Hey Families, I'm back from vacation from a weeklong trip to visit family in Maryland and ready to dive back into supporting all of you!
How is everyone's summer going go far with your kiddos? What are the times of day that are easiest and most enjoyable for you? And what are the pain-points where you are seriously worrying might drive you crazy?
I'd love to hear your responses below or over on my Facebook page (#FreshStartFamilySummer) so I can support you guys as best as possible. I'm currently in the midst of creating a ton of new content for the blog, new website (yewwwww, coming Nov. 1st!) new membership program, and possible podcast (yes, I think I need to start this, what do you think?), so I would love to hear from you!
Any of these areas got you in a dead end for ideas on how to handle them?
-The Dinner Table
-Breaking the Rules (or not honoring your limits)
-Throwing, Biting, Kicking, Hitting? (oh gosh, this used to really rev my engine!!)
-Nap Skipping or Sleep Drama
-Messes and Not Cleaning Up
You're probably running up against struggles in a lot of these areas, but which areas stand out for you as your biggest challenges during the summer months?
For my local San Diego clients, I'll be teaching a seminar this Thursday night (7/13) on "What to Do When your Kids Drive You Crazy!" (see details below), where we'll go in depth on lots of concepts that will save your sanity and prevent you from becoming a runaway mom (Do you remember that news story from a few years ago when a Mom of a toddler literally ran away? Ha, not gonna lie, I've considered "taking off" for an extended break before!).
Here's a sneak peak of the content we'll be covering...I've included My 3 Fave Tips from Thursday night's material that really do work well to keep our brains from exploding.
#1 - Take Care of Yourself
Oh my goodness families, this is a tough one right? Who has time to take care of themselves when there is laundry to be done, lunches to be packed, diapers to be changed, stories to be read, drawings on the wall to be erased....ugggghhhh, I'm exhausted just writing a tiny bit of the list us parents deal with every single day!
Over the last few months, I've interviewed so many consultants, who I'm bringing on to help with he FSF migration online....and I must say, the ones who didn't have kids kind of made me giggle.
One day, during a meeting, when I was explaining to a consultant that I was a bit overwhelmed with the workload this "online migration" was going to be, he said "Well, what else do you do beside this?" and it kind of took me by surprise so I said "Well, nothing, this is my only job." and he replied "Well, you've got plenty of time, trust me, this will be easy." Later I realized that I should have turned around and looked him square in the eyes and said "My other job is MOTHERHOOD and it's a butt kicker!!! It sucks every second of your time, keeps you up worrying at night and also provides you with countless hours of joy, laughter & play". Seriously, people who don't have kids yet, don't realize how much it changes our lives, right? It's definitely the hardest & most time consuming job I've ever had!
So....back to taking care of ourselves. You see, when it comes to serving others (and parenthood is one giant 18 year+ service from the heart journey), we've GOT to fill our buckets first before we can serve others with joy. This same concept goes when you're flying with kids...when S hits the fan, you NEED to put your oxygen masks on first, then help your children, because you can't help them when you're unconscious!
When it comes to self care, it definitely doesn't just happen. Extra time in the day doesn't just magically "appear" right? So you've got to be proactive about scheduling it and asking your spouse, mom, neighbor, or friends for a hand, so you can get that 10 minute jog in, or 25 minute trip to the grocery store alone (ahhhh, heaven!), or a relaxing 15 minute bath or shower (instead of your usual 3 minute rushed "the colicky babies going to start crying again" routine).
Momma, you DESERVE to honor yourself, your body & your mind with something every day that allows you to take a few deep breaths and feel nurtured. Sometimes this is just buying yourself fresh flowers from the grocery store or picking them from the yard. Tasks like this definitely count too!
#2 - Use Actions, Not Words
If you're anything like me, you talk A LOT in the span of a day to your kids. This is not only exhausting, but I betcha it's driving you crazy! Verbal expression can become redundant to kids and they eventually end up losing attention...remember the Charlie Brown teacher character "Blah Blah Blah Blah"? They will lose interest when we talk too much and then we end up exhausted, frustrated and angry. So take a break from all the words and start using ACTION.
Here's an example....
When your kiddos come home from camp, or vacation bible school, or daycare and throw off their shoes in the living room, instead of saying 'Nuh uh, nope, you know better, your shoes don't go there", simply walk over and pick up their shoes, place them in their hands, look in their eyes, smile & point to the shoe box or closet. Minimize your words to something like "Closet Please" or "Thank You".
Try this and I promise you that you'll feel better and your kids will respond more consistently to you!
#3 - Detach with Love
Detachment is different than ignoring or not caring. Melody Beattie from "The Language of Letting Go" describes it well....
"Sometimes people we love do things we don't like or approve of. We react, They react. Before long, we're all reacting to each other and the problem escalates.
When do we detach? When we're hooked into a reaction of anger, fear, guilt, or shame. When we get hooked into a power play - an attempt to control or force others to do something they don't want to do. When the way we're reacting is hurting us. Often, it's time to detach, when detachment appears to be the least likely, or possible thing to do.
The first step toward detachment is understanding that reacting and controlling don't help. The next step is getting peaceful - getting centered and restoring our balance. Take a walk. Leave the room. Go to a meeting. Take a long, hot bath. Call a friend. Call on God. Breathe deeply, find peace. From that peace and centering will emerge an answer, a solution".
I'm the first to tell you, detachment ain't easy! But it works...and it's good for everyone in the family, especially you Momma. So try it out next time your kids are driving you nuts and see how you feel afterwards...it's pretty magical.
Encinitas Evening Seminar
July 13th: What to Do When Your Kids Drive You Crazy!
Explore why children do the things they do and eight actions you can take when you feel crazy and your household feels chaotic. You will learn actions you can take to handle your feelings and actions you can use directly with your kids (and family, friends, coworkers....these concepts are good for all areas of your life!)
7/13 Encinitas - 111 C St. - 6-8:30pm - Beer, Wine, Kombucha & Snacks provided. Register here.