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Girls Knock Life’s 5 Top Tips for Monumental Mothers to be Less Stressed and More Patient

If there is one thing that many parents have in common, it’s that feeling of stress and a distinct lack of patience. The good news is that these are things you can improve on. As a mother, it is our job to create a nurturing environment for our children, but as you know, life can take its toll…

So, how can we try to minimize the stress and learn to be more patient? I’m sure that’s the question many of you ask yourselves everyday! At Girls Knock Life, we have developed a list of our five top tips for mothers to be less stressed and more patient.

1. Remember that they are not doing it on purpose

Sometimes it can seem like our children are trying to irritate and annoy us, just for the fun of it! But we promise you, this really isn’t the case. Children are just curious and mischievous by their very nature. Yes, you may find their behavior a little on the irritating side, but the truth is that they are simply just having fun and being kids!

2. Think about what you expect from them, it may need changing

We all want the best from our kids, however, sometimes this can be to our detriment. Of course, no-one wants a child who is naughty or rude, but it is how you define these bad behaviors that you need to think about. Sometimes it can be all too easy to think that your kids should be 100% all of the time, but we all have off days, even our children.

3. Take a deep breath

Feeling like you are 2 minutes away from exploding? It is a good idea to take a step back and try out some deep breathing. Not only will it allow you to gather your thoughts, but it will also help you to calm down and de-stress.

4. Think about the source of your stress

We all get stressed out, work, finances, relationships all of these things can contribute to stress in your life. However, none of these things are your kids fault. When you are feeling stressed out and you are snapping at your children, remind yourself that it is not their fault. They have absolutely no concept of all the things that happen when you are a grown up and they wont until they are also an adult.

5. Enjoy your time

Life is hard, however, our children should be a source of happiness in our lives. If you are feeling stressed out and that you simply cannot cope, then one thing that you can do to try and improve your mood is to spend some time together as a family. Watch a movie, play a board game, go for a walk. All things that will help you to unwind and remind yourself of all the great things in your life!

As you can see, even the most stressed out and impatient parents can improve their mood and make sure that they are best parent they can be!

Judgeless Parenting

Last night I was watching a new show on FX called “Better Things” starring Pamela Adlon. The show on some levels is difficult to relate to: the main character is an actress living in Los Angeles with a gorgeous home. On other levels, it’s easy to relate to her: she’s in her 40s, a single mom raising three unruly daughters that work to drive her crazy on a daily basis, and she’s really struggling to keep her *&$% together. On every level, the show is both hilarious and touching.

Last night’s episode was especially endearing because it touched home on something we’re practically all guilty of: being judgemental. As women, we desperately want to lift each other up and support one another, but we’re also raised in a society where we’re practically bred to tear each other apart. For instance: the main character Sam (who is overtly atheist), ended up in a situation with another child’s mom, Trinity, who was Mormon. Sam had plenty of preconceived ideas about Mormonism and their views about gays and black people, and wrongly assumed that Trinity held those beliefs and disliked her immediately without giving her a chance. Trinity also held her own beliefs about Sam and her parenting based on her lack of spiritual devoutness.

The episode (called “Duke’s Chorus” if you get the chance to see it), while it didn’t show Mormonism in a particularly great light, did an excellent job of having the two moms sit down and talk things out, getting to know each other, and show just how much they actually did have in common not only as moms, but as people. Granted, they were sort of forced into conversation as their daughters played together, but they realized how much they were judging each other when they were really just working hard to figure it all out and they just needed to have each other’s backs.

Interestingly enough, this also mimics a situation in my own life. I am from Boston and only recently moved to Southern California four years ago where there is a very large population of Mormons. (Note: I never knew a single Mormon in Boston.) I’m also not particularly religious, though I’d say I’m spiritual, just not religious. I held my own preconceived notions about Mormonism until I recently made several close friends from that church who I can say have completely changed my viewpoint, at least about the members. They are some of the most liberal, open-minded, loving and kind people and amazing moms (and dads!) that I have in my life, and I’m so glad that I was open-minded enough to let them in.

It was an excellent social commentary not just on parenting, but on women in general. While we’re incredibly lucky to have far more information and support than our parents did and their parents did before them, we’re all just still trying to figure it all out as we go. Let’s have each other’s backs.

What The Heli is Going on?

I have never understood helicopter parenting.  I can barely get through my own day, never mind micromanage two small humans in addition to that. Whenever I win the parenting lottery and have a small window of five minutes of time in my day to pause and look around, I try to watch the world around me because I’m a sucker for human behavior. Because my world revolves around my kids, those behaviors tend to be either that of children or their parents.  I’m honestly baffled by the helicopter parenting trend.  I just don’t get it.

I was raised the oldest of four children.  My dad worked as a contractor during the day and my mom worked at a plastics factory at night until she scored a day job when we were older in the school department (that was a much cushier gig than working in a plastics factory). We went to school, came home, did our homework and then we went outside to play: unattended (gasp!). We’d play in the neighborhood or even go over to another neighborhood, and we’d come home for dinner.  On the weekends, we’d be outside playing for almost the full day, and somehow, miraculously, we didn’t need to coordinate playdates and logistics and map things out on apps and calendars and work out algorithms to figure out how to do it, we just did.

Studies show that a lot of helicopter parenting can be blamed on the fact that we have too much information at the ready.  Social media, research and educational information, parenting blogs and articles, all of it – just information overload.  We’re always trying to be the BEST parent, and in doing so, we end up micromanaging down to the finest details, forgetting that we sometimes have to let kids do and figure things out for themselves.

I did a little research, and found some great ideas for parents who want to land the copter and start to extract and let their kids be more self-reliant:

1. Make a “Kid Resume.”  Sit down with your child and a piece of paper and write “Jenny is Four, and she can do these things(*)”. Then work with your child to list of all the things she can accomplish at this age.  Maybe revisit within six months.

2. Create an “I DID THIS!” list.  Create and post a list when your child accomplishes something new and put a date and a star next to it.

3. Help your child “Get The Picture.”  I *loved* this one, from Dawn Arnold of Mazon, IL, mother of a 5-year-old. “I filled a small photo album with pictures of my daughter doing all the things she needs to do in the morning before school, after school, and before bed. Now she follows along every day. It lets her be independent, but the things that I think are important are still getting done.” (*)

We all want to be there for our children and let them know they are safe and loved, but we also want them to grow up to be independent, well-rounded, giving, and grounded individuals as well. It’s time we land the helicopters.

(*) Noted from parenting.com article.

Girls Knock Life