What a fun time of year it is to be a parent! Seeing the joy and light on our children’s face is one of my favorite things! And part of our role as parents is to guide our children in the way that we want them to develop so that they can become the kind and loving people that we desire!
To be honest, we have been having a lot of emotions in our house lately… I am not sure the exact cause, but when I mean a lot of emotions, I mean a lot of really big emotions… we go from anywhere from wildly happy to extremely cranky all in a very short time frame!
I have found myself to be reacting to the girls’ behavior in a way that I would prefer not to admit, but as a parent, it is not fair to not speak the truth… I then recalled a few key things and have been working on making sure that my needs are being met which then has allowed me to meet the needs of the girls with more ease.
The key think I have been doing is to ask myself some question when I find myself wanting to react instead of responding in a kind way. There is an acronym that I go through and it is H.A.L.T. And these are the questions I ask myself?
Am I Hungry? When I am not fueled by the high-quality food that my body craves, I find that I get upset more easily! I also notice that if I am putting more sugar into my body, I tend to react much easier than I prefer. With the holidays this seems to be a little more difficult for me, because I love a good cookie or treat, but I know that my body does not respond well to it, so I really try to limit these as much as possible!
Am I Angry? I do not find myself to be an angry person, but I check in with myself and see what emotions I am feeling at that moment? I do get frustrated easily and feel sadness when things are not going the way I desire. I have never been the type of person to get really angry, but checking in with my emotions gives me a good understanding of where I am at and what I need to do regain balance within myself.
Am I Lonely? This sounds like a crazy thing for a mom to experience, but I know many moms who are lonely even though they are literally NEVER ALONE! This is when having a great community around you to reach out to and check in with is very beneficial! So yes, on the hard days when the girls are having those big emotions, I feel lonely but a text or call to either a friend or my mom helps me realize that I am not the only one going through these parenting struggles.
Am I Tired? The real question is, Am I ever NOT tired?... But in all honesty, when I am tired, I am much more irritable. And to help relieve that I make sure to get to bed at an appropriate time each night to allow my body the time to rest. I also allow myself the grace to take a quick cat nap during the day during quite time if needed. I have found that when I am well rested, I am able to move through the day calmly, even in the midst of the girls being wild.
So, when you find yourself much more reactive to your children, make sure to ask yourself these same questions and if you notice that you are feeling hungry, angry, lonely or tired, work to resolve it so that you can show up and be present with your kids the way that you desire to be!
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and that we can all remain peaceful and calm!