By Adina Soclof
Being a Mom is the best job out there. At least I think so. I didn’t think I would love it as much as I do. Even before I had kids I knew that being a Mom requires a tremendous amount of work and patience.
I still knew I wanted a family and once that baby was put into my arms I had no choice but to find the energy and patience required to parent. I tried to rise to the challenge.
It is not all easy though. More often than not we can get frustrated with our children and overwhelmed by their demands. That is when we can lose our temper and yell.
I do not like it when I lose it. Neither do my kids. My yelling usually scares my kids and makes them even more non-compliant.
I am always trying to learn new ways to build my patience and stop losing it with my kids.
This is what I have found works for me:
- Eating a healthy diet:
This may seem like a no brainer but I try to eat as healthy as possible. I am often pressed for time but breakfast, lunch and dinner are a must for me. Sometimes eating well-balanced meals seems like too much of an effort. When I do not eat well I get sluggish, irritable, and cranky. Children need their parents to have enough energy to parent effectively. I try to give a lot of thought to my own menu. The same amount of thought I give to my kid’s menu.
- Get your zzzzzzz’s:
Sleeping rejuvenates me like nothing else can. I know that we parents, (especially those of babies) are sorely lacking sleep. I try to make sleep a priority. I know I took turns with my husband doing nightly feedings and I napped when my kids napped even if it was just for 10-20 minutes. Those little cat naps did a world of good for my temper. It really helped keep me calm.
- Stop running errands:
Learning to prioritize errands was a big deal for me. I tried to streamline my necessary shopping so I was only going to 3 or 4 stores a week. Once I did this, I had more time for myself and my kids. It was a lifesaver.
- Take breaks:
Everyone needs a little time for themselves. I tried to make sure that I had interests outside my home. I made time to meet friends, take a walk and read some good books. When things got crazy at home, I always tried to find a little time for myself. Even a few minutes alone in the bathroom helped me catch my breath. Having “Me time” helped and continues to help me cope with the challenges of parenthood.
Putting a smile on your face even a fake one has been shown to help improve one’s mood. It seems that when certain facial muscles relax and tighten, they change the temperature of the blood in the brain. This temperature change affect the center of the brain that manages emotion. Smiling gently (not laughing) at an angry child can help decrease tension and conflict. So I try to smile a lot. Yes, it feels weird sometimes, but feeling weird is better than the feeling I have after I have lost it with my kids. Most definitely better.
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