by Mia Von Scha, Transformational Coach, motivational speaker, children’s author, student to two Zen Masters (aka kids), avid cloud watcher and lover of life.
Becoming a parent is one of the most intense and life changing events that can occur in a lifetime: It usually comes with your first real taste of unconditional love, but also with a host of stressors and challenges that most of us are simply not prepared for. This is normal, and being a good parent does not mean that you have to enjoy parenting all the time.
I thought I would share with you some of my favourite tips for being a happier parent..
1. Be gentle with yourself.
Understand that it is normal to have mixed feelings about being a mother, that we all have bad days, and that everyone loses their temper sometimes. Allow yourself to be human, to make mistakes and to not always be on top of things.
2. Let go of expectations.
Every day will have its own challenges and its own natural flow. Trying to predict and control how each moment of each day should be leads to stress and disappointment. Relax, and trust that it will all be ok in the end.
3. Remove the word “should” from your vocabulary.
Realise that most of your suffering comes from internally labeling things as good or bad. Life just is as it is, and our mental judgements about what should or shouldn’t be happening or how other people should or shouldn’t be behaving are a sign that we are resisting life as it is. Try for one day to simply catch yourself making one of these judgements and ask yourself who you would be or how you would feel if you could never think that thought again.
4. Focus on the things you have to be grateful for.
Focusing on the positive in our lives is one of the quickest and easiest ways to start feeling better and enjoying life again. Every day has something good about it – start noticing small things to be grateful for and watch how this grows.
5. Keep company with positive, supportive people.
Positivity breeds positivity. Make a vow with yourself to quit moaning and complaining and to spend time with your “glass half full” friends.
6. Breathe, slow down, and take some time out for yourself.
Life with kids can be pretty fast paced and busy, and the best thing that you can do for yourself and your family is to take some down-time. Set aside 30 minutes a day to relax, meditate, go for a walk, or simply lie on your bed and read a book. Taking time to recharge your own batteries means you’ll have more energy and patience for those around you.
7. Pause before reacting.
Time-outs are not just for kids! We all have times where we are overwhelmed and out of control, and taking a few minutes to breathe and re-centre yourself helps you to shift from reacting to responding.
8. Laugh a lot and often.
Laughter is one of the most healing responses that we are capable of as human beings. Make an effort to look at the lighter side of life, seek out funny movies or Google things that cheer you up. Make a habit of only forwarding on those emails that lighten your life.
9. Be present.
If there is one gift that you give yourself and your kids this mother’s day, make it the gift of presence. Let go of the past, allow the future to take care of itself, and focus in on the only moment that you have – this one right now. Being fully present in your life and with your kids is the most rewarding, enriching, and life changing practice that you can engage in. Your past (even the last minute) is gone, and can only be accessed in your mind. The future, too, is only accessible in your head – there is no other way to get there. This leaves this moment as the only reality you have. Get out of your head and into your life and feel the joy of connecting with your kids where they are – here, now.