May Happiness Challenge

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Okay so we are not going to pay attention to the fact that this post is a month late………. Two preschoolers + 3 month old baby = BUSY MOM.  It’s cool though.  Hopefully we tried some of the happiness techniques in May to make up for it and now we can do two things in June.  It’s summer break, guys.  We need all the help we can get.

Anyway, for May we are going to try for PATIENCE.  Let’s do this all summer, ya’ll.  Like I said, we need it.

The one area I need patience with is PARENTING.  My 5 year old is going through a phase, or whatever you want to call it, where his attitude is worse than a teenager’s.  All of a sudden he has extra energy, he is louder than normal, and defiant.  Yay.  My 3 year old doesn’t listen at all, and whines every time her brother so much as looks at her.  And my 3 month old is going through a growth spurt, so she is hungry every 2 hours, and clingy the rest of the time.  Oh.  And ALL 3 OF THEM hate naps.  The older two gave them up, and the baby only sleeps about 30 minutes at a time, for like 2 naps.  My house is a mess, my husband is working and taking a summer class, and sometimes I just want to lock myself in a room.

I haven’t gotten to that point yet.  So it’s time to work on some patience.

Here are the things I’m going to do to help myself and be a better mom.

  1. Loosen up on the house.  That doesn’t mean let it go completely… It just means lower your standards a little bit.  Whether it’s getting rid of half of the crap you own or ignoring some of the clutter, letting the dishes wait, and getting dressed from the Laundry Chair for a little while.
  2. Happy place.  Like on Happy Gilmore, only less weird.  Find a happy place and count to 10.  This combination might help you calm down just a little, so you can take a breath instead of reacting with anger and yelling.  Which is the last thing we want to do.
  3. Ground yourself.  Not that kind of grounding.  I mean like the whole mindfulness thing.  It sounds crazy but it helps you center yourself, focus on what’s actually important and find your calm.
  4. Take control.  I completely lose my patience when some things are out of my control.  I don’t like it.  And it’s not like you can always have control in life (control freak, right?) but in parenting you NEED it.  Kids don’t get to have control.  And when they are acting up, and you let them get the best of you by reacting in anger, they win.  Take control of your emotions, take control of the situation, and take control of parenting.
  5. Be consistent.  In everything you do, not just with parenting.  Don’t let anyone make you doubt yourself, especially your kids because they are like vultures that will swoop down on any perceived weakness.  It’s just what kids do.  If the first time they hit, you sit them in time-out, and the next time you ground them, and the next time you get frustrated and yell, they don’t have clear rules.  Kids need clear rules.  Be consistent and they won’t keep testing you so much.  Which equals more patience.
  6. Let it go.  Pick your battles.  Some things are not as big of a deal as you think – it’s more of a power struggle than anything.  Try to recognize these, and be the bigger person than your 5 year old and let it go.  Distraction still works, and sometimes it’s the best option.
  7. Hugs and kisses.  Show them the love they need, all day and even when you’re mad.  It will help both of you calm down and start over.
  8. Play.  Get in the floor and play with them.  Make time for it.  It makes a huge difference in their behavior over time, and I know this from experience.  And it also helps with patience later on.

I’m no expert.  I still barely know what I’m doing half the time, but I think most of us are like that, whether we admit it or not.  The definition for Parenting should just be:  wing it until they move out.  So if you don’t agree with what I’m saying, no hard feelings!  I hope this helps someone and I am ALWAYS open to new ideas.  Parenting is hard, and I’m realizing it gets harder in some ways, over time.  So good luck with your patience, ya’ll!

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