When I first became a mum 9 years ago, I felt completely helpless and out of control. Everyone everywhere seemed to know better about mothering my baby – Everyone except me. I recall frowning at my mother in law when she urged us on having another child (ha!)
Fast forward to today, I have not 1 but 4 kids. Having more kids mean playing different roles to meet each child’s needs. I am a confidant to my eldest girl, a disciplinarian to my middle kids and a milk cow to my baby boy all at the same time. Yet surprisingly, it isn’t quite as tough as when I first held my eldest girl in my arms. While there is no magic formula to making things work for mums (or kids for the matter), there are some helpful strategies which you may find useful. You will be surprised how effortless some of them may be. In fact, most of them won’t require you to lift a finger!
This is one of the best things you can do for yourself (and your family) without physically doing anything. A positive mind helps you to keep things in perspective. So as much as possible, keep your train of thoughts straight and block out negativity and toxic people.
The biggest cause of disappointment is a huge expectation. While we all want our kids to be among the cream of the crop, we need to recognise our kids’ unique strengths and weaknesses. Setting unrealistic goals is both painful and unhealthy for your kids and your relationship with them.
Focus on the good
Like it or not, our precious bundle comes with their own set of good and not-so-fantastic stuff to deal with. My 5yo is such a darling – he is witty and takes after his daddy’s charm… unfortunately, he also takes after his daddy’s fiery temperament. A screaming preschooler is never a lovely sight but that is what we deal with day in and day out. Instead of dragging another trigger to set off another avalanche, we try to keep the kid distracted with what he is good at -be it helping with easy chores or giving him simple task to complete. Pointing out and highlighting the positive helps the kid to believe that they are capable of greater good.
Choose your battles
Don’t fret over the small stuff. Sometimes we pay too much attention to tiny details that we forget the big picture. A textbook example of this would be over checking and over correcting your children’s homework. While it it especially tempting to correct every error, overdoing it may not be in the kid’s best interest. We need to remember that the purpose of practise papers is to learn from one’s mistakes. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to ask if your child needs help instead of checking every piece of work – that’s the teacher’s job With the spare pocket of time you get from over-checking, you could catch a breather or spend it on more fun times with the kids.
There are so many to do, so little time and we all only have 1 pair of hands. So as much as possible, my hubby and I try to keep things simple. Be in stocking up on regular supplies so we do less grocery trips or sending our kids to childcare and schools near home to save travelling time, we are all for fuss-free arrangement. We are careful with our selection of household products too. From 3-in-1 instant coffee to 8-in-1 Darlie Double Action MultiCare toothpaste which allow us to reap more benefits in every brush; any product that can help us save time, gain more with less and is yet reasonably priced is very much preferred!
Keep their hands full
If your kids are out of hand, keeping them busy is probably a good strategy. Play a sport together, go for a dip or if your kids are into art and craft, get them started on a crafty projects. An engaged child is a lot more manageable that a bored and attention-seeking kid.
Teach them Social Skills
As much as possible, seek to live peacefully with the people around you. Our children pick up social skills by observing how we interact with others. So if you want less drama at home, try to keep drama at bay. If you have more than one kid, try not to step in too quickly to resolve an argument. Encourage the kids to negotiate, provide alternatives and learn to play together. Having the kids to play among themselves also means more me-time for us mummies!
Be it 3 or 30, we all screw up sometimes, so forgive quickly. Dwelling too long on a bad mum or bad wife moment isn’t going to help matters much. Instead, pick yourself up, and move on.