beingamum

Keep Calm and Carry On

There’s a lot to be said for a kind and calm voice in times of turmoil.

I’ve been tired and cranky. 2 small kidlets and not much sleep is enough to manage just by itself, but the other elements of life don’t stop…if we let it, it can really get on top of us. And I had let it. I am an advocate for deliberate parenting, not reactionary parenting, but I realised my fuse was short, I was raising my voice at my 2yr old, who at times can be very difficult, and hard to negotiate with. Getting cross might be justified, but that is not the mum I want to be.

So I started reading some blogs and information about parenting, I have to say, there are some pretty condemning musings around. Most mums will know there is sometimes a voice whispering in your ear that tells you “You’re not a very good mum, you shouldn’t do things that way”. And it’s so easy to be swayed into thinking that. But the truth is, that you and your little cherub are an original combo. There has never been a parent/child combination like you before. So your parenting is YOUR decision. No one else’s. What works for someone might not work for others, so  I chose to brush that nasty voice aside, and make a decision about how I wanted to overcome this little hurdle.

The very simple conclusion I came to was this.

Its very hard to argue, rebel against, or raise your voice to someone who is being calm and kind.

So for a day, (one step at a time) I made a really focussed effort to be calm and kind to both my girls. No raising my voice, getting down close to give requests and instructions, giving space in times of frustration, and all the while in my head “Calm, calm, calm”.

Wow, just in one day I noticed a world of difference. For a start I had changed the atmosphere of our home by not allowing that condemning voice to bug me, or rise to the frustration it was causing, and I had taken back the reins and started being deliberate and not reactionary. My 2yr old responded so well, it took a few less asks before instructions were fulfilled, and we had more giggles and less tears.

It has now been a week, and I’ve discovered a more compliant daughter and a more content mum. Which ultimately leads to a happier home, and better relationships. I think this principle can be applied in any situation where conflict is arising. A soft word makes a much better platform for negotiation. I’ve found it easier to remain calm now that I’ve made the decision in my heart. And although sometimes I want to let out frustration in the form of a raised tone, most of the time I can control it. But it has only been a week.. 🙂

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Phantom crying and other things that keep us awake – 10 Hints for sleeping better

I’ve spent a good part of the last 3 years in a bit of a zombie state. Having small children leads to inevitable periods of sleep deprivation, unless you’re one of those lucky people to have a live in nanny and the kids at the other end of the house.

The thing I find a bit annoying is when people say “Well you should just sleep when the kids are sleeping”. I don’t know about others, but this is actually very difficult for me.

For one, if they sleep in the day, you usually have to carry on with other normal life tasks like eating, going to the toilet, or maybe even housework. For two, its not actually that easy to instantly fall asleep. I lie there, day or night, with racing thoughts about which child is going to wake soon, or the things I need to do, or just stupid things like what I said to so & so last week. And then there’s the phantom crying… any little noise that resembles the pitch of one of my babies cry, alerts me out of slumber right away. And sometimes, I even hear them crying when they aren’t. This is a great hinderance for restful nights.

I’ve discovered a few tricks that help me get to sleep quicker, they are no substitute for a full unbroken nights sleep, but I think it helps:

1. Himalayan Salt – A few granules under the tongue. Apparently its the minerals in the salt that help relax you.

2. Magnesium – A glass of magnesium drink will relax your muscles and nervous system.

3. Do more exercise. It’s really true that it helps you sleep better.

4. Actually counting sheep – I just count backwards from 100. Sometimes I get a bit distracted with other thoughts, but if you can focus, it usually works.

5. Having a bath or a shower generally does help. You feel refreshed after the day’s activities, and its nicer sleeping without old sweat all over you. (A common Brisbane state of being)

6. Maca! Having a cup of hot cacao and maca before bed is just delightful. Its soothing and delicious, and has loads of health benefits.

7. Hanky Panky… thats all I’ll say about that

8. Fresh clean lovely sheets!

9. A pretty far out suggestion, and not very common, NEVER have children! I couldn’t do this, and its too late anyway.

10. Sleep Rescue Remedy. Its great. Get it from the chemist.

Feel free to share your ways into the land of Nod, I think lots of people have this same trouble. And with that.. goodnight.

The balance of life.

Somewhere between your 20’s and turning 30, life takes a turn for the responsible, mundane and sometimes downright boring. How does this happen? Does it have to happen? I’m sure it doesn’t happen to everyone. Why do I feel like it’s happened to me?

I had a thought the other day, that just now, in my life, the crappy boring things I have to do far outweigh the fun, exciting, soul nourishing things I get to do. And I’ve been wondering how to tip the scales back.

I am a mum to one gorgeous 19mth girl, and one gorgeous girl in utero due in 7 weeks. I’ve given up work, taken on the mum and home role, and to be really blunt, I don’t actually enjoy it all that much.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter to bits, she is delightful, and smart, and growing way too quickly. I appreciate her every day. But its the other stuff that comes with it, like housework, cleaning, bills, administration, shortage of money, lack of time and abandonment of friends, that I find so morbidly depressing at times. There are some amazing people and things in my life that I get excited about…if I can rustle it up..but those moments are pretty limited. I just can’t shake the feeling that I need to be doing more……..

So what do I DO?

These are the things I think about doing:

Abandoning all ‘normality’, moving to Asia (yes, with a toddler and a newborn) and immerse our family in a new culture to add a bit of spice to life. (hubby is not really on board with this one)

Getting a housekeeper and a nanny, just to be here at home while I’m at home, so they can do all the things I don’t want to do. Then I can focus on moving furniture and redesigning rooms, or painting pictures, or sewing, or starting an awesome online business.

These are the things I might have to do:

Get a new attitude about the things I need to do in life, take responsibility, get them done really quickly and then plan more fun things into my day.

Realise that having a nanny/housekeeper is pretty unattainable right now.

Suck it up and just focus on being a good mum and wife.

I’m torn, do I fight the feelings of discontent OR do I harness the desire to do great, fun and different things? Am I ungrateful or unsettled for a reason?