Calm vs Chaos – 7 Tips to Keep Calm While Parenting
We’ve all been there. That feeling of anger and frustration, bubbling to the surface with a force of its own. It’s the point of no return, your patience just can’t be stretched anymore and you know with the next whinge, cry or dob – you’re going to lose it.
Raising children is hard. We all know that, but it’s something that you can never really prepare yourself for and even the most calmest person among us has a breaking point – one which children are guaranteed to find!
Whether someone has drawn on the newly painted wall, spilt their drink on a library book or broken something precious, one thing we know is, it’s going to happen. Probably a lot.
So what can we do in those moments where everything is falling apart and you feel like you just can’t cope? Here are 7 ideas that work for me.
- Walk away
So simple, the adult version of time out. So long as the kids are in a safe place, just walk away, anywhere. Outside for a breath of fresh air, into your room and close the door, the car – wherever! Take a moment to calm down and think ‘in the future I will be laughing at the ridiculousness of this!’
- Put on some music
OK so probably not the Wiggles, and it doesn’t even have to be Enya, just something that you like. Crank up the music and even have a sing, it’s amazing how music can lighten the moment instantly. Why not try having music on in the background all day and see how it improves your mood and resilience.
- Talk to other mums and ask for help
We are not super Mums and sometimes we just can’t do everything. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family for help, it is not a sign of weakness it’s a sign of self-preservation! I also find that just talking to other Mums and sharing those stories of exhaustion or feeling so angry or down can be great therapy for realising other Mums are going through this too.
- Make a roster for the kids to help more
This is more of a prevention strategy to help reduce stress in the household. So much of my stress comes from trying to get everything done, so now my kids are a bit older I have made a weekly roster of jobs they can do to help out around the house, like taking out the rubbish, emptying the dishwasher etc. If needs be you can include incentives or rewards for a week where everyone has done their jobs with minimum fuss.
My friend told me about this and I am still exploring if it is something that would work for me (or the kids). It’s based on the theory that in a stressful moment, tapping 5-7 times on certain areas of the body can help relieve stress and help you cope. Sounds a bit whacky I agree but different techniques work for different people. Check out more about it here https://www.thetappingsolution.com/what-is-eft-tapping/
- Lower expectations
This sounds depressing but it’s just being realistic. Depending on your kids ages, it is only natural for them to go through stages of tantrums, selfishness and other behaviours that drive you nuts. Sometimes, expecting a little less of them (and yourself) can take the pressure off and create a calmer environment.
- Accept that it is what it is
Similar to the above, we all know kids will be kids and parenting is hard! There are always going to be times and situations that stress us out and make us feel like we can’t cope. It happens to everyone (forget all those perfect facebook posts), you are not alone and we are all just doing our best to bring up healthy, happy and kind kids.Oh, I nearly forgot there is a number 8 – if all else fails, there’s always chocolate!
Eloise Griffin is the mother of three young boys, has two jobs and likes to write for a hobby. While she doesn’t have any trophies or secret super-human skills, she can always find that one toy that simply must be found right now, even though it hasn’t been seen for weeks. In between toilet training and home readers she attempts to keep her sanity in tact through keeping fit, having a laugh with friends and indulging in the simple pleasures of a good book and a glass of wine.