing.
2.Yelling doesn't work: When my son was born I looked at his little face and vowed I'd never yell, then he learned to walk.....This is one I battle with over and over. I have to remind myself that yelling does nothing. It doesn't curb his curiosity about how daddy's xbox tray moves in and out as he pushes the button 100 times, yelling doesn't make shaking his cup and making it "rain" any less funny, All it does is make me lose my voice and get frustrated at the fact that it's not working. (if you are trying to give up yelling visit THE ORANGE RHINO for some tips and a 30 day no yelling challenge)
3. Tantrums are a natural ( and developmentally healthy) part of toddler-hood: my son is 2 1/2 and boy can he throw a fit! Instead of throwing the mommy towel in the ring or waving the white flag, try working things out with your children. They aren't adults, they haven't yet figured out how to manage their emotions. Let them know it's O.K. and that you understand that they are angry or upset over the situation. Suggest alternatives, redirect their attention or just hug it out..*Hugging it out is my favorite- studies have shown that a hug can reduce stress levels, which helps you and your child!
4. Dance It Out!: Kids are amazing balls of unending energy, if it seems like my son is just into everything, and just runs from one thing to the next, it means it's dance time, turn up the tunes and DANCE! Bonus points: Dancing burns calories and can be logged as exercise!
5.Embrace the Chaos!: No one expects you or your kids to be perfect (you are the only one putting that expectation on yourself). You are going to do things you vowed you'd never do. You are gonna mess up and yell, you are going to give in and give them the lolli they wanted at the store just to get them to be quiet, there will be at some point be a mess that you just don't feel like cleaning, but it's ok, you have another chance, your children are not going to be nutritionally deficient because they had cheese balls before, or maybe even FOR dinner. They aren't going to be forever scorned because their clothes didn't match, and their brain isn't going to be fried because you let them watch TV while you took 30 minutes to cook dinner.
It doesn't matter your parenting style, as long as you are doing what is best for your family, you dear reader are the best mom for your kids!