Too often we question / doubt / worry about our parenting. Let’s face it this is understandable, it is a flaming mine field. Just as you figure one thing out they are on to something else. So this week is about doing the opposite. Celebrating a piece of your parenting genius – that moment you duped your 3 year old that it was a raisin in your mouth not their leftover Xmas chocolate, a piece of advice that was well received, that day when you actually appeared to have an ounce of control.
I had a really great day last week – I think I have turned a corner on the whole new baby bubble / coping with three on my own front.
Now I considered not mentioning this for fear of appearing to gloat. But I know us women tend to avoid shouting about our own achievements, in a work and home context, so I will be taking a dose of my own medicine and revelling in the glory.
It went a bit like this; 15 minutes each of meditation and pilates to start followed by lots of stories on the sofa snuggled under a blanket with a mug of pep me up ginger tea. You see we have an early bird in our family. We have done all sorts to try and stop MBK from getting up while it’s so dark but this week I decided to stop fighting it and start embracing it. It’s not that I advise getting up any earlier to fit this kind of stuff in, sleep is as important for health as anything else (unless of course you are already getting plenty or just like getting up early – in which case you are welcome to stay at ours anytime). But I am a big believer in reviewing regularly the routines and habits we find ruling our lives. This is particularly true with children I think since a) they change constantly so need different things and b) as parents we are often so tired that thinking and trying new things won’t be top on the priority list. So chances are you are still battling on with at least one routine that just needs completely abandoning?!
Anyhow, I digress. I am pretty self aware and know that a sense of control and order to my day stops me feeling stressed. I absolutely love watching and learning how all 3 develop and particularly when it involves anything creative. So playing to my strengths and being aware of my needs, I have started planning our days a little better. This often involves me getting some activities ready the night before (I am a real geek). We often don’t stick to the plan, I like going wherever their imagination and my coffee needs take us, but having a plan at least means that when HBK needs feeding and the other two are becoming pesky, I have a huge tub of playdough at the ready.
This might sound ridiculous but I also set myself some goals for the day. It’s not that it matters if I don’t do them but it stops me using that precious 10 minutes to browse Instagram and ensures I give myself credit for really good days. So I had a few phone calls to make, I wanted to try and get at least 15 minutes with each of them one on one, I wanted to read the new library books. Somehow all of this happened plus homemade peanut butter cookies (again Helmsley and Helmsley – they were really good) and coffee out with a friend.
It really helps that HBK is now feeding with a little more regularity and we have passed (for now) the phases that both others have had around adjusting to her arrival. I even managed to get a few hours on the business tonight and GBK and I had at least one conversation. Now I am well aware that there will still be days on the other end of the scale. Only a week ago did I have an incident where WBK did a poo just as we were getting back in the car after a wet & windy park trip. With HBK screaming for her lunch I hurriedly tried to do it on the front car seat, dropping the nappy bag containing said dirty nappy onto the curb whilst I got WBK sorted. When I turned back round the wind had blown it over and poo wipes were being thrown nicely across the road. I’m not proud of what happened next…
However, things are feeling fairly balanced and for that I am so grateful. I try to choose my attitude every morning, my meditation is definitely helping me remain positive and empathetic. Exercise and whole food healthy eating are keeping my energy levels up throughout the day. We are continually reviewing how we get the mundane things done and challenging ourselves on what needs to change. We are having fun.
Importantly I am setting reasonable expectations of myself and celebrating the small things. For this week, sorry, day – I am a parenting genius!
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