There are moments when a thought hits me or I read a story or see a headline and something inside me clicks and creates a mindshift – altering my perspective on life or my approach to dealing with my children.
It’s amazing how one little moment can change your behaviour so dramatically.
I call these my Mummy Epiphanies.
Two instances come to mind:
- One night, about a week after we brought our baby girl home, we were having a crazy night. The house was a mess, we hadn’t had a chance to eat dinner and had both threatened to jump in the shower several times only to be diverted by a yelling toddler or a newborn whimper.
My hubby emerged from our toddler son’s room with a victorious smile, having managed to coax him back to sleep after numerous requests for water or to switch on the fan or to tell him that he forgot to close the cupboard door properly.
I was just entering the baby’s room to calm her down and manically giggled as we passed each other in the corridor for the umpteenth time that night.
Calm and quiet restored, I managed to get about an hour-and-a-half sleep before the next feed, straight after which my son started crying for “Mommy”.
I was beyond exhausted and feeling frazzled, at which point I tend to get dramatic (I was also extremely hormonal just one week after giving birth) and “what have I done to deserve this” popped into my head.
The initial meaning was “why have I been punished with no sleep tonight”?
And in a split second, my “what have I done to deserve this” changed meaning and altered my whole night and approach to nights ahead.
The new meaning was “What have I done right in my life to deserve the wonderful blessing of two beautiful children crying for my attention?”
From that moment on, I have had a much more positive approach and my late-night/early morning feeds haven’t felt so bad. Of course I’m craving a full night’s sleep, but do not resent the broken sleep anymore.
- My son was just shy of two when I fell pregnant for the second time. This is a very demanding time for parents – toddlers push boundaries emotionally and physically, and you have to be “switched on” all the time to deal with tantrums and ensure their safety.
For a newly pregnant mum, this can be a particularly difficult time. Even if you aren’t dealing with morning sickness, the first three months are very taxing on your body and it’s hard to find the patience to handle your toddler’s moods.
I’m ashamed to admit to losing my temper with my son on a regular basis, threatening “no Bananas in Pyjamas this afternoon” or just shouting at him in general.
Then one day a Facebook friend posted a short version of a quote by The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting author Rebecca Eanes.
It read: “So often, children are punished for being human. Children are not allowed to have grumpy moods, bad days, disrespectful tones, or bad attitudes, yet we adults have them all the time! … We all have days like that. None of us are perfect, and we must stop holding our children to a higher standard of perfection than we can attain ourselves.”
How true is this?
And just like that, *poof*, I became (and have remained) so much more patient with him and tolerant of his mood swings.
If I don’t get punished for my bad moods, why should he?
Kids of today are so mature and express themselves so clearly that we seem to forget they’re still just babies.
So whenever I feel I am losing patience, that saying pops into my head and I calm down.
And just like that, I’m a much better mum. Yay me.