My journey toward proactive parenting

Naturally, I am a bit of a procrastinator. An example is when I know that I need to get dinner on but before I do, I’ll just quickly hang out the washing, write that email, vacuum the floor, empty the lunchboxes, etc. It’s not that I’m lazy, quite the opposite, I just really struggle with keeping on task and on schedule. I’ll try to squeeze the last minute out of each hour which can mean that everything gets pushed back, I’m constantly in a rush – not to mention exhausted, and my home is not always the calm haven I aspire for it to be.

My friends would tell you I have always been like this, running 1000 miles an hour at any given moment, and, although my Mum calls me “superwoman”, I have no superpowers to enable me to sustain or survive such a pace and burn out was inevitable. Burn out looks different for different people and for me it came in the form of severe acne that lasted for around 3 years after a lifetime of spot-free skin. The 20 years of chronic stress that I chose to ignore came to bite me in the arse face, and it was a MASSIVE and very necessary wake up call.

Over the past 4 years, I have shifted my focus inward, nurturing myself from the inside so that I can, in turn, nurture those around me. I enrolled in a brilliant Mindfulness course and immersed myself in yoga and started to meditate. My diet was already pretty good but the fast-food I was feeding my mind and spirit needed a revival. Becoming more present and focussed has literally been life-changing for me. The adrenaline and cortisol that was my fuel took months to quieten, with a constant feeling of urgency a reminder of the place from where I had come.

As you can imagine, being last-minute and disorganized with kids was hugely stressful. It is hard enough to get little ones out the door when mama is organized so when she is not - well what was to be expected?!  I found that I was getting angry at my kids when the truth was, it was me failing at the hurdle 😥. That was a really hard pill to swallow, taking ownership of being the one that was making things so much more difficult than they needed to be.

As much as I like to believe I can wing it, my clarity and confidence is next level when I am organized. When I know what needs to be done by when and by whom, watch out world! That feeling when dinner is sorted, we’re on time, snacks are in the bag and I’ve packed the spare socks? Holy heck I am winning!

 

If you feel like you’ve got some wiggle room to be a bit more proactive in your parenting, here are the top tips that have helped me with my shift.

  • Self -care. Take care of yourself, mama. Give yourself time, space, hugs, fresh air, exercise, and nourishment.
  • There is never enough time to get it done so figure out what must be done and work backward from there.
  • Schedule and plan ahead. When you have figured out your priorities, schedule them in, and write them down.
  • Affirm and reaffirm. There is no point in having a schedule if you can’t see it! Put it somewhere that keeps it in sight and in mind. Our A4 Magnetic Frames were designed for this very reason so consider displaying your schedule where you can see it on your fridge or whiteboard. If you would like a template for a schedule, take a look at our range of printable planners and charts 
  • Allow a buffer. Give yourself some space between tasks to allow for any surprises and to take off the heat
  • I always say to my kids that the most important thing is that they have fun, but it is SO easy to forget that as adults don’t you think? We are allowed to enjoy ourselves and should be encouraged to do so! I’m not just talking about having fun by going out with your mates but taking the opportunity to make everyday tasks less menial and more marvelous! An example is playing music that you enjoy while you are cooking dinner. This one simple thing has made this part of my day so much more enjoyable and it gives me a chance to “pump up the jam” with my kids 😅

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