Let me start off by saying my children are happy. No one in my life would consider me a bad Mom. I do not consider myself a bad Mom. But I feel off. I don’t feel like I’m giving my all in my role as a stay at home Mom [which I am 93% of the time]. In fact, I’ve felt more impatient, run-down, and crabby than I have since Lily was born. The reason? Who knows. I’m still not sleeping through the night [thank you Lily], I’ve got two toddler boys pushing the limits and boundaries when it comes to the word, “no,” and yes, I know I’m trying to do too much— between running a happy household and my Mom to Mom Nutrition business.
I came to this realization of wanting to become a better self, a better Mom, after a long, LONG Tuesday. From our weekly church playgroup, to a doctor appointment that involved 3 wild kiddos in one small office, to Joey getting kicked out of karate for not listening, I reflected on things I could change that would not only impact my mood and behavior, but hopefully help Mr. Joey when he’s having a little rebellious moment.
So here it is: a few things I’m doing NOW with the hope that they guide me to becoming a better self. A better ME for my family.
Waking up earlier. My kids start their day anytime between 7:00 and 8:00am. I too, have started my day when I hear the little feet run down the hallway and end up on my side of the bed. But I can tell you that if I have that 30-40 minutes ALONE, with a hot cup of coffee, before anyone else wakes up, I am in a better mood and ready to the tackle what our day might bring. I’m currently consciously setting an alarm for 6 or 6:30am, with the goal of enjoying that hot cup of coffee and my morning news or sport shows solo!
Unplugging for most my day. This one is hard for me. My cell phone is my lifeline. It’s what keeps me in contact with the non-toddler world. It is also the way I stay active with my business, through consistent Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and SnapChat posting. BUT, I can tell you that when I’m on my phone, my kids misbehave. They act out with each other or do something they know I won’t approve of. So if you notice I’m not responding to a text or an email for some time, just know I’m doing it for the health and happiness of my family. I promise I’ll get back to you within 48 hours!
Making time for me. I feel like I do a fairly good job of setting up playdates or dinner dates with friends. But lately I’ve felt like I’m not doing anything for me. JUST ME. I shared with Ted I need some time with myself, whether that be a workout class or a walk after dinner. So while I have wanted to use the time the boys are at their school program for things like work, I’ve decided to take some of that time for a little 1:1 with myself. Again, that being a walk, workout class, or heck, cooking just for fun! Or perhaps a long HOT shower alone!
Focusing on the positive. One reason I love our weekly church mom and tot playgroup is that the group is filled with moms who have children of different ages, hence differing advice. We can be open and share our struggles, and give one another a few laughs when we are going through the same bedtime or snack time struggles. This past week a few of the moms were talking about the importance of positivity and compliments when it comes to communicating with your children. While it’s SO easy to say, “no!” or, “stop doing that,” it’s just as easy to turn the tide and turn a positive into a negative. While I was SO mad Joey wasn’t listening to his coach at karate, when we came home and he listened to my request to come to the table for dinner, I made sure to thank him for listening… patience mommas, I need as much as I can get!
Eliminating the bribes. Yep, I’ve bribed with food. I’ve bribed with TV. And what I’ve found is that a bribe here and there easily becomes a routine. I’m not sure if this one makes sense… but for me the most bribes happen at mealtime and bedtime. If you stay in your bed you’ll get a show in the morning. If you try your X you’ll get more of the Y you love! Just being the honest registered dietitian Mom here. And kids will behave a certain way because they think they’ll get a reward, not because they think it’s the right thing to do. I WANT my kids to do things or behave a certain way because it IS the right thing to do.
While I’m sure there are 100 other things I could do to better myself as a mom, these are a few I can focus on now.
Let’s chat: What things do you consciously work on or strive for to become a better mom?