As soon as my little boy turned two it was as if his new found ability in movement and language was at odds with his inability to control his feelings and behaviour. When I first came face to face with these situations I definitely expected more than was reasonable from my toddler. Why? Because I thought since he was walking and talking and generally becoming more independent he would be able to better control his emotions and self control. What I learnt later was that areas of the brain to do with attention and resolving conflict take more time to develop. So how could I help him along the way…?
There is little question that making your toddler feel valued, special and loved is connected to their self esteem and happiness. Self esteem gives toddlers the confidence to try new things and be brave as he becomes more independent from you and comes from a feeling of security and belonging and knowing what we have to contribute is appreciated.
Knowing the importance of self esteem it is no surprise why I regularly question whether or not my toddlers are feeling loved and special. I used to think this called for gigantic efforts of magical holidays and presents every time we are at the shops. Thank goodness the experts agree that making your toddler feel special and loved is in the little things we can do every day.
Lollies. For most an agreed occasional party food. But how about hidden sugars in foods which have widely thought to be healthy options? And what can happen to my toddler if they eat too much sugar? How do I know what too much is? Sugar sugar sugar – it is often the elephant in the park when the snacks come out for morning tea. So why is sugar causing such a fuss?
Before I became a mum I didn’t really understand what positive reinforcement was. I did know by looking at my friends who already had children that ideas of discipline had changed quite a bit since I was a child. I took my husband’s lead on this, being a psychologist, so in our house reinforcing good attitude and behaviours is the main way we try to avoid general naughtiness and misbehaviour. And it works, well most of the time.
Sometimes my days start and end and there’s a whirlwind that happens in between but still nothing actually gets done, and I don’t feel like an organised mum at all. I started having just one too many days like this with the not done stuff piling up and the whirlwind days becoming more chaotic. So here I am trying to start new habits and put new routines into action so I can be a better organised mum to unclutter my days and my mind.
Remember what it was like to sleep for eight hours straight and not think anything of it? It was so normal. Unless of course you had a big night and then you could only blame yourself… and always indulge in an uninterrupted lie in the next morning. Those were the days.
Now back to your present reality. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll 69% of kids under ten experience some sort of sleep problem. What’s the big secret of the other 31%?
Mummy guilt doesn’t discriminate. Mummy guilt can strike if you are CEO with 500 employees or CEO of your own home. It can find you whether your house overlooks the Harbour Bridge or a highway. It can appear at the break of day being woken up by that first baby cry, or in the evening when everything seems too quiet. It can last for a minute or drag on and on and on. So it’s no surprise that most mums will feel guilty about something to do with their children from time to time.
What makes us feel mummy guilt?
One of the main mummy guilt provokers for me is raising my voice. I tend to hear myself yell probably more than I should. And after I have yelled at my toddlers I feel really guilty about it. It happened again this morning. I was putting my smallest down for her nap and just as I did, my eldest bounces into the bedroom demanding I read him his favourite story. Ahhh. I should count to five before I react, but sometimes these things just catch you out. Yelling surely is part of motherhood, but with my counting technique I am working on it, but I also know that sometimes loud decibels will creep through the cracks and that’s okay.
We all get angry with our toddlers sometimes and I am definitely no exception. Throw in a stubborn three year old who won’t stop teasing his little sister by taking every toy she picks up to play with away from her to an already hectic morning when you’re going to be late for work, you’re surrounded by chaos and you can’t find your left shoe. Not to mention having been woken up by your toddler several times in the night with teething issues and you’re running on caffeine empty on top of everything else. Here you have a situation which is likely to get ugly if don’t take stock of your emotions and temper.
But it is so hard. Our kids seem to have the ability to trigger us more than anyone else can. As parents we get taken on an emotional journey as we love and bond with our children. Moments of pure bliss as well as not so blissful moments. As a mum I have felt a long list of emotions – frustration, irritation, exhaustion, fear, anxiety stress, and sometimes anger.
Why are allergies rising in Australia? These days there seems to be so many more children and adults who are experiencing allergies, especially food allergies. But why? Why suddenly are allergies on the rise? Why do my toddlers suffer from allergies when I don’t?
This question is on my mind a lot since my youngest toddler is allergic to eggs and pineapple and my eldest is allergic to yeast. Allergic reactions to foods are also more common in children with eczema.
The answer to why allergies are on the rise is that we’re not totally sure. The experts say it is a bit of everything – our western lifestyle and environment, a bit of genetics but not one thing alone is to blame.
I have just finished reading Annabel Crabb’s The Wife Drought. And wow! It really opened my eyes to how most families in Australia survive the everyday… and it made me start thinking about how I manage and prioritise my work and family.
work and family balance – when I’m at work
As soon as I get to work I write my to-do list and prioritise the day’s tasks. This is especially important knowing that I have to leave work by 5 o’clock for daycare pick up.
Throughout the day I check-in with myself asking if the task I’m doing right now is the best use of my time, is there a another, faster way I could do this to get the same result?