New South Wales
Although having the kids home over the holidays can be wonderful… in reality, the nice bits can be fringed by sibling rivalry, boredom, unrealistic expectations of entertainment and more. To help you stay relaxed, enjoy the time and to be the ‘calm mum’, Heather from Blissed Out Mums shares her top tips for staying sane.
With another four weeks of school holidays looming ahead of us, it’s not uncommon or unrealistic for mums to have a little hesitation in the back of their mind. The stress of keeping the kids busy, siblings seemingly trying to kill each other and the endless mess of the house is enough to make any mum spend the time yelling and screaming. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are steps that you can take that will help you remain calm this holiday period. Incorporate these tips into your day, so the holidays are filled with happy memories and not a countdown until the end of January.
Taking a few deep breaths before responding to your child will do everyone a world of good. When a mum feels anxious, overwhelmed or angry, her body has a physiological stress response. This automatic process can spiral out of control resulting in a mum who is so angry that she finds herself yelling and screaming. Taking a few deep breaths interrupts this cycle. Consciously controlled breathing brings a mum back to the present moment and out of her head. It stops the pattern of reacting and helps her stop yelling.
This time of year is busy enough and with the kids home, mum’s needs can often come last. However, to stop yelling at your children these holidays, looking after you is non-negotiable. Taking small breaks every day to recharge is essential. Take 10 or 15 minutes at least twice a day to do something for you. Sit and have a cup of tea or coffee. Have designated Facebook time where you don’t feel guilty. Go sit outside in the sun. Do something that will recharge your batteries. When you’re rested and recharged, you’ll be able to give to your children and manage their behaviour without feeling so stressed and without yelling.
It’s really important as parents that we remember that our children are just children. They do not have the developed reasoning skills that we have. They don’t have self-control over their behaviour all of the time. They are easily overwhelmed, overstimulated and overtired. Combine that with the change from being at school, stuck at home with siblings that they might not get along with, and going in between family gatherings and that makes for cranky children. If we expect our children to have perfect behaviour or manners over the holidays, then we’re setting ourselves, and them, up for failure.
Exercise is a wonderful stress management tool. It’s a great way to get some me-time while also looking after our mind, body, and spirit. Exercise releases the hormone endorphin which helps us feel good. It also improves the quality of our sleep, helping us to fall asleep faster and reach a deeper state of sleep. It helps us feel good about ourselves. All of this combined, helps mums manage to be at home with the kids over a busy (and long!) holiday period without yelling. Aim for 30 minutes every day and you’ll start to experience the difference.
No-mum is an island and when you’ve got the kids home for such a long period of time, having people around you to help out is a must. This is the time to be organising play dates, calling upon your mummy friends as well as your family to make sure that you not only keep the kids entertained but get time to look after you. Having people around to help you out will lighten your load and reduce any feelings of overwhelm and stress. When these go away, mums don’t yell!
School holidays don’t have to be stressful. It doesn’t have to be a countdown till the first school bell. These 5-tips will help you remain calm within yourself so that you can manage the (inevitable) challenging behaviour of the kids!
For some extra support over the holiday period, join Heather at Blissed Out Mums on Facebook. Stop yelling at your kids and start enjoying being a mum again.