Parenthood, the Mellow Way
Thanks to Emma Button for this inspiring, calming guest post. Emma is a working mum who blogs at Mellow Mummy. A first-time mum to Lara, Emma likes to take a relaxed approach to parenting and is always on the lookout for money-saving products that take the stress out of parenthood.
People often ask me how I remain so calm despite the daily challenges of motherhood. I haven’t always been ‘mellow’ but becoming a parent gave me a sense of humility and taught me that I can’t always be super-woman; it helped me relax and be happy with myself. By accepting a few simple truths and sensible advice I gathered from friends and family, you can be a mellow parent too!
Set Realistic Goals After becoming a parent, I very quickly learned to re-evaluate my goals. Where once I had a long list of jobs I knew I wanted to achieve during my day, I now aim to complete just a few of them. Even if I don’t manage them all, I’m happy that I’ve at least made a little progress – there’s no hurry!
When I go out, I now aim to leave half-an-hour earlier than I used to, this gives me a little breathing space in case something goes wrong (a hungry toddler, a dirty nappy, a missing changing bag etc.) And, if I am ever late, I try not to worry about it. A smile and an apology will, (more often than not) suffice.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help You don’t have to cope with parenthood alone. If you have friends or family you can turn to, don’t feel guilty about taking them up on their offers of help; don’t feel embarrassed to admit that you can’t do it alone. If you have no local support network, there are plenty of people whose job it is to help you – ask your health visitor, your GP, or your local council representatives; I promise, it makes things easier.
Think about building a network of people who you could turn to, even if it is just for company – local parenting groups are a great place to start.
Don’t Compete at Parenthood!
The sooner that you accept that your children are unique individuals, the sooner you can relax and enjoy their development. All children grow up at different rates, they all have different experiences and different opportunities. Don’t worry if your child isn’t demonstrating the same skills as their peers – they’ll do these things in their own time and in their own way. If your child’s friends are going to a specific class/activity, or if they have a specific toy/gadget it doesn’t mean that you need to send your kids to the same class/activity or buy the same toy/gadget. Make your own decisions and choose what is right for your own family.
Money Doesn’t Buy Mellowness Finances can often be a cause of stress. Parenthood doesn’t have to be expensive. Make a few sensible budget decisions and know your own financial boundaries.
Focus on the Positives Whether you’re the parent of a new born, a toddler, a growing child or a teenager, there will, undeniably, be hard times. When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, think about the joys of parenthood and focus on the things that make you smile. The low points pale into insignificance when you take into account how far you’ve come on your journey through parenthood.
Do It Your Way Be confident in your own ability as a parent. Parenthood is in many ways instinctive – there is no right or wrong way to do it. In most cases, you will know deep down what is right for your family so there is no need to always ask others for direction and guidance. You can read as many parenting guides as you like, and receive numerous conflicting tips from friends, family and experts but in the end, whether it be sleeping, feeding, learning or playing, you and your children will find the way that works for you.