Happy New Year everyone, I pray 2019 brings you all happiness, peace and success.
I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I want to achieve this year, like everyone, I want to be happy and at peace with myself and not stress or worry about the little things in life that can sometimes be magnified to epic proportions by overthinking or analysing. I want to be at harmony with the situations & relationships I have zero control over and let negative vibes just breeze past me and not engage or be affected by them. More than anything however I’m learning that I can only control my own behaviour in any given situation so below are the three things I want to focus on.
Firstly, I want to be a calmer person. I want this mostly in relation to my children. Mummy confession: I’m a shouter. I love my children, but by God do they test me. Just today I’ve shouted “Idris get out of the bin” “Aasiya stop pushing him” “that is not a toy” “Go and sit on the naughty step” it’s exhausting and actually it doesn’t work. Shouting just makes me exasperated and worked up and my children, who are 2.5 and 14 months, don’t respond how I’d like anyway. So I need a new strategy. They are doing what comes naturally to small inquisitive little beings and exploring their surroundings and their boundaries, that’s natural and healthy, and I need to respond in a way that doesn’t stop them from being curious but does prevent them from doing anything dangerous. Shouting, isn’t productive in these situations and I’ve noticed that I tend to shout when I’m frustrated or when I’m busy doing something and I turn around to find them in the bin (it happens often with Idris!!) and I’m worked up about the fact that I’m too busy to deal with him being in the bin rather than his actually being in the bin! So I’m not shouting because of his action, I’m shouting out of my own frustration, which is nothing to do with the child and is probably a sign that I need to stop and take a breath.
Secondly, I want to enjoy my time with my babies so I need to be more organised in planning our days and activities. As someone who’s recently stopped working I do struggle to make the most of my day without the structure that work brings. In a previous life I was very organised. I use my calendar, my diary, and had a weekly desk planner, I really liked structure! My husband is the opposite, he likes to wing his way through life and is quite possibly the least organised person on the planet. I don’t know if it’s because he’s male, the last and only son (who has always had everything done for him!!) or if life has just dealt him a good hand, whatever it is, he is always late, never uses maps or diaries or instruction manuals and is impossible to coordinate with as he functions in the last moments. Unfortunately we are both indecisive so making plans or organising our activities just falls to chance, and I don’t think that’s very fair for the children. So this year, I’m going to buy a family calender and a diary and organise our lives. I would like to do atleast one family away day a month and during the week have organised plans and activities for the children. I’m going to start treating being an at home mama as my full time job and introduce the structure I so desperately miss.
Thirdly I’d like to move away from buying things. I know it sounds crazy but whilst trying to sort out our possessions for the Big Move, I’m struck by how many “things” we all own. Even useful things like clothes, I have mountains of clothes as do the children, and truthfully we only wear a select few. We have so many toys and trinkets and drawers full of creams and lotions and shoeboxes stuffed with gadgets and things that go with other things that we lost months or years ago. And we still go out and buy more! I feel claustrophobic thinking about all the stuff we have in our lives, all the things we’re told we need when having children and stock up on only to never ever use any of them, but then still store them away for that “just in case” scenario which never occurs. There is so much stuff in our lives that it seems to take up all our actual physical space but also our mental and emotional space. In 2019 I want to not be dependent on products but rather explore a life with less stuff and more space and time. I’m going to do things with my children and not pacify them with the promise of toys and treats. Truthfully I’m not a big buyer of toys or clothes for the children, but their army of aunts and uncles ensure that they have everything their hearts could desire. It’s hard to tell others to stop buying things but I will certainly do my best. For myself I’m going to not buy any more clothes, shoes, handbags or cosmetics (unless we have a wedding or other similar situation) and I’m also going to start buying second hand books and furniture rather than disposable MDF pieces that only last a season. I want to be a more conscious consumer and also explore minimalism.
So that’s three pretty big changes for me, and truthfully I’m not seeing them as New Year resolutions, but long overdue self improvements. I know I’m going to falter, but that’s ok, I’m going to try and do as well as I can because these are genuinely things that I believe in and believe will make me a better person and hopefully a better parent. Let me know your thoughts below, I’d really like to hear about your personal goals and about changes you’ve made to your life since having children. Have they helped you become a better or more aware parent?