This morning as my child screamed for her blanket as I drove down the driveway I wondered when she learnt to expect to get everything she wants.
Do we spoil her? Let her run loose? Why is she like this? I was experiencing deep regret. Why did I let so much slide or did I? Is this normal?
So many questions.
It made me wonder what I have done to influence her behaviours. One thing we have been a lot of lately is being tired and grumpy.
We’ve been grouchy Mum and Dad and it doesn’t make me happy. Doing this makes her think that it is okay to act grouchy towards others.
I’m not aiming for some Fluffy detergent commercial style harmony but I’m over the grumpy.
It made me bring a comparison between my work and home life. I’m very big on a positive work culture. Respect the people around you. Make them and their contribution feel valued. Ensure they feel listened to and encourage them to grow and build independence.
Changing my perspective is key by the sounds of things. We all need to work together in this family to not only get everyone to bed by 7:15 each night, but to do it harmoniously and without broken blood vessels and overworked voice boxes.
One of the biggest triggers for disharmony is when she doesn’t listen. If Dan is around he will pipe up and ask her to listen to me, it all kind of goes in circles. Pointless and annoying. Then it escalates and a tantrum comes forth rapidly. Discipline drops in. Non compliance equals the stairs. Further non compliance equals the bedroom. We have a full steam kicking, screaming three-year old taken to her bedroom followed by doors being slammed then more kicking and tears.
The demands for a cuddle are at an all time high but only on her terms. We must cuddle in a particular place and without Willow. By this stage Mum is terribly exhausted.
It doesn’t seem like we are getting anywhere because the tantrums keep on happening.
This week I will be taking a few tips on board.
Use humour and be light-hearted when situations get heated
Recognise when you are being grumpy/tired/short/rushed
Work out whether is it a fight worth fighting.
Take time out
Do activities together without the baby
Understand she is three. Her outbursts are because she is not coping or doesn’t understand the situation.
A cuddle fixes everything (most of the time)
Try not to rush, try to listen and don’t dismiss
Do you have any methods of keeping a sense of calm in your home? Do you have a way to get your child to listen without getting to the tantrum stage?
Well my last minute dash interstate was amazing. I got to see some of my family and friends but better than that I set myself something to do that was difficult and because I wanted it so much the difficulty did not matter.
So what was so difficult?
I drove with a three year old and six month old by myself!!! for 12 hours!!!!
One and a half hours in to the trip we did a petrol/pee/feed Willow/snack and stretch stop. The moment I was on the toilet watching my three year old hold on to the baby I thought maybe, just maybe it was all too much. I’d spoken to the motel concierge who chirpily informed me Knill was 4.5 hours max away. Add another two hours and we made it. Half way done.
The stops were varied
‘Mum, I don’t want this movie anymore’
‘Mum I don’t want this movie anymore’
Oh and two poosplosions.
The single bed Willow and I shared dipped in the middle so with my fear of smothering her, sleep was secondary. In hindsight I should have slept with Matisse and left Willow to herself. The lack of hotel rooms gave us two single beds. These girls did not make it work.
The motel concierge made this stop worth it. He was a gem or a gem collector. They were everywhere. He sold artifacts with one being a random dinosaur out the front. It would make for a wonderful movie set.
One more poosplosions and the ‘are we at Nanna and Pa’s yet?’ question starting 30 minutes in to our second leg. Five and a half hours later we dragged ourselves inside to find Mum baking. Bliss.
Well, I felt like I needed a bit of a holiday after that mission.
And a holiday I had.
Today a news article struck a chord with me. The ABC has a documentary series targeting waste. The reporter was in the middle of a shopping mall with six thousand kilograms of discarded fashion and textiles. He asked the crowd how long they thought it took Australians to dispose of this amount of waste. The answers ranged from days to hours but the answer was mere minutes, 10 minutes to be precise. We live in a consumerist society and it made me question my own choices.
The article suggests that having more makes you purchase more. Why would we want more if we have enough? Because your cupboards are so full of stuff that you forget you have it. This got me thinking. Why do we need so much? I put this with why do I feel the need to eat when I’m sad/angry/mad/happy? It isn’t a simple question. I turned to Netflix for help. Haha
I flicked to the Flix and on came Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things. Yes, they are the same guys from the podcast. They made it clear to me why I have this overarching discontentment when I sit in my lounge. My brain is perpetually overwhelmed. We have too much stuff!! How little some people live with is inspiring so I thought we’d get cracking on living a more minimalist existence.
First stop: getting rid of the photo albums. Not the pictures. We have technology to thank for the humble scanner button.
Second stop: The walk in robe. I decided to back myself and get rid of all of my summer clothes. By next summer they will be too big so to the charity bin they go. I found two tops of the same style that I never wear because they sit terribly. Why I purchased the second I don’t know. Anything I can’t feed Willow in, gone. It felt AMAZING!
Now to go through the kids stuff!! Less is the new more!