Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"When Parenting Meets Chaos" - Pt. 2: No More Shame, No More Guilt

Yesterday’s blog post described my most recent parent chaos situation I faced. If you somehow missed the drama please be sure to catch up by reading it here

Today I want to write about something I think we all face as parents at one point or another, shame and guilt. We are not perfect. Don’t let other parenting blogs or moms fool you and I’m sure each one would agree that they too don’t have it all together. We write because we are passionate about others seeing our mistakes and learning from them and to share a few laughs too. 

I’ve been guilty of keeping my kids from fun because I didn’t want to deal with the aftermath of a mess. I’m a bit OCD and as a planner I like order and when it doesn’t happen I tend to freak out a bit. Well shoot, when will these kids ever get to experiment and have fun? I know. I know. It just wasn’t fair to them and it took my little parenting chaos I described yesterday to make me realize I was inhibiting them from creating fun memories. 

So what’s the core problem? Is it laziness on our part, are we too wrapped up in our own stuff, is it a matter of carving out time? Each of our personalities are different and our schedules and seasons are different so I think this is the first step for us. Figure out what’s the core problem and I think that once we know what that is we can put a plan of action into place to keep us from feeling like failures. 

Today is not about making you feel like a failure or to pour on the guilt if you’ve felt the way I have. Today is about empowering you to think outside the box. It’s about changing the way we think and visualizing an insane amount of memories our children will share with us and with one another. 

So a few practical ideas:

- Carve out time each day for your kids to enjoy some kid to parent time and/or some out of your comfort zone fun. You know your family schedule so you arrange the time but even 30 minutes can be sufficient. 

- Limit your phone use. I love to take pictures of what the kids are doing because it can always turn into a great blog idea or simply serve as memories but once I snap those shots I try to put the phone away and engage with them. 

- Plan, Plan, Plan. If you know your day is filled with laundry, cooking, and all the household chores maybe wake up an hour or two earlier to try to knock some of those things out so you don’t let those tasks over rule the opportunity for some potential fun. 

- Consider "dates" with each one of your kids. Plan it out. Something even as simple as going to the grocery store with one child as oppose to all of them can make that one child feel special. Be creative. My four year old doesn't take naps anymore so while the other two were napping the other day we played her favorite board game and she loved it. It made her feel incredibly special. Not everything needs to be a huge event or cost you money.

- Be prepared for the unexpected. Please note that no matter how prepared you can be plans can still go awry so it’s not always a guarantee but hey it’s better than nothing! Visit tomorrow to catch a glimpse of how to make your own Emergency Kit for the unexpected chaos!

So no more shame and move over guilt! No mom out there is perfect! Figure out what works for you and your family and go with it. Don't try to follow another mom's schedule or routine. It's great to get ideas but don't fall into the trap of "I'm not good enough" because your life doesn't look like someone else's. That's when the shame and guilt creep in. Hang in there mommy, you're doing just fine!

1 comment: