Lets face it, parenting and working from home can be wonderful. But also uhhhhm- TERRIBLE?
Trying to find the ability to balance work and home life, is sometimes near impossible with lots of bumps along the way. I’ll say it how it is, the good, the bad, its all true, its all happened over here. ALL of it. Kids go to school to learn, we have kids and guess what? We’re back in school all over again.
Here are some methods I have been practicing. I would never say I am the perfect Mom, but hell I do try. I embrace the happy moments, and sob in my bubble bath in the dark too.
Ok, so the famous NO.. ask yourself how many times a day you say no- then ask how many times a day you say yes. I’m guessing it’s 100-0. I’ts ok, I know your sitting there saying shit- yep that’s me. Challenge it! Obviously there needs to be some guidelines here. Bedtimes, buying toys, teeth, CANDY. Children will eat it for breakfast, before bed, barf, then eat it again. Right!? Saying yes to things that would get an automatic NO, opens your mind to what exactly they are really asking you. ‘Mom, can I use the broom?’ In my head- big fat NO, because I know why he wants to use it. He wants to tape the broom handle across his door way, along with his loaded nerf guns attached to each side. A taped piece of paper to the door with an entire bottle of nail polish poured on it for a ‘trap’ so he can attack his brother when he comes anywhere near his room. BUT… maybe he just wants to sweep?
Ask questions before you say yes, ask why, and do it HAPPILY. Let them feel ok for asking. Give them that chance that they are asking for. The chance to try something new, to learn through play, to be a kid. Now obviously it can’t always be a yes, but really ask yourself- what is the real reason you are saying no all the time? Is it more convenient to say no? So they wont interrupt anymore, so you can keep focusing on work instead? News flash; they will keep asking. Either fully explain the no, or agree to ‘come see this’ because really that’s all they want, and it will only be a short amount of time. That will fulfill their needs and they will feel the importance they deserve.
The dreaded tablet debate. Some may think that it’s not a wise parenting choice. WHY? Letting your child completely zone out from reality, where they can’t function as humans, or go to the bathroom?Where Elsa and Spiderman have an entire episode about her lost panties? That doesn’t sound so bad does it? Yeah, it’s that bad. But let’s face it, these things aren’t going anywhere, and sometimes we need that break. Say YES. Yes, to an allotted amount of time every day after school or whatever suits your work schedule best. Monitoring what they are watching or playing of course. Now They have something to look forward to, and they also know it’s only for a certain amount of time. They also know they must act like humans again afterwards. You can then dedicate that time to catch up on emails or work you are behind in, which creates more routine for you and your children. I’ve even caught my darling angels sitting close beside each other on their tablets, where their leg skin was sticking together and there wasn’t even a complaint. – Bonding! How lovely.
I’ll admit I’m not entirely sure of the exact meaning of this method although I did study it in a recent parenting program- let’s just say I like the sound of the two words together.
Don’t touch, don’t do that, leave him alone, give that back, on and on and on- how exhausting. My refereeing can cause me to nap at times, coma like napping.
If there is no need to intervene- don’t. If it is argument where its about a disagreement, why do we need to figure it out for them? We don’t. They do. They need to figure out a better solution, a way to talk to each other using better words. I’ve become that annoying mother that speaks in that fake mom voice when you’re in public ‘Use kind words please’ inside your blood is boiling, but outside you look calm, like you’ve got your shit together. Know when the right time to step in is, observe and see how they handle it on their own- you’d be surprised when you peek around that corner. Thinking you will witness a small crime scene blood n all, but only to find two little boys laughing about who’s poo stain in their underwear is bigger.
Be a kid.
Hey I know were all old now, we’ve got bills, dishes, and some hair that may even scare the boogie man himself. But who’s to say we can’t have a dance party in the kitchen while making dinner, seeing who can do the best goat scream, or a matching socks party? (shh that ones a trick) My kids throw socks in the air until they land on the living room chandelier, and then of course we do the matching.
These moments don’t take long. Sometimes only minutes, which isn’t a lot out of our day. To our kids, these aren’t minutes, they are memories. Take silly pictures, laugh, play with toys, pretend to know just exactly what those numbers on the Pokémon cards mean. What do they mean!? Let them see that silly side of you, you will find you connect with your child on a different level, which again is creating more memories for you both.
Take your time before bed.
BEDTIME what a scary word. I know you all agree. Tooth•brush•ing; The action or routine small humans refuse to do. Toothpaste will be splattered on mirrors, floors, and completely rinsed off the brush before the brushing begins. Also involving charts where parents are bribed to give their children 80 gold stars for one good tooth brushing. Going pee- what a chore right. Pajamas- hopefully I picked out the right ones that aren’t ‘hot ones’ or ‘crunchy ones’ hell I’m wrong if I picked out any at all, as sleeping in undies seems to be the fad around here. Drinks-‘that’s old water’ ‘there’s floaties’ ‘that’s not the right cup’ then the water spills in the sheets. F%$@.
Sorry if I gave you a burst of anxiety there. CHILDREN Bedtime is the time before bed where everything is extra slow and extra dramatic. The time where they need to unravel, where they want to discuss their day, where they want to do math equations instead of counting sheep. Most of all, time they want with YOU.
Put down that phone, remove work from your brain. Be present. Listen to those simple little stories that mean the world to them. Discuss the day, focus on the good, and make sure you give them a good huggle before you tuck them in. (hug+snuggle). No matter how hectic that day was, they need to go to bed happy, so they can wake up happy of course! (insert loud fake laugh here)
I do try these methods daily, no they don’t always go as planned. In fact they rarely do. As long as they know I am trying to understand them and most of all take the needed time for them. After all , they think the world of me.
“I love my mom because she makes cakes”
Photo credit: Maria Maria Photo