Parenting is so many millions of things mixed up together. Emotions like joy, happiness, fear and feeling doubtful.
It’s the knot inside your stomach when something goes wrong. The sleepless nights you lie awake wondering if you’ve messed them up.
Parenting is also those mornings when you look at your sleeping child and you feel incredibly blessed for this little person you are responsible for.
It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to be the perfect mom. Have the cleanest home. Raise the smartest children. But, instead of focusing on being a perfect mom, I think the focus should be on being a positive mom.
In all honesty, I struggle with positivity. I’ve been writing about positivity since last year and I feel like there’s been a HUGE difference in my attitude and my optimism.
In the past my struggle with positivity seeped into my parenting skills. Sometimes I yelled instead of listening. When I was in a bad mood or something went wrong -I couldn’t shake it off at home. I couldn’t let go and move on.
I would focus more on how my home looked and getting cleaning done instead of seeing that I was missing opportunities to connect with my kids.
Have you done that too?
What will your kids remember about their childhood?
I’ve made so many mistakes as a mother. And lately, I’ve been thinking about what kinds of things my kids will remember about me when they grow up.
I have three kids and to one of those kids I am a step-mom. My oldest kids are 10 and 11 and I feel like we pretty much have things under control with them. They’re helpful and funny and we take things as they come.
My youngest is 3 going on 13. AKA the threenager.
I don’t want her to remember that I yelled at her and made her cry. The thought of being remembered for that makes me want to sob. I don’t want her to remember that I lost my patience with her way too many times. Or the one time I threw her little Care Bear out the window. (She still remembers.)
I want her to remember that I played with her on the seashore. I was there when she caught her first fish. I made her sidewalk chalk paint and let her paint up the porch. I want her to remember that I baked with her, played BINGO with her, took care of her and loved her.
Out of every single thing my kids can remember about growing up, all I want them to remember is that their childhood was good. I was good.
That home was safe and stable.
And mom was happy loving us. That’s what I want them to remember.
7 EASY WAYS TO BE A POSITIVE MOM
1 Focus on the positive. We are programmed to think that whatever we are focused on is a big deal. If you consistently focus on what’s going wrong in your life, you won’t be able to see the good. Instead of coming home and focusing on the mess, or the chores that didn’t get done, offer some positive comments instead. I remember coming home from work and being annoyed about the 1 thing that didn’t get done instead of noticing everything that had been done. It’s like I would zero-in on the unswept floor but was blind to the fact my kids had done the dishes and cleared the counters for me. I would start complaining immediately and set the mood for the evening.
Who wants to be around a grumpy mom? I sure didn’t and I don’t think my kids did either. Now I’m not saying to let your kids slide every time they don’t do the chores. Not at all. I’m big on kids doing chores and helping out around the house. But, I am saying that we can probably improve the way we talk to them about the chores or whatever we’re mad about.
Talking in a calm way instead of yelling at them is the first thing and sets a positive tone. I now know that the floor will get swept, sure it’s annoying that it didn’t get done earlier but it will get done now and we can move on with our evening. No yelling. No negativity. Just moving on.
I also make sure I let them know how much I appreciate their help. This helps me focus on the positive things my kids have done and lets the kids know I value them.
[I have a series called A Year of Positivity, if you struggle with keeping positive, check it out!]
2 Let go of negative forces. Negative forces can suck us down into a vortex of pessimism. We then pass on that pessimism to our kids. Ugh, I don’t want that for my kids. So give yourself permission to let go of things and people that cause you stress and negativity. And don’t give it a second thought, your mental well-being is worth more than any negative situation.
3 Let the past stay in the past. Don’t beat yourself up for the mistakes you’ve made in the past. Also, don’t keep punishing your famliy for mistakes they made in the past.
When you live in the past you take away happiness from your future. Try to handle things as they come about and let go of everything you cannot control.
4 Set goals with your family. Setting and achieving goals as a family makes you work as a team. The goals can be simple like getting all the yard work done over the weekend so you can enjoy a family ice cream date afterwards.
Write down the goal on a calendar the kids can see and write down the reward for the goal. This will motivated everyone to work together and make it fun instead of just a chore.
5 Be a source of encouragement for your kids. This shouldn’t be hard but if you have trouble putting into words how you feel you might struggle with this. Make it a point to tell your kids to have a good day, to tell them you’re proud of them and to tell them how happy you are to be their mom. If we don’t tell our kids these things how will they ever know?
You can also write an encouraging note and tape it to the fridge or the bathroom mirror, any place you think they’ll find it.
Listen when the kids talk to you and give them feedback about ALL of the crazy ideas they have. I don’t know anything about ROBLOX or Minecraft but when my son tells me about those games he is absolutely animated, practically jumping out of his skin telling me about all the cool things he built.
Although I have no idea what he is talking about, I make it a point to listen and ask good questions.
I want him to know that when he talks to me I will listen. Because if he doesn’t think I’ll listen to him about the little things in life, he’ll never come to me to talk about the big things.
6 Make time to laugh with your kids. This tip is so important, especially when you’re having a bad day. When things are going wrong and the last thing you want to do is laugh, do it anyway!
Laughing reduces blood pressure and stress hormones – exactly what you need when you’re having a bad day. So ask your kids to pull up some funny youtube videos or tell you their favorite jokes at dinner. Watch a funny movie. Do whatever it takes. Just make time to have fun and laugh!
7 Don’t forget to give out hugs. This is the easiest right!? When you’re not feeling positive, grab your kids and give them a hug! Just like laughing, hugging can help ease your stress.
What’s your favorite way to turn your attitude around when you’re having a bad day? Do you agree it’s important to keep a positive attitude as a mother?
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