I've been failing at parenting lately and here's what I've learnt
So, it finally happened. I mean, it was bound to at some point. I've been studying, building a business and mothering since September and something finally had to give. Sadly, it was the one thing I already knew was likely to be dropped first - my patience!
I passed my first term at university and after what seemed like no break at all, with the final deadline on the 30th December, I was back to classes online, managing property back in the UK, hustling hard for new clients and trying to carve out time for me to be completely present for Avery as well. Unfortunately for Avery, it was my spinning plate of patience with him. Two-year-olds really have a determination and are quite set on doing things their own way, (I mean when is jumping headfirst off of furniture, not a good idea?). The talking and advising him to stop jumping had steadily increased to a raised voice and I was not in the mood to battle with him anymore, so why was I?
Besides the obvious, out of fear that he would hurt himself - (because I seem to be the only one with any fear factor in the house- thanks to his Dads encouragement). I was feeling anxious about everything else I knew I had to do, so wasn't fully invested in the "quality time" I thought I owed to Avery. The thing is, this concept of "quality time" is socially scripted as something that has to have a dedicated announcement, a start and end time and include PVC glue, glitter and a dedicated Instagram carousel as proof. In actual fact, when I sat back to flick through my camera roll this week, there are lots of private and unfiltered moments of pure, simple, silly fun.
What's more, I'd not kept on top of my schedule four weeks into term two at university. So no wonder I was feeling overwhelmed! I sat down to write a thorough to-do list again; something simple I tell everyone else to do and I'd let it slip. But guess what, I'm human too. It can't always go to plan and accepting that in times like these, is a sure way to ease that angst and focus on the small wins instead.
Wherever you fail along your journey to success, take some time out to examine what went wrong and identify if there is something you can take away from the experience.
A to-do list shouldn't be so restrictive that you blame yourself when you haven't ticked off all the tasks- factor in the fun on your task list, that way you know its deserved and see it as much of an achievement, as chasing up bills and doing household chores.
Pick your battles: Whether its friend, foe or family, we're spending an incredible amount of time together with the people in our support bubbles; it can get a little tense at times and that's okay. Before you react or say something you might regret, reflect on the trigger and see if there is something you could do differently that would stop you feeling that way in the first place.
Prioritise your demands. When I sit and think about it, I can usually group my tasks into an order of today, tomorrow, this week etc. Assign little pockets of time across the week for each area of your life i.e. 1-hour life admin on Tuesday, 30 minutes playtime at some point of the day with the phone out of the way!
Failure is good for the soul and a life lesson kids need to see. Perfect parenting is a myth, so stop reading those Montessori lesson plans- enjoy being silly and shake off any feelings of guilt.