Stop watching parenting shows, reading parenting books and listening to parenting podcasts.
It's almost impossible isn't it.
All those questions going through your mind. What type of parent am I? Am I good enough?
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.
You're 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 or email to book a parenting consultation and let us help you move from overwhelm to calm.
My eldest turns 21 today. He is having a birthday in isolation. That means no -one over to celebrate, not going out with mates. He's stuck with me and his brother!
It was today 21 years ago that I became a mother (yes that's me and infamous baby who didn't sleep all night until he was 5)....
I'm so proud of him today and I've shared that on Facebook, but your children's birthday's are also a time for personal reflections.
I look at this photo and I see how young and beautiful I looked. I was 32.
Nowdays I am not so young or beautiful, but I am younger and probably more beautiful than what I'll ever be again.
When I was much younger, I loved going out and dancing. Connecting, and just being with the music and the friends and strangers around me. Whether it be ‘sock hops’ at school, listening to pub cover bands, or going to bushdances. It was fun!!
Then for a while, the music stopped. With the unrelenting fatigue that accompanied the jump into motherhood.
There was no more dancing and the isolation of motherhood became real.
The only dancing was the swaying that happened trying to soothe the babies, or the bouncing and rolling around on the Swiss ball as they were jiggled off to sleep.
And then the babies grew and even the swaying disappeared….
The music changes when you become a mother, well it did for me. Suddenly you have children who depend on you, who trust you implicitly (until they become teenagers anyway) and look to you for guidance in everything they do. And often, we don’t have all the answers, we can’t fulfill all their needs, we can’t even fulfill our own needs of sleep, and that sense of failure to be perfect can lead to isolation and times of despair.
So, although I had my mother and my family, and friends, I lost the music.
So how do you get the music back? You start by giving yourself permission to hear it.
When you embrace your imperfections, your authenticity, and follow your life rhythm you find others who resonate with you, who will support you, challenge you and join in your dance.
You may find as I did, when you make a commitment to embrace your vulnerability, you create space to make new soul connections with your family, your friends, each other.
It's OK, it's normal to lose the music, to get overwhelmed, to reach out for guidance and support. I've been there, swaying in the corner, waiting for it to change.
I get it.
Remember we are all connected, and although you may feel it at times, you are not alone.
The music, the dance, the connections are there. Sometimes we just need a little help to rediscover them.
And then you become older and the music and dance, and often connections, change yet again. It's time now, for me again to rediscover what the sound and the movement are for me, in this next stage of my life.
Until next time, take care of yourself.
ps…. And I totally love my children, and always wanted to be a mother, and I will always be their rock and their comfort. They make my heart sing, even when I can't always hear the music.
When you're a busy mum carrying the bulk of the mental load of running a house, raising children and often outside work as well. It's easy to feel disconnected when you are a busy mum; to feel that the life you are leading isn't quite what you expected; to feel unseen, unheard and not valued.
This wasn't what parenting was meant to feel like. That voice inside your head says "I should be spending more time playing with the children, I should be home earlier, I shouldn't yell, I should be calmer."
When you feel that disconnect from how you would like things to be and how they are - where do you start?
In the video I outline one way you can begin to bridge the connection gap. To increase your sense of being valued and create a renewed sense of self.
Working with parents to move from overwhelm to calm is one of the services we offer at Positive Young Minds.
Do you like school holidays? Can you take the time to reconnect these holidays?
Depending on your family they can be a blessing or a curse. A chance to slow down the weekly grind or routine, or a be source of stress as children out of their routine don't know what do with their unstructured time.
Whilst we work on creating a school success schedule, how much work do we put into making school holidays a success?
It is also common for issues such as too much screen time to arise; as well as pressures to organise and clean the house and catch up on everything you didn't get to during the term (I hope that's not just me!),
Just a quick hint - try for some out of the house time each day. Have a look at what your local council, youth group, State parks and libraries have on. You may be surprised at their breadth of activities - particularly for primary school aged children.
A quick walk in your nearest park, a trip on a bus or train somewhere, visiting friends or a picnic in the backyard.
Try and make the time to plant your feet on sand, grass or soil. Try and make time to reconnect with your children and your world.
Your child will spend about 13 years in the education system (not including pre school). If your child struggles with school, or you're just about to enter the school system book a consultation and I can help guide you through the tricky bits of your child's educational journey.
If you prefer to learn on your own time, the Secrets of School Success online self-paced program is opening soon.
With divorce and separation common in our society it can be easy to take it for granted and fail to recognise the stress it provides for children caught in the middle.
The impact this event has on the children involved depends on many factors. These factors can include, the age of the children, how the adults speak to each other, what the adults tell the children, whether the parental split results in a less stressed home environment, the shared care arrangements, and the personality and temperament of the children. There are so many things going on at this time and often children are left to cope in their own emotional turmoil whilst the adults are battling it out.
...imagine how your child may be feeling. ... They don’t know what is going to change, what will stay the same. Where is Christmas going to be? Who is going to come to the school concert? Can they go to a birthday party that is on when it is the other parent’s turn to have them?
* These articles are provided by Kim Ross, Psychologist for general information and education . They are not designed to be used for therapy.. If you are experiencing stress please contact your GP or mental health professional.
Kim Ross is an Online Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds and Private Practice Sustainability.