I’m so done.
I’m done with saying the same thing twenty times, I’m done with feeling like I jump from one kid crisis to the next, and I am done with it all!
Something has to give. I if I don’t find a way to lessen my load it will bury me.
That’s how I am feeling right now.
Something has to change, and I know from experience that the change that will make the biggest difference, is a change in me.
I took a huge weight off my shoulders by deciding to care less about minor things at the start of the year, and now I’m doing the same with parenting.
I am lightening my load, I am making parenting easier by deciding not to worry about these five things:
I’m going to stop worrying about bed time.
If everyone is tired, and the day is going to hell in a hand basket, and the one thing I can manage is getting dinner on the table and getting everyone off to bed early, then that’s what will happen. Likewise, if we are running a little late with dinner, or everyone is happily engaged with something calm and enjoyable after dinner, then getting to bed even half an hour later won’t hurt anyone.
I make sure my kids have enough time to sleep, I help them to relax and encourage them to get enough sleep, but I don’t need to micromanage sleep any more, and worrying about bedtimes and hours slept is not helpful, so I’m ditching it.
I’m going to stop counting screen time hours.
My kids love their screen activities, but they also love lots of other activities. Sometimes the stuff they do with screens needs limiting, and sometime it doesn’t. Sometimes I need to tell them to put their screens away and do something else, but I don’t need to keep a constant tally of how much screen time each kids has had each day or week. I never manage to keep accurate counts anyway and the it turns into a huge argument and we just don’t need another battle.
I’m giving up counting screen time. The new rule is – if we think you’ve had enough screen time we’ll give you a warning and then we’ll tell you to turn it off, we will accept polite negotiations, but once a limit is set it’s set.
I’m going to stop caring about how messy their bedrooms are.
They have to pick up their rooms so they can be vacuumed once a week (or so), they have to make sure to keep their stuff in their own space (our kids have shared bedrooms), and the ‘no food in the bedrooms’ rule still stands… but what happens within those guidelines is no longer my concern.
Ok, I’ll be honest, it still concerns me, but I’m working on just shutting the door and letting it go!
I’m going to stop stressing over food.
If we eat the same dinner 6 times in a month, I don’t care.
If you don’t want what we are having for dinner, that’s fine there is fruit or yoghurt if you are hungry, get it yourself.
If I pick up cinnamon donuts for afternoon occasionally, that won’t kill us.
If you choose to pack nothing buy rice crackers in your lunch box, so be it.
It’s my job to offer good healthy food (most of the time), it’s not my job to make my kids eat it and I will remember that!
I’m going to stop putting myself dead last.
The season for always being within arms reach of my kids has passed. I can go away for a weekend occasionally, I can go for a walk on my own, I can ask the kids not to interrupt me every five minutes when I am working, and I can tell them to ‘shut the door, go away, and let me play candy crush in peace for half and hour’, and I will.
I will remember that it is good for my kids to see me looking after myself. It is good for them to see me working hard, and following my passions, and enjoying friendships. These are all things I want to role model for my kids and I can’t do that if I never do make time to do any of them. I am ditching the guilt and putting myself on the list.
Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything?
What do you need to ditch to lighten your load a little?
If you are trying to juggle family life, be a decent parent, and still find time for yourself, you might like these posts :
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
This school year I have explained to both my boys (almost 5 and 7) at what time we will leave the house for school. Showed it on the clock. Before it’s time to leave I expect them to eat breakfast, get dressed, and have their shoes on. No more in between comments trying to get them to move a bit faster. I sometimes say: how much time have we left…that’s it. First 2 mornings they had to get used to this new way…but now …we are all in a much better mood in the morning. In the afternoon…I now follow the tip from one of the other articles…I save the questions about their day until we are home :-) bike trip home is way more fun now.
That little tip of saving the question till later is a great one. It took me years to figure that out! LOL
Oh I am so with you. I am so exhausted and tired at the moment. This is just what I need to read today! Thanks
Oh my. I can relate to aaaaall of this Kate. I have trouble letting go of the food thing. I’m a bit hung up on having them eat well and get annoyed when I’ve put MY precious time into foods that don’t get eaten or appreciated. It frustrates me. And I have to set screen boundaries because it just gets out of hand otherwise. But with the rest I 100% concur. Messy rooms I can live with. Me time is non-negotiable (it was reassuring to read your thoughts on this – we are perfectly within our rights to put our needs ahead of others from time to time!) And so long as I get my me time I’m not so stressed about what time they go to bed. So long as I can get on with MY evening lol. Mine are 7 and 10.
Jacinta Marriner says
I’ve come to the conclusion that “clean” is not possible. “Clean” is an absolute. Are my floors “clean”? No. Are they cleanER? Yes. I now aim for cleanER rather than clean!
Or ‘clean enough’…. is my floor clean enough? Yep!
Love this perspective, thanks so much for sharing!
One thing I’m working on that I’ve learnt from my husband is to be more fun. Instead of nagging that it’s time to get dressed or clean teeth I try to make it into a game or a race. Who can clean teeth first, or I pretend I’m going to put a pile of clothes in the drawer before I come back to help my three year old daughter get dressed, saying she’s ‘not old enough to do that on her own yet’ then show huge surprise when she has already got dressed on her own. Reverse psychology really works for us. We’re swapping cuddles and high fives for stress and nagging.
Using humour and fun is an awesome idea! I tend to sing things like an opera singer when the situation is tense or no one is listening! Makes my kids roll their eyes but they always have a smile on their faces!
Bahaha, I thought I was the only one who did this!
Gets the ‘loud’ out of me without officially yelling! Silly voices also change the mood ?
I do this too. ” you don’t know how to do that yet do you? and surprise surprise it gets done.
Yes to this! I’m the same. My go to is stress-head while my husband will find a fun way to encourage them. I’m learning. ? Any race is a winner for my 7year old.
We don’t worry about a bath every night now- too stressful, so it’s every couple of days or if they’re especially dirty… Makes the whole dinner to bed marathon a lot easier!
We ditch baths on non-school nights too… and in the summer we count a swim in the pool as a bath! LOL
I seem to already have implemented these ideas but I still find myself saying the same things 20 times lol
Me too… but at least I have a few less things to nag about!