If you have kids who are school-aged, weekdays can feel like you’re going deep-sea diving without a scuba tank or gear:
You wake up, inhale and dive right in (breakfast, lunches, clothes, etc.), lead your gang to do what’s required for the day, swim fast and furiously once they’re off (work, meetings, errands) come up for air briefly (lunch, walk, exercise), and then plan the next dive (meal plans, activities, etc.). Rinse and repeat daily.
Sounds about right?
And when you come up for air, there’s that constant critical noise from friends, colleagues, bloggers, facebookers who are dishing out the ‘best advice’ on what you should or shouldn’t be doing… All too often, these ‘advic-ey’ people are ‘sans’ kids and come across as knowing what’s best for you. But the truth is:
Only YOU know what’s best for you.
And other people’s ‘shoulds’ only end up unnecessarily raising a bar you’ve probably already set high enough.
Like you, I give a damn about my quality of life, and my kids’. So I’m not going to step on a soapbox and rant and rave about what your life should look like. Rather, let me share some of my truths and hope they’re useful to you. Read on and let me know your thoughts in the comments.
In some families, active moms and dads have less than 60 minutes a day of focused non-parent, non-work, non-home, non-family time. Let that sink in: Just 60 minutes left at the end of the day when there’s no more juice left to squeeze out of your lemon and to relax.
To survive those crazy days and weeks (no one is a superhero, we all have them) I’ve used simple and effective strategies that have truly prevented shit from hitting the ‘fam’.
As you read this, take a breather to reflect about your everyday life and how to meaningfully design days and habits that replenish rather than drain, especially when life is busy.
Mantras to save sh*t from hitting the ‘Fam’,
Relieve Stress and help you Live More while Raising Children
1) Slow the Efff Down!
Right now, my life’s crazy-whack with my girl starting grade 1, my boy in daycare, a house on the market with daily showings at supper and bedtime, a growing business (awesome but busy), classes to attend and homework to do, friends and family to see before we move across the country (see how that’s helping me raise more grateful kids here)… And that’s the Coles’ Notes.
When life speeds up like mine has of late, the best way to actually get somewhere in one piece is to slow the eff down. Because when we live in the fast lane 24/7, we miss everything that’s beautiful in life. We forget to laugh, be silly, be grateful for our abilities, resourcefulness, our surroundings, our closest peeps and the beauty found only in the smallest things.
By doing one thing, one step at a time without having your mind on what’s next (this is hard work!), you’ll discover beautiful things that you’d otherwise overlooked. Try it and slow the eff down!
Next, this Parents’ Mantra: “This Too Shall Pass”…So be present when it’s happening.
When you had your firstborn, someone probably told you ‘this too shall pass’. It’s the one thing that’s true for all kids as they grow up. And the thing is, it’s true for us too.
Every moment is brief, even the good ones.
Like fun things, every moment of pain or stress will come and go. This week, my body felt tense and stressed. Thankfully I knew this stress wasn’t me, just something that would pass. Knowing that, I rested, took some down time, was kind and non-judgemental to myself (harder than it seems) and the amazing result is that I’m feeling better!
As we come up for air during life’s busy spells, it’s important to focus not just on what we’re doing to move ‘ahead’, but why and how we do things. To take time to choose how we think, react, speak, act, and how much fun we have.
And to remember that…
3) If you’re going to do it any way, you might as well do it the fun way.
This is my favourite mantra. Whatever I’m living, I add always add an element of fun to it. Family’s stressed out after the day? We play Zoo Screams in the car, when each one of picks an animal and with windows closed, we roar like a lion or bark like dogs crazily loud. This always cracks everyone up and releases the stress. Or, we talk in silly voices, sing made-up songs and play with our food by making vegetable people on our plates.
And I do mean we – because it’s only fun when the grown ups join in the fun too. 🙂
Make this mantra yours over the next few days. Share a story about how doing something ‘the fun way’ has helped you to not only have more fun, but also bond more with your life, your kids and your people closest to you.
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Why? Because you’re awesome my mission is to help YOU kick butt in life as a parent… Which sometimes required a bit of gentle ass kickin’ to keep us in gear, ya know?