12 ways to be a happier mum
I am not sure what it is, but now more than ever, I am cherishing every moment with my boys more than I ever have. When they call my name, I drop what I am doing and go to them, if I really need to get this blog post live but Aston wants me to read him another story, I will then put the blog on hold and go read to him.
I never used to do this you see, I would want them to hurry up and go to sleep so I could get some work done or clean up or just watch Netflix. Because I was always rushing my time with them, things started to get a bit mayhem at home, the kids would fight, not go to bed, sook and scream and so would I, I became an angry mum and they noticed.
I made the change of ‘not rushing’ my time with them and putting them first and it has been so good! I am a happier mum, my husband is a happier dad and the kids are going down to bed a lot better.
So, I thought I would put some tips down, from my personal experience on 12 ways to be a happier mum.
- Make time for the kids:
Give your child the attention they need and love, if they want another book- read it, if they want you to get out that messy play doh and help them make a dinosaur- do it! It usually only takes 5 minutes of your time and trust me, when they get bigger, you will be begging them for their time. A snuggle in their bed to get them to sleep is so special, that will be banked in your ‘happy moments’ memory, the kind that brings that one tear to your eye when you recall it.
- Call in help–
Whether it is someone to babysit at night so you can do a date night, a cleaner to do the weekly or fortnightly cleaning, an ironing person to tackle the washing, a dog walker to tick that job off your daily list, ask a relative to make a tray of lasagne or pot of soup to have on stand by.
- Remember the baby daddy-
I learnt a life lesson recently, and it was just that, remember the baby daddy. Poor Mr Dempsey has been so neglected by me, I had been so focused on the kids, the house, mess and work that he missed out on a slice of the Jess pie. He was pretty grouchy and I couldn’t figure out why- duh! Now days, I plan a date night every fortnight, I don’t touch my laptop or iPhone until I have had at least a few hours with the hub when he gets home from work and find the time to hear about his day. We also make sure we have one entire day dedicated to family day every week. We plan an outing or an activity and it usually tires the kids out that they have a good sleep and we get to have extra time together.
- Organisation is key and will make for a happy day-
When you are on a routine yourself, things would usually go as planned. I joked in my provious blog post that when you become a mother, you are a slave to the clock well, if it wasn’t for that clock, you wouldn’t have your routine and you wouldn’t get shit done. Here is my example, I wake at 7am just before the kids wake and I make Aston’s kinder lunch- the exact same packed lunch every single day, so there is no time to think, I know exactly what I am making. I then make them breakfast, get them dressed one at a time and whilst the kids are dressed and eating their breakfast, I jump in the shower, grab a pair of jeans, sneakers and a top (shirt or jumper) whip a little make up on, put the kids shoes on, brush teeth and out the door. Same-same every day.
- Say no to things.
If you feel overwhelmed with life and expectations of others, then just don’t do it or don’t go. I get invited to many events and if I attended all of them, I would be so behind on work, life, home and kids (and husband) that I would lose my mind. It seriously isnt worth it. Family and you come first, everything else is an option.
- Don’t feel guilty about mama time-
When I have had a huge mama mayhem week, sometimes I sneak out on a Thursday night when the kids are in bed and whip down to a shopping centre just to window shop (usually end up in Target to buy the kids more flannel pjs). If it is the gym you love, then go when the kids are asleep or take them to the creche or go when they are at kinder- who cares, just go! What do you love doing? Do it! Make it work for you.
- Observe your kids-
Be a fly on the wall and watch them play in their element. Watch their imagination take play, see them kick the footy, watch them draw a cute little scribble of you and be proud. Can you believe they just did that? They are growing up so fast!
- Remember how lucky you are-
It might be a long hard day but remember the moments you stored in your memory over the years (like snuggling in bed with your little one) or the moment you found out you were pregnant or the moment you met your baby for the first time, use the memories to bring a warm smile to your face and see that little cheeky child as that precious little angle.
- Talk, talk talk-
I struggled with anxiety after both boys were born but for a lot longer after Will was born. I was in a rut, a vicious worry-thought-filled cycle that I couldn’t get out of, thinking I was going to die from something new every week. I then started to talk and confide in friends and family, a psychologist, church, anyone who would listen and these people gave me tools to find my happiness again. PND is so common, you are not alone and it does get better, you just need to find the right person to talk to.
- Believe in you-
You are always right when it comes to your kids, believe in yourself, pat yourself on the back more often. You created a human or two, you are providing them with a home, a bed, food and love, how good is that? There will always be someone with more or less than you, who cares, you are a mum and that is f*ing amazing!
- De- clutter-
Cull the toys, cull the mess, cull your wardrobe, you will feel invigorated. I feel so good when I can’t see mess or clutter. I recently culled a heck of a lot of toys and donated them to a charity, my house is toy-clutter free and the toys have gone to a little child who needs the toys more than my kids.
- Find your friends–
Have a go-to phone call girlfriend, plan a girls night- yep so cliche but just bloody do it! You start to see a glimpse of your old self when you are out without your kids and hit the town with the gals. A good laugh, a fun night and getting dressed up with make for an even better day after with the kids and family when it is all hands on deck again.
- (bakers dozen) Pick your battles-
If the kids have made a huge mess in the lounge room or smeared their dirty hands on the glass window, is it really worth the yelling? Are they hurting anyone? Can you clean it up later? Sometimes it is easier and better for you to breathe in and out and think to yourself ‘I will fix it later’. When your in-laws tell you to do something different or suggest for you to try something that they would do, just breathe in and out and nod, then decide later if that is what you want to do or not. If your child really wants one more biscuit and you have no energy to explain to him that he should be eating a carrot stick, well just do what you need to do to move on. Save your yelling, negotiating skills and stress levels for something worth stressing over.
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