Take a minute and think about holding your child. What feelings come up for you? Probably joy or happiness right? Now take a minute and think about when your child is screaming because you stirred the yogurt (yep that happens here). What feelings come up? Frustration, maybe you become annoyed. Before having kids, I experenienced a handful of emotions on a daily basis. Now, I experience what seems like 100 emotions in one minute. In those moments of screaming, whining or crying, it is hard. As humans we can react by yelling, snapping or punishing the child. However reacting to a situation by yelling or snapping is not the best solution. Discipline should be about teaching, not punishing because we are angry.
The reality is that no one is happy all the time. However, the mommy happiness project is about reminding myself to be grateful in this chaos of motherhood. Accepting that we all have bad days and that includes my kids. So how am I working on this concept, embracing the moment despite the chaos? I do a lot of different things to work through some of those moments to stay calm and be happy (even if faking till I make it). Here are 5 quick suggestions to work on being happy(or at least not angry) on any particular difficult moment of motherhood.
1. Change your thinking. A lot of people can struggle with understanding this concept of changing your thinking but the reality is you have control over your thoughts. You make the choice to think over and over how annoyed you are, how angry you are, etc. Choose to change it to something more positive. “It really is no big deal you spilled the milk, let’s clean it up together”.
2. Be grateful. Practicing gratitude daily has shown to create more happiness for people. Even if you do not practice daily, while working on changing your thinking, throw in a few things you are grateful for that day. Something along the lines of I am grateful my kiddo is ok, I am grateful for him/her, I am grateful I got to be here right now, I am grateful for my health”. It makes a difference.
3. Be present. When we are fully present we are able to connect better with others. As moms, often we maybe doing something else and not giving the child attention s/he may need at that time. Maybe you don’t answer right away (is that text or facebook really that important?) When we get more present with our kiddos we can see the view better and from their eyes. We connect with them more authentically and it is best for the relationship.
4. Let go of expectations. This is a must for any area of our lives. You cannot keep up with the Jones because they do not exist. Your child is having a bad day, try playing a game with them, the dishes do not need to get done right away. Letting go of the expectations is really healthy.
5. None of that works? Work on your deep (diaphragmatic) breathing. Take a few deep breaths down to the belly. That will help center you, calm you and hopefully put things in perspective. If you want to know more about how to take deep breaths, read this post.
I would love to hear how you get through the tough moments of motherhood and to know if my suggestions help?
Do you have a story to tell. I would be honored to help you share it. Find out more here.