I have started to look at key areas that I want to work at improving; my negative attitude, being a better mum, being a better wife, pulling my weight with household chores.
I am a great believer in learning from others. So I have signed up for a few different things to help me get started.
This post is about the start of my journey to becoming a better mum.
I have been doing lots of research and pinning tips on my 'kids: parenting tips' board on Pinterest (did I tell you I love Pinterest? Well, just in case I didn't, I love love LOVE Pinterest!)
I have been talking to friends and family, chatting about issues on Facebook etc. This has been really helpful and has also reassured me that I'm not alone! We are all facing similar things with our children and can support each other through each little difficulty!
From these great 'pools of knowledge' I have been trying a few things already:
Using 'listening ears'.
This works a lot better than asking Little Man things over and over and getting more and more annoyed when he doesn't respond! This tip came from Little Man's auntie and I am sooo grateful!
Now, when I want Little Man's attention, I ask him if he's got his Listening ears on (and sometimes we wait for him to turn them on :-) ) before I try and explain what I want him to do.
Yes, sometimes I still have to repeat myself, but I get a lot less stressed ;-)
A little attention is better than none!
A family friend pointed this out to me and it is so simple and works great!
As you know I struggle with ongoing depression and this can cause extreme fatigue and lack of motivation to do anything!
My friend pointed out that even though I can't do lots of thing with the kids, I can still do little things, even when I 'm curled on the sofa in my jammies! So simple, I couldn't believe I hadn't tried it before!
So now, Little Man and I have had great fun running cars all over my legs and the sofa; playing with his action figures, making music with whatever toys we can find at the time to bop, snuggling up watching movies or sharing books, all from the comfort of the sofa!
With Little Miss I can do lots of singing and rhymes with her sat on my lap. She adores rocking back and forth, so 'Row, row, row your boat' and 'See-saw' are firm favourites! I can also sit and hold her hands whilst she stands between my legs, usually rocking back and forth some more! It's even better when Little Man or mum join in the singing too ;-)
If I'm feeling a little better, or able to push myself, I play with the kids on the floor. We spend time doing puzzles or drawing, my favourites are playing with balloons, or our crazy dance sessions, - Little Man has some great moves ;-)
I'm also trying hard to play with Little Man in his play kitchen up in his bedroom when he asks. Today we made a 3 course meal for Tam the Tiger and Big white Bear! This included soup, followed by roasted toys and finally strawberries and custard!
So before when I would just say, 'I'm too tired / too ill to play' or 'Go and play with Grandad / Grannie / Daddy' I'm trying more and more to push myself and play little games myself! The best bit is I'm having fun too which helps improve my low mood :-)
The other thing I decided to do was to sign up for a parenting course over at Netmums
|find details here|
I'm now receiving e-mails with more great advice and tips to help me get better and better!
My 'homework' is to:
Try and praise everyone in my family; for the things they do and for just being themselves!
Create and complete a Kindness Chart. For this, we have to work together and look for all the kind and helpful things we are doing, and nominate each other to colour a section of the chart. When the chart is complete, we get a family treat! The thing that I really love about this idea is that it's about working together. There are no names on the chart, so it won't create competition or smug / defeated feelings.
My next e-mail on this course is discipline - the area I find the hardest to get right!
Next time I'll try and share the other web page I've joined up to, and how it's teaching me to Fly!