Well hey there! In the event you aren’t sick of hearing about everyone’s goals for 2015, I’m sharing a few things I’m implementing this year to be a better parent. Lord knows I could probably give you about a thousand things I could do better at but, I’m not even going to pretend I could handle that kind of pressure.
1) Listen. I am so guilty of not listening to my kids. More times than not I am probably smiling, nodding and planning dinner in my head. If you have a 5 year old who never stops talking, you probably are too. It is just so difficult to have a 30 minute conversation with a child who is distracted easily and forgets what she’s saying all the time. But, I plan to do better this year. I saw a quote some time ago that said something like always listen to the little things and they will tell you the big things. Some guilt-inducing “inspirational” quote like that. Seriously though, I have nowhere to be, this is my job. Aside from being the best wife I can be, being a mom is the most important thing I could be doing right now.
2) Get down and dirty. I will say I have made improvements here over the last few months, but it wasn’t always the case. Actually getting down and playing during the day is so important to your kids. You are investing in their love tank for lack of a better example. You’ll notice too that when you spend more time on their level, they aren’t getting into as much trouble. They aren’t whining or destroying everything in their wake. They are engaged with you and they are just happier overall. Everything else can wait. As cliche as it sounds. It really can.
3) Allow them to “help”. I wrote a post not too long ago on introducing your kids to chores. I mentioned in there that you can’t expect perfection from your kids when they are first starting out. While I stand by this, if I want a job done a certain way (laundry), I do it myself. I used to be able to fold a load of clothes in no time and be done. Now, though, it takes twice as long because Piper is always wanting to help. She takes the clothes out one at a time and hands them to me to fold. This is all well and good, except when I’m in housework mode, I move at a crazy fast pace. Letting Piper help slows me down. It frustrates me when she notices that I’ve got a fresh load of clothes to fold. Why? Because it’s throwing off my plan for the day…are you seeing a trend? It clearly is something Piper thoroughly enjoys, and I need to probably reevaluate my priorities in this area. Again, everything can wait.
4) Take a chill pill. I am a fairly anxious person. It doesn’t take much and my nerves are shot. I hate this about myself and it’s something I struggle with pretty much on a daily basis. So once my house becomes a circus by around noon, I am already hanging on by a thread. Chaos is a trigger for me, and knowing this I have started going about our day a little differently. We do our more structured play in the morning now. Quite activities allow me to breathe and get into the day’s groove before they get too rambunctious.
5) Alone time. This year, I really want to work on time where I am truly taking a minute to myself. Toward the end of the year last year, if my kids were in bed and Jake was at work, I was working on the blog. There wasn’t a moment of the day that was just for me. I think it’s important to take that time to reset in order to be the best for your family. For me, I really enjoy just laying and watching a show or two on the couch uninterrupted. This is definitely something I am trying to make an everyday thing this year. It will require more planning and organization on my part but I think my kids will benefit more when I have had time to just be Ashley.
What about you? Do you have any tips for becoming a better parent? Let me know below!