Those days—you know the ones—where everything comes to you easily and naturally and you feel you can conquer the world. Kids lunches packed, breakfast made, kitchen tidied, children blissfully following the rules without a complaint.
On these days you’ve done the washing, sorted and organised the dinner. You remembered that it’s library day and that homework is due, or that it’s your kids’ show-and-share day at school (and you’ve actually prepared something).
These days you run into your other mum friends, high-five each other about the fact you’ve had coffee this morning or admire each other’s outfit for the day. You breeze around like you’ve got it together, nothing can stand in your way. You are Super-Parent (and yes, I am picturing a cape and underpants worn on the outside).
Those days versus THOSE days
Then there are THOSE days—and you know these ones—where the first paragraph seems like a distant memory. It’s always those days when:
- The kids get sick or spill the milk;
- You’ve got no bread and you’re running late;
- You realise the uniforms haven’t been washed ; or,
- You’ve got no fresh fruit for ‘brain break’.
Those days are like you are hovering above yourself, looking down at whatever else can go wrong … and when it does you think ‘Of course! Of COURSE – I’ve found head lice on my kid’s head today!
It just all seems like this evil plot against you – and now I am picturing dishevelled hair and track pants.
My brain will explode!
Parent’s take on so much today.
Sometimes I think my brain will explode if I have to take on one more thought – even as petty as remembering to put out the bins.
It’s so easy to throw yourself into the emotion of your day and let the first few hurdles dictate how you will handle the rest of it.
This is our reality and how we feel is how we feel:
- Even though you know that you are blowing things out of proportion;
- Even though you know that other people are suffering way more than you are on that day;
- Even though you watch the news and recognise that ACTUAL bad stuff is happening in the world;
…. you still feel the way you feel. And that is okay.
Let’s be real
We need to be real with ourselves and our children. On THOSE days we need to say: ‘I’m really upset about this’ or ‘I’m feeling annoyed about that’.
Express our feelings and be honest. How we handle our emotions is teaching our children – we are their greatest influence and even without being explicit we are showing our kids how to behave when things are not going our way. That is called resilience – and I wish I could bottle that stuff up and sell it by the gallon! Resilience is tricky, and so is raising a child (or children).
You are not alone
Each week I meet with parents who are doing their best—and as the ‘How to talk so kids listen’ course says—“we aim for 70 per cent but some days all we have is 50 per cent”.
Learning skills can help us have a ‘go to’ when we have nothing else to draw on.
We are allowed to have off days, we are real people.
Be honest and give yourself a break on THOSE days. Tomorrow is a new day … and you can start by making sure you’ve got clean uniforms and a loaf of bread – it really helps!