How to be a calm mom?
But first tell me, can parenting and calmness go hand in hand?
Well, I’m anything but a calm parent. In fact, patience never really has been one of my virtues. Obviously, things didn’t change overnight once I became a mom. Though I would have loved it had that happened. But apparently, you still stay the same restless person on transitioning to motherhood. Anyway. As expected, I’m one of those moms who takes virtually no time to fly off the handle. Honestly, I don’t blame myself for that either but trust me when I say this, it isn’t a good feeling at all.
When you have literally no time to waste, a home, a kid and a job to take care of, the reaction is quite natural wouldn’t you say? With the kind of work and physical stress, I am under every other day, even the smallest of things become big enough to aggravate me. But what happens then is that I often end up yelling at M. Yes, my 2-year-old when I really don’t want to. Try as I might to stay calm, I eventually end up scolding her or reprimanding her a little too much. And then the guilt trip is not pleasant at all. Honestly, I don’t really want to be that mom, that volatile person who others might have to tiptoe around just because I’ve had a long hard day.
But what can I do?
I cannot change my daily schedule or stop doing all the things that I am or the things that I have to. I already have all the help I can hire but even that doesn’t seem to be enough. So, within my constraints, what can I change? What can I change that after a long hard day of work, I don’t yell at my 2-year-old who herself spends the whole day at the daycare? How to be a calm mom?
I don’t really want to be that mom, that volatile person who others might have to tiptoe around just because I’ve had a long hard day.
Maybe looking at the triggers will help?
One of the things that get on my nerves is when I don’t find the time to read or to just focus on me. That happens when M takes a long time to sleep. What happens then is when she eventually does fall asleep, I’m too exhausted to read or do anything that interests me. Basically, I find myself shortchanged for time for myself. Perhaps what I need to do is try to put her to bed earlier than I do after a warm bath? I have done enough reading on the internet and spoken to enough mothers from daycare to know that it takes time for a kid to fall into a routine. Maybe I need to work on that aspect. The thing with me sometimes is that when a plan works for 2 days but doesn’t for the next few I stop especially when it has to do with M. So, maybe this time I just need to keep at it till M adjusts to this. Well, sounds like a plan, doesn’t it? Once she goes to bed early, I think I can find some me time after all the chores? Well, let’s revisit this after a few months, shall we?
The other thing which probably leads to me losing my calm is that I’m a Type A person. So, I need everything to be done on time, in a particular order, well, my order and always, always by me! What happens then is I don’t take a break in between chores. This means that when M becomes cranky or doesn’t let me do things as I planned, I get irritated and end up scolding her when there really is no need of it. My husband often tells me that nobody can help me because I’m just not open to being helped. And, as hard as it is to admit, he is right. Don’t tell him though! So, maybe I need to teach myself that with a 2-year-old in tow, I need to work around her mood. And more importantly, I don’t have to wait till every chore is completed before taking a break. Small breaks in between are the key. Again, let’s see if I can work on it.
I think it will do me good to split my time. I can’t do everything together. I cannot do my work and also be with M. I cannot do the household chores and focus on M at the same time. Everything needs to done around M, around being a mom. I’m not saying I’ll have to stop doing the things I love to do or need to do for me because that’s important too. It’s just that I’ll have to plan things around M because it’s not her fault that I have so much on my plate. Also, because I need to be a happy mom and not end up being a cranky mom, a cranky person.
I know things are not going to change overnight but it also doesn’t mean they never will. Just like mindfulness is something which I have been working on as a mom, being calm, not losing my temper at every little thing and most importantly not taking out my stress on M, is something I’m going to need to work on. Well, wish me luck!
Let me know if you have any tips for me.