I was looking at old home videos today, and I noticed I really miss those days when my children were little and just wanted to be with me.
And, I also remember how isolating many of those days were. How hard it can be responding to unrelenting love and need for attention.
I'm not going to tell you that one day you'll look on those demanding days and miss them, because it doesn't help. Your smart, you know this, but right now in this moment, when you just ache for some time for yourself without the guilt you feel as your youngest child runs down the driveway telling you to come back because they miss you... now is not the time to tell you you'll miss it.
What I can do is help you not carry that guilt that is trying to follow you down the driveway...
Having a child cry that they want you to come back, does not make you a bad mother. Having a child scream that they hate you, does not make you a bad mother. Having a child kick out at you because they don't want to be in their car seat, does not make you a bad mother. Having a child refuse to go to school, does not make you a bad mother. It sure has heck feels like it sometimes though....
I'll let you in on a secret, well it's not really a secret, but it does seem to be something that people don't talk about much.
Some children are more difficult to look after than others.
They're the ones who don't want to go to sleep, who don't want to eat the food you make, who are quick to anger or cry. It doesn't make you love them any less, but they are harder work.
And it's OK to accept this fact.
You may even find that letting go of the idea that it is your fault your children are difficult and accepting what is, helps lessen the feeling of guilt that is following you around..
If this is something you struggle with, we are here to help. Simply call us on 0408533515 or email email@example.com to book a parenting consultation and let us help you move from overwhelm to calm.
ps if you don't have it yet, click here to access your free resource to take the first step to move from Overwhelm to Calm.
I chatted with Nonie Carr, psychologist yesterday about how to manage the stress and anxiety that can accompany doing a VCE performing arts subject.
Being a parent is tough. If you want help in moving from overwhelm to calm, click the below button
Schools are bureaucracies, and like most bureaucracies they run better without consumers.
Bureaucracies aren't designed to create warm, fuzzy feelings or to create heart felt connections. So there is an ongoing challenge there between engagement, interaction, and connection. We know students learn better when they feel welcomed and part of a school community. As do parents. We want to trust our schools, and the teachers who take care of our children. But there is a problem here...
Schools are bureaucracies. They are complex forms of organisations, they have policies and procedures, legal responsibilities, specialised functions, a system of control and a strict chain of command.
Doesn't scream connection does it...
I say this with a clear sense that teachers generally care for their students and want to help them achieve their best. But notwithstanding this.....
I've heard the saying in quite a few of the organisations (not just schools) I have worked for over the years that everything would run so much better if there were not customers / clients / consumers / students.
As a parent navigating the system I know I've found it difficult over the years to understand the 'chain of command', who to speak to about what, who has the responsibility for what? There are sub schools, home group, care group, well being coordinators, subject coordinators, subject leaders, lead teachers as well as a number of different assistant principles and classroom teachers. And your school may have different labels for teachers.
If we can work through the maze of labels and start developing a working relationship we can develop a trust of sorts.
However, don't lose sight of reality.
In the past I have been caught out when I realised that all the school meetings I had attending were not recorded, there were no official minutes being taken, even though notes were being typed up and verbal commitments made.
Don't make the same mistake as me
Schools are bureaucracies. And in a bureaucracy if it isn't written down, it didn't happen.
Insist on official records of meetings. Take notes when you speak with people at the school. Leave an email trail. Create accountability. Because it can be too easy for the caring to get lost and for those fragile connections to be broken.
About the Author. Kim is a private psychologist who loves working collaboratively both online and in real life with other professionals and is passionate about increasing connection in the community.
ps, As a mum there are many things in this parenting journey that can contribute to overwhelm if you are looking for a step from to help reduce the overwhelm and move towards calm here is a handout that may help . https://mailchi.mp/f009b27939b3/fromoverwhelmtocalmthefirststep
Creating connection involves stepping out of our comfort zone, making changes to how we think and what we do. But it is crucial if we are to combat this scourge of loneliness that surrounds us, that contributes to isolation, mental health difficulties and suicide.
So I'm stepping into this mission I have to help you create connections with yourself, others and the greater world. I can't sit by and just accept what is impacting on all of us.
It is through strengthening these connections that we raise the positive energy around us that we all need.
I welcome you to come along on this journey with me.
Today I'm sharing a little video that shows how we can all make a difference, straight away, today with not adding any extra time chores to our list...because we all have way too many as it is.
* My aim is for these posts is meant to useful, interesting and/or inspiring. They are not designed to be used for therapy.. If you are experiencing stress please contact your GP or mental health professional.
Kim Dunn is a Child Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds.