Being a fiery red head, I have quite a short fuse and it doesn’t take much for me to blow. I am terrible at keeping my cool. Honestly, in some situations it is so hard to keep calm, especially when your darling wee munchkins are climbing the walls. The way we choose to react to situations affects us and our children. At the end of the day, we are in control of our own actions and need to set an example for our little ones. With this in mind, I thought I’d share the 5 things I do to TRY and keep calm when faced with the emotional rollercoaster that results from raising my boys.
1. Breathe, just breathe!
Rage begins with a little ball, bubbling in your chest. If it is not tamed it will grow out of control. I imagine it like a kettle boiling. My chest contracts, I feel short of breath, I can’t think straight and all of a sudden… KABOOM! It explodes and it most often starts because I forgot to breathe.
The last thing I want to be is a hyperventilating, red faced mummy mess. I don’t want to go all Tasmanian Devil on their asses so, I must remember to tell myself to BREATHE. Just breathe!
I take several deep breaths in through my nose, releasing them slowly, counting to 10 as I do so. This usually helps to calm me down although, sometimes you are beyond this. Sometimes you need to remove yourself from the situation. Sometimes you just need wine.
2. Space Tames the Wild Beast
If it’s too late and the beast has already emerged, which is quite common in my household, take 5 minutes. Step away from the situation and breathe. I find myself hiding in the cupboard in my living room when I need 5 minutes peace. This has the added benefit of being where I keep my stash of munchies. Chocolate can calm even the wildest of beasts; so will wine.
Another solution would be to just go into the bathroom and lock the door until you have got a handle on your emotions. Tell your kids you’re doing a huge 💩, that’s sure to scare them off. Although, if they are anything like mine, they may want to examine it afterwards. Boys will be boys!
3. A Calming Cuppa
Sometimes all you need is cup of tea or, in dire circumstances, a good strong coffee. I love my Dolce Gusto machine and could not be without it now. Who would have thought that up until 3 years ago I hated the taste of coffee. I never touched the stuff. Now however, a wee cappuccino will always soothe my nerves and help me to keep calm. Taking a step back and sitting down with a cuppa is a good way of re-evaluating any situation. If you combine this with some Techno Time you may even be able to squeeze out an hour to yourself.
4. Techno Time
On days where my boys have driven me so far past the edge that I can’t even see it anymore there is only one thing for it; drink a bottle of wine. Just kidding, kinda! Just fire them on their tablets. I really wish I could be one of those mums who can say I don’t believe in iPads and Tablets but, oh my god, without that time I swear I’d be bald and covered in wrinkles. I’d probably look like a dried up, wrinkly, old prune. In all honesty, I don’t think it is possible to raise children without technology in this day and age. Well, it might be possible but it certainly wouldn’t be fair to them.
I strongly believe that one of the most useful skills a child can have is to understand technology. It is the forefront of our civilisation and to withhold that from them can be detrimental to their learning and social standing within society.
The key to this is control. Set boundaries, limits and restrictions. We bought Tink the Kids Amazon Fire. You can set parental controls which allow for educational time before they even get access to games, social media and YouTube. He has now progressed to a larger Android and Pup uses the Fire. It is a great Tablet for younger children as it has a very child friendly user interface.
If you prefer not to introduce Techno Time there are other ways in which you can distract from the rising storm of rage.
5. Mummy & Me Time
One such way is to just call it all quits and sit down with some books or games; chill time together. Take their minds off whatever was going on. Turn off all phones, TVs and Tablets. Close the curtains, make it cosy and then do whatever they want to do. Whether that be drawing, reading, playing games or building Lego, let them decide but, make sure they know it is quiet time. It’s time to be peaceful and play together with you.
If all this fails just crack open that wine.
Mother, Teacher, Student
Being a mum is amazing! Your life is forever filled with fun, joy and love but it is also challenging. All of a sudden you are in charge of feeding, clothing and protecting this little bundle. It is not an easy feat. The responsibility falls on us and us alone and that is a HUGE thing to comprehend let alone deal with. It is only natural that sometimes we will lose the plot, shout and scream. It is only natural that we let our emotions get the best of us and struggle to keep calm.
We are human. This can’t be helped. What we can do is learn from our mistakes, try and adjust our behaviour and how we approach situations in the future. Children learn from us; they mirror our behaviours and play of our emotions. We are their teacher in life; we are the ones who will mould and shape them into becoming the people they are meant to be.
Every day I am learning what it means to be a parent but I still need to remember to listen to myself. I need to remember to put these tips into practice. My nature has always been to react first, think later. I take after my dad; open my mouth and let my belly rumble. As a parent I am learning to adjust that nature but it will not happen overnight. We may be physically made to carry and birth children but that doesn’t mean we are instantly experienced mums, capable of taking on the world. Like anything else in life, we learn from our family, our surroundings, our actions, heck even Google and Blogs like mine.