Parenting three kids, working full-time, and running a house is often overwhelming. As much as I love my children, there are times I can’t stand them—their attitude—and I need to be alone. Children know how to push our buttons, especially when our patience is at an all-time low. When they’re out to clearly defy my limits, the nightly bath, dinner, and bed routine can be the worst part of my day. What do I do when I can’t stand my kids and need to keep their attitude in check? Well, let’s look at why they are getting under my skin in the first place.
MAKE ONE-ON-ONE TIME
For those working full or part time, it’s easy to bring the stress of the office home with you. You get caught up in your job because it’s your family’s lifeline, right? How can you support them without a paycheck? Of course it’s important! I’m guilty of bringing office stress and work home in the evenings as well. Our children want our love and attention, but we’re not always ready to give it to them right away. It’s easy to give a quick hug and kiss, and then tune them out to focus your attention back on work.
In return, they wind up acting out to get any kind of attention (usually negative from me). In the end I feel guilty, they’re sad, and all they really wanted was to be scooped up and listened to. We must unplug! Put down the laptops, the tablets, the phones, and listen to your kids. Give them one-on-one time, even if it’s only 30 minutes in the evening—offer them 100% of you.
THINK AND SPEAK POSITIVELY
Are we giving our family the respect they deserve? Of course we love, cherish, and take care of them, but are we projecting positive thoughts about them? Are you guilty of gossiping about your own children—telling others all the wrongs instead of the rights they did that week? Sharing only the positive will affect your entire mindset toward your children.
If one of your children is more defiant than the other, how do you view him? Are you automatically tuning him out or not taking him seriously because you’ve stereotyped your own child? Then it’s time to refresh your mindset. Take a step back and remember to thank him for the little things. Encourage him one step further. Have a ‘go get ‘em’ attitude instead of a ‘you can’t do that’ kind.
SUPER MOM DOESN’T EXIST
We often put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best—the best mother, chef, house keeper, employee, and even the best-looking. Cut yourself some slack! There is no ‘better than Mrs. Jones’ allowed anymore. Stop comparing yourself and your family to others around you. When you’re spending your time stressing on appearances and doing too much, it affects your kids. Most importantly, what message are we sending our kids? Talk about pressure. Let. It. Go.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
If you’re running yourself ragged or neglecting your own needs, it gets emotionally and physically draining. By the time 8pm rolls around you won’t have any more to give. My children want the same sweet mommy tucking them in at night as the one who just had a cup of coffee at 3pm while picking them up from school. Once a week I take a bubble bath, a nap, or meet with a friend. Mentally regrouping does wonders for the mom-itude. If you are a single parent, it’s even more difficult to recharge your battery. Bedtime can’t come soon enough some nights, right? Give yourself a 5 minute breather before tackling the worst hour at night: when your kids are tired, need you, and well… there is only one of you.
Parenting is the most difficult job we’ll have. After a year of practically being a single mom because my husband worked 7am to 9pm, four nights a week, I realized that the reason I couldn’t stand my kids is because they couldn’t stand ME. The mean, tired, and grumpy mommy they were getting at the end of the day. Just remember to ask for help, because it sure does take a village to raise a child.